Our goal is to make Uber the best platform for flexible work in the world. After a lot of listening and reflection, we have refocused our efforts to innovate for drivers and couriers. We’ve made good progress, rapidly improving the quality of our app and building features that drivers have been asking for.
We also know that to be the best platform for flexible work, we must be the fairest. There is one area in particular where we’ve been committed to making more headway: account deactivations. Blocking someone from accessing their Uber account is one of the most serious decisions we make as a company—and one of the most distressing moments that a driver or courier can experience.
Of course, there are many legitimate reasons why a driver could lose access to their account. We must balance access to the app with our commitment to safety and a high-quality experience for all users. It’s our responsibility not only to follow the law but to enforce our Community Guidelines, which are designed to ensure every experience feels safe, respectful, and positive.
Drivers and couriers should have a clear explanation when they lose access, and feel they have a voice if their account is deactivated. It’s our responsibility to ensure our processes are fair, accurate, and transparent—and that drivers and the public trust we are doing the right thing.
We understand the gravity of these decisions and while we recognize we may not always get it right, we commit to continuously improving.
Here are some new processes rolling out now in the US:
Providing a pathway to review a account deactivation decision
Drivers and couriers should have the ability to request an additional review of account deactivation decisions, including the ability to provide new information to support their case. Our expanded in-app Review Center tells drivers and couriers why their account was deactivated, allows them to request an additional review of the decision, and gives them the opportunity to share any additional information like audio or video recordings (which in many cities can now be done easily in the Driver app with our Audio Recording and Record My Ride features).
Protecting drivers and couriers from false allegations
We have heard from drivers and couriers that they sometimes feel like Uber sides with customers, especially when it comes to complaints that cause them to lose access to their account. We strive to promote safety for everyone who uses Uber—but the reality is that people sometimes make false accusations, often with the intent of getting a refund from Uber. While we may take action to remove these customers from the platform, we know there are still underlying concerns about these reports.
To address this concern, we’ve put in place new systems to identify consumers who report incidents and give feedback with the aim of getting a refund or appeasement. Allegations made by these customers will not be considered in drivers’ ratings or drivers’ or couriers’ account deactivation decisions. We’ve been excluding low ratings that are the result of factors outside the drivers’ control—such as traffic delays—since 2017 and will continue to do so.
Helping drivers falsely accused of drug-impaired driving get back on the road
Drug and alcohol use are never allowed while driving with Uber, and we take allegations of impaired driving very seriously. In many states, we are required to remove a driver’s access to Uber if we receive a complaint of suspected impairment. But riders can mistakenly report a driver for impairment, affecting their ability to make money. For example, in states where marijuana use is legal, a lingering odor in the car from a previous rider may prompt a false allegation against a driver.
If a US driver accused of driving under the influence of drugs wants to take a drug test to disprove the accusation, we now have a program to assist. Going forward, drivers whose accounts are at risk of permanent deactivation for drug-impaired driving will be provided the option to take a drug test through a nationwide partnership with LabCorp. Uber will cover the cost of the testing, whatever the outcome.
Global principles driving our future work on deactivations
We know we have more work to do on this front, and we will continue to improve not only our underlying policies and technology, but our communication and transparency as well. As we do so, we want to publicly share our Global Principles for Account Access, which guide us in this work:
- Drivers and couriers should be aware of the behaviors that can put their access at risk.
- Drivers or couriers who have been working on the platform for years have built trust with their customers and Uber. We should consider time on the platform and number of trips in decisions around access, except for serious incidents.
- If any loss of access occurs, Uber should be clear, empathetic, and consistent in our communications and specific and transparent about the reasons behind our decision, except where doing so poses a risk to other users.
- Outside of the most serious cases, drivers and couriers should have the ability to request a review of any decision that removes access for more than 7 days and can’t be resolved on their own.
- We should take a consistent approach to creating, reviewing, and changing account deactivation and review standards.
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