About Uber’s ‘reservations’

Recent Uber introduced a ‘reservation’ service that I gather is supposed to guarantee passengers a ride at a set time.

Riders have been able to schedule rides in advance for a while, at least in many areas. Reservations are different in that Uber attempts to fill the order well in advance, by advertising it to drivers.

I am no longer accepting these orders in advance.

Uber breaks a couple promises to drivers with these orders:

  1. It will give drivers who accept these reservations rides toward reserved rides. Those with experience with Uber’s “destinations,” in which drivers can tell Uber that they need to be at a certain place by a certain time, will know that Uber is not good at this at all.
  2. It will provide notice to drivers when they need to head to these reserved rides. It claims that passengers are paying for drivers to arrive early. But in my experience, Uber does not allow anywhere near sufficient time for drivers to safely and legally drive to these orders.

I still wind up accepting these orders, when they are handed out as ordinary calls. But I know that they’re reservations, because inevitably, Uber starts haranguing me, warning me to start making progress toward the pickup location, sometimes even when I’m already moving in that direction, sometimes when I’m waiting at a red light. Uber also harangues me when it appears I’ll be late.

I haven’t seen this from the passenger’s side, but I assume that Uber blames drivers when these reservations aren’t filled as expected. And I can really do without the haranguing and the blame.