How Does the Uber Cancellation Policy Work for Drivers and Passengers? [2021 update]

We walk you through how the Uber cancellation policy works for you both as a driver and a passenger.

Uber Cancellation

Uber is a convenient app-based ride service, but sometimes the rides do not always work out as planned. If you need to cancel your Uber ride or are a driver who has had a ride canceled, you may be wondering how the cancellation policy works.

How the Cancellation Policy Works for Drivers

As a driver for Uber, you are considered an independent contractor. Because of this, you are allowed to cancel your bookings as you see fit. Some common reasons that people may choose to cancel their upcoming drives include:

  • Bad traffic
  • Unsafe passenger behaviors (for example, not wearing a facemask or seatbelt)
  • Unexpected accidents

Uber strongly suggests that drivers should go offline if they are not able to accept passengers. Canceling rides can result in customer dissatisfaction and a loss of income for drivers.

When Are Cancellations Not Allowed?

If you are a driver, Uber holds you to a Services Agreement. When you begin working for the company, you commit to following certain policies and behaviors. 

The following are instances where canceling could be considered a breach of contract:

  • Canceling on a passenger for discriminatory reasons, like race or sexual orientation
  • Canceling a trip because you believe the set fare is too low
  • Urging a passenger to cancel a trip
  • Canceling a trip because you do not wish to drive to a destination
  • Intentionally driving poorly or altering your route to encourage the passenger to cancel

All of the above reasons could result in employment termination.

How Can You Avoid Illegal Cancellations?

Some cancellations will be inevitable in your job as an Uber driver. However, you can make sure that you do not cancel in a way that breaches your contract.

Before you accept a ride, check that the destination is somewhere that you feel safe going and that you can drive to. If you do not wish to drive somewhere, do not accept the trip.

Do not contact passengers in an attempt to get them to cancel. Once you accept a passenger, you should only cancel for valid safety reasons, and then the cancellation should be on your end.

How the Cancellation Policy Works for Passengers

As a passenger, you may accidentally call an Uber, or request an Uber in a situation where you realize you do not need one. Fortunately, Uber has a protocol in place that will allow you to cancel your Uber ride, saving you time and money.

How to Avoid Being Charged for Cancellation?

If you cancel before you are matched with a driver, you will not be charged a cancellation fee. However, if you have already been matched with a driver, you will probably end up being charged a fee to compensate the drivers for the time they have already spent trying to reach you.

In general, you should follow a 2-minute rule, in which you should try to cancel your Uber within the first 2 minutes of requesting a ride.

If your driver cancels because you were breaching safety requirements, you will be charged a cancellation fee.

How Much Does a Cancellation Fee Cost?

The cancellation fee can vary based on how much time has passed. If you cancel immediately after you book, you will likely not have a fee or it will be much lower than if you book when the driver is almost there.

Can You Cancel a Ride While You’re in the Uber?

You can cancel an Uber in the middle of the ride. You will be charged for the trip up until this point, and the driver will be able to regard this as a completed ride. This is not a cost-effective option, so it is recommended that you only do this if you have to.

If you are canceling your Uber mid-ride for safety reasons, you should consider utilizing Uber’s safety features instead. If you have been put in an unsafe situation, you can directly call Uber’s customer support or use their emergency button. You will not have to pay for this service, and it will help keep you safe.

How to Get Money Back for Cancellations

You could be charged more for cancellation than you think is fair, or be charged in error. When this happens, you can get in touch with Uber directly to request a refund.

You will need to complete a “Review My Cancellation Fee” form that will request more information on the situation. Keep in mind that this does not guarantee you a refund, but rather ensures that your situation will receive more attention to ensure that you were charged fairly.

Conclusion

If you need to cancel your Uber ride as a driver or passenger, there are ways to do so. Read up on policy and make sure you are canceling for the right reasons to ensure that there are no negative consequences.

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