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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I just signed up for uber not sure if it was a good idea or not, but I wanted to reach out and see if any seasoned drivers had any good advice for a new guy, like myself.
 

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If you want to make money, drive from 11 pm to 3 am, especially on weekends. Keep plastic grocery sacks in the car in case a drunk punk hurls in your car. Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you want to make money, drive from 11 pm to 3 am, especially on weekends. Keep plastic grocery sacks in the car in case a drunk punk hurls in your car. Good luck.
Thank you sir. I definitely plan on carrying something for the drunks that can't hold their alcohol. I thought about trying this friday and saturday nights out to see what I think.
 

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Drive some peeps around during the day first. Don't start with the Court Ave. crowd. Get some fares under your belt.

The problem with drunks is that sometimes they have anger issues. You want to shoot for 5 star ratings.

I enjoy chatting with my peeps. You can tell quickly if they want to chat or they want me to STFU.

I'm ok with 95% of the peeps I haul. I struggle with the 5% who are demanding. Today I hauled a peep to a bank then to a house, not far from where I picked her up. She was moving. I helped her carry some of her stuff to my car and when we arrived, even though I ended the trip, I helped carry some of her stuff to her new digs. I didn't expect a tip but it would have been a nice gesture since she really needed my help. She said thanks. It's ok though. When I signed on, I knew the rules.

I wish you the best in this venture.
 

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Expect to make about $10/hour, not including expenses. I've done a little better and a little worse, but that seems to be about the average.
Not the big money maker Uber claims.

It can be fun and is good for a little extra cash. Can't see how anyone could drive in DM for a living. Better have another job paying the bills.
 

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During bar hour I call the rider enroute to confirm location. If when you call they are verbally abusive or too drunk to know their destination, you may want to cancel to avoid an unpleasant "trip to nowhere". The only thing worse than having a drunk in your car is having a drunk who does not know where he's going. Some of these guys go directly from Uber into a pair of handcuffs.

Since fares were reduced many drivers have quit entirely or cut way back. I was recently in Seattle and rode with a driver who said he never waits more than five minutes between trips and never travels more than a mile or so to pick up. That is what Uber anticipates but I'm not sure they've ever been to a less densely populated city like Des Moines where you can drive 15 or 20 minutes for a pick up, make a six dollar fare and drive 15 or 20 minutes to get back to where you came from.

Probably the only time that makes sense to drive right now is during surges, but unless there's an obvious reason for it like a concert letting out or bar closing it's probably not a legitimate surge anyway.

Having said all that, please do come out to West Des Moines and drive all the contract workers back-and-forth to Guide One and Wells Fargo because nobody else wants to do it anymore.
 

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Ignore the surges, do not chase. In the past 10 days, I have been in the middle of 7 surges with only 1 ping. If you happen to be in the middle of one, stick around, but don't be surprised when you get no hits.

Ignore the heat zones. They are not accurate and mostly useless.

Don't worry too much about the ratings. Yes, give them a safe comfortable ride, but there are riders that think a "4" is good and "3" is average. Just do your best and don't take it personally if you have less than a 5* rating.

Don't cruise. You're just wasting gas. Find a spot not clustered with other drivers and wait.
 

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I don't know where you live but perhaps best to fire up the app and sit at home. I do that. Text them or call them is another good tip.

Jeff Mathias are you getting any tips from those folks? The only tips I see come from service employees (hairdressers, bartenders, waiters). I don't expect them but they are nice when they come in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys this is definitely not my livehood and I have a full time job for that. This is just something to do for a little extra money. I live in Waukee and I dont know that there is much demand there for Uber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ignore the surges, do not chase. In the past 10 days, I have been in the middle of 7 surges with only 1 ping. If you happen to be in the middle of one, stick around, but don't be surprised when you get no hits.

Ignore the heat zones. They are not accurate and mostly useless.

Don't worry too much about the ratings. Yes, give them a safe comfortable ride, but there are riders that think a "4" is good and "3" is average. Just do your best and don't take it personally if you have less than a 5* rating.

Don't cruise. You're just wasting gas. Find a spot not clustered with other drivers and wait.
Is it tru though that uber will cancel you if your rating gets to below 4.6 or something around there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
During bar hour I call the rider enroute to confirm location. If when you call they are verbally abusive or too drunk to know their destination, you may want to cancel to avoid an unpleasant "trip to nowhere". The only thing worse than having a drunk in your car is having a drunk who does not know where he's going. Some of these guys go directly from Uber into a pair of handcuffs.

Since fares were reduced many drivers have quit entirely or cut way back. I was recently in Seattle and rode with a driver who said he never waits more than five minutes between trips and never travels more than a mile or so to pick up. That is what Uber anticipates but I'm not sure they've ever been to a less densely populated city like Des Moines where you can drive 15 or 20 minutes for a pick up, make a six dollar fare and drive 15 or 20 minutes to get back to where you came from.

Probably the only time that makes sense to drive right now is during surges, but unless there's an obvious reason for it like a concert letting out or bar closing it's probably not a legitimate surge anyway.

Having said all that, please do come out to West Des Moines and drive all the contract workers back-and-forth to Guide One and Wells Fargo because nobody else wants to do it anymore.
Ha, I have a full time day job. This is more of a part time weekend gi so unfortunately I will be no help in driving the contract workers. Sorry
 

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If you look at some of the other discussion forums there our cases where drivers report having their app disabled when they fell below 4.7. I think that score is mentioned in some YouTube videos as well. But riders have told me they've been picked up by drivers with scores below 4.7 here in DSM.
 

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Ignore the surges, do not chase. In the past 10 days, I have been in the middle of 7 surges with only 1 ping. If you happen to be in the middle of one, stick around, but don't be surprised when you get no hits.

Ignore the heat zones. They are not accurate and mostly useless.

Don't worry too much about the ratings. Yes, give them a safe comfortable ride, but there are riders that think a "4" is good and "3" is average. Just do your best and don't take it personally if you have less than a 5* rating.

Don't cruise. You're just wasting gas. Find a spot not clustered with other drivers and wait.
when pax asks about the "ratings" I'm honest with and tell them uber considers anything less than a five a fail. I also let them know I give everybody a five. which is almost true most of the time........
 

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I suspect that as the number of Uber drivers increases in Des Moines, the rating for deactivation will increase. Weed out drivers, increase profits for Uber. Those at the top, they know who butters their bread.
 

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One cheap bonus
Some drivers buy water for their passengers, but i think that's nuts, especially for the rates people are paying. It cuts your profit EVEN More. I personally put a cell phone charger w/ micro USB + Lighting cables in the back of my car for their use (already had the cables, and the car adapter was $7 at Lowes). Only 10% of people use it, but 100% of people tell me how cool that is. Keeps my ratings high.

Heat Zones are... fake
Heat zones do not tell you which areas are busy or even "surging" as Uber claims. Instead, they are a method of controlling how spread out the cars are. Obviously, Uber wants cars spread all over the city, so if they tell you a zone is busier, they assume you will go there.

Avoid Long Pickups
I know Uber frowns on this, but I generally avoid driving more than 10 minutes to pick up a passenger. Obviously I don't get paid for the trip there, and there's a good chance they only want to go a few miles. Also, driving clear across town for a pickup, re-distributes drivers in funky ways and pulls drivers from important locations, causing more problems. (We have this issue because there aren't a lot of drivers (or passengers) right now.

Ask about passenger
Ask your passenger about... them-self! This is well known sales trick to get people to like you. Everyone likes to tell their story, so give them the opportunity. This will get you better ratings. (I like to start the conversation "So, where you from?" (Bad grammar, but it sounds natural)

Keep the app screen OFF.
When waiting for pickups, keep your screen of to preserve battery life. Yes, your car charger can keep your phone from dying while driving, but if you're waiting for a pickup, your car probably isn't idling on. Keep the screen off and make sure push notifications are on and background app refresh (for iPhone) is on. The calls will "wake up" your phone.

Bring A Book
Sometimes, depending on the area you will wait more than an hour for a ride. Bring a book or a laptop. Uber has done a poor job of marketing to the Des Moines area, so no one has any idea it even exists. (Des Moines is also SUPER SLOW to catch on to ANYTHING new)

Tips
I get tipped 1/10 times with these "tricks." good luck
 
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