The company will tell drivers and couriers in the app why their account was deactivated, allow them to request an additional review of the decision, and will be able to share things like audio or video recordings to dispute any unfair claims.
Drivers and couriers have long complained that gig companies will routinely side with customers when issues arise, despite there being false accusations. One example is that sometimes customers will make false claims in order to get money back on their rides. Uber is rolling out a new system that tracks when riders report false issues with drivers in order to repeatedly get refunds. Those reviews should no longer impact driver ratings or account deactivation decisions, the company said. “While we may take action to remove these customers from the platform, we know there are still underlying concerns about these reports,” Uber said in a press release.
Uber will also start paying for drug testing for drivers who are accused of driving under the influences of drugs and want to dispute that accusation. Uber will cover the cost of the test, no matter the outcome, as part of a nationwide partnership with LabCorp.
“We want every driver and courier to know that we are listening to their needs and taking action,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “We are improving the driver experience to help keep them safer on the road and give them a louder voice in deactivation decisions.”
Some Uber drivers have expressed safety concerns since they aren’t sure who they’re picking up and dropping off. Drivers themselves have to go through several safety checks, but riders can use anonymous payment methods and give fake names. The company said that it will “significantly expand” rider identify verification starting next year to confirm account information against either an ID document or “trusted data sources.” “Over time, we will show drivers that they’re picking up a verified rider right on the offer card, so they can have more peace of mind before accepting a trip request,” the company said.
Uber is also expanding its in-app iOS recording feature that allows drivers to record videos of their trips with their phone’s front-facing camera. The content is encrypted and stored directly on the drivers’ devices. It can only be accessed if a driver chooses to send the content to Uber for review. “We believe both of these recording features will help promote safety and allow us to more quickly and fairly resolve any incidents that may arise,” Uber said.