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This happened to me last night around 7PM during surge. I'll share with you at the end of this post how the scam will end up screwing us drivers where we make mere pittance on these rides even during surge.
It started innocently enough:
I dropped off a pax near USC around 7pm which was what started this scam:

1st USC (pool?) ride came in at 6:58pm, which I accepted
I drive towards it to pickup the pax
1st ride was cancelled by pax
1st ride Fare breakdown: $0.00

2nd USC (pool?) ride came in a minute later at 6:59pm at surge 1.3x
I successfully pickup 2nd ping pax this time and deliver him to his destination (along with the 4th ping pax. see below)
2nd ride Fare breakdown:
Base fare: $2.10
Surge: $0.63
Uber Fee: -$0.68
Rider Fee (payment): $1.65
Rider Fee (deduction): -$1.65
Distance: 2.1 mi
Duration: 7 minutes
And I made $2.05 after fees/deductions above from taking 2nd pax to his destination and chasing phantom 1st pax that cancelled only to ping me again using their "fraud cohort's phone".

But wait, there's more!! The scam continued on this ride from hell.
Same trick, same USC area... And I still had the pax from the 2nd ping in my car at this point.
The map tracker clearly shows me looping around the area as this scam continued (which I wasn't aware of it at the time this was going down).

3rd USC (pool?) ride ping came in at 7:00pm that I also accepted
I drive towards it to pickup the pax (with 2nd ping pax onboard)
3rd ride got cancelled by pax as I'm making my way there. (I'm thinking this is starting to bug me)
3rd ride Fare breakdown: $0.00

Then a 4th ping came in less than a minute later at surge 1.5x that I also accepted. (hmmm... I'm thinking deja vu at this point)
I successfully pickup 4th ping pax (2 guys)
I completed the ride after having wasted time/gas driving around towards rides that got cancelled.
My trip history for the 4th ride is as follows:

4th USC (pool?) ride at 7:01pm was completed at surge 1.5x
Fare breakdown:
Base fare: $0.92
Surge: $0.46
Uber Fee: -$0.34
Rider Fee (payment): $1.65
Rider Fee (deduction): -$1.65
Distance: 1.4 mi
Duration: 3 minutes
And I made $1.04 delivering 4th pax and chasing phantom 3rd pax that cancelled only to get pinged again using his friend's app/phone.

To summarize: I ultimately drove the 2nd and 4th ping pax to the same destination with lots of detours due to chasing the phantom 1st & 3rd rides that cancelled on me. And I made next to nothing even at surge prices!

Here's the sad Uber payout for all that work/trouble/time/miles.
I made a whopping total of $3.09 ($2.05+$1.04) while getting screwed by Uber & the USC kids.

Is this a known scam or did I stumble onto a flaw that's being exploited by USC kids?
Or are these the normal surge rates that drivers can to look forward to at USC & elsewhere?
 

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USC students get rides paid for by the school after 7pm. They are all very short rides since they have to originate and end within the USC campus. They are labeled as USC and are pool rides. This is standard and why most drivers avoid USC. You can make some money doing these rides, but you will be giving ALOT of rides.
 

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I did the USC zoo on a Friday night. Once! Once was enough. Too many cars to close together with short rides is just too much of a hassle for little money. I did happen to do WELL that one night because 2 of the 10 USC rides I had asked me to go through one of the fast food drive through, which all had lines, so those rides ended up being 20 minutes and one was 28 minutes so that worked out OK.
 

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Is this a known scam or did I stumble onto a flaw that's being exploited by USC kids?
Or are these the normal surge rates that drivers can to look forward to at USC & elsewhere?
I heard the universities in LA got rid of the shuttles and use uber pool for anywhere around the campus. You pretty much their shuttle driver. I avoid going near those areas. Even if it is 2 or 3 x surge.
 

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I asked the students about this before.

USC only pays for pool. USC always means pool. If you get a second passenger call, avoid it. You will make less money for taking two sets of passengers than just one. 2.40 for one pax. Split fare between two pax will be like .72 cents a piece. Twice the wait time, a dollar less.

You'll make okay hourly averages, but you'll be giving like 15-25 short rides an hour. x whatever hours you work. A good way to turn yourself into an hourly worker.
 

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Good luck to whoever tries to catch surge here

All usc rides are pool even though they don't say

And they also don't surge unless you are picking up a regular ride that is surging.

I've gotten good rides like airport trips and such but only bother doing lyft around there unless I wanna gamble with high surge 3x and up.
 

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I avoid USC like the plague! However, last week I dropped off a pax from Venice at USC, got a request while still on the ride at a 3.7 surge. I accepted, called the driver and told her I was canceling and ending my night. Before I could log off, I get another USC request at 4.5 and decide to take it. 6 minutes, 1 pax, made $12. Got another at 3.5, took it, another 7-8 minutes, 3 pax together (on a pool) to Chipotle. Made $9 and just over $20 in less than 20 minutes. Logged off and went home for the first time happy about Uber at USC. Still avoiding this school like the plague tho!
 

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USC = Uber Should Cancel

If and when you catch a fare into there *****! - Drop instantly, LogOff and DeadMile Out!

Leave USC to the Pro, AfroJoe : )
 

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USC = Uber Should Cancel

If and when you catch a fare into there *****! - Drop instantly, LogOff and DeadMile Out!

Leave USC to the Pro, AfroJoe : )
Seriously. Ya'll can ***** on out of USC and leave it to me.
I like the hot girls, party invites and invitations back to my place. All worth the $2.40 Lol

btw UberLaLa the Acronym ***** is awesome!!! got me dying!!!
 
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