Community Concern: Uber Smoking Policy in 2017

Although Uber aim for every Uber experience to be comfortable and scent-free. The truth of the matter is that, Uber do not have a ‘No-Smoking’ policy for drivers or riders.

Uber Smoking Policy

Well, wait. That was back then when there may have not been an official ‘No Smoking’ policy in place.

Actually in 2017, Uber does say in their community guidelines that they are here to ensure a:

Respectful, safe environment for all drivers and riders.

And one of the guidelines does state you could lose access to your account:

If you intentionally spilling food or drink, smoking, or vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen – smoking is prohibited in a Uber. If your driver report you doing so, you may get kicked off the ridesharing platform.

Drivers Smoking

Drivers even though you are independent contractors and not employed by Uber, it would be common sense that you do NOT smoke in your vehicle with or without passengers in there.

Smoking while a passenger is in your vehicle is rude and picking up riders with your car smelling like smoke is just as bad. If you want to keep your ratings high and remind in good standing with Uber, do NOT smoke.

Drivers Vs Riders

»Complaint Against The Driver: Riders can write in and complain about the smell of smoke in a car or even state that the driver was smoking a cigarette, but unfortunately there’s not much that can be done here, but Uber will reach out to the driver and give somewhat like a warning. And certainly if this becomes an ongoing issue, the driver might find their self deactivated. Nonetheless, since partners are not employed by Uber, Uber cannot mandate them not to smoke in their car.


»Smell Other Than Cigarettes: Now if the rider is complaining about a smell of weed, then that is handled a bit differently. Uber will not immediately take action against the driver as in deactivate their account, but they will likely contact the driver and share the feedback and offer some tips and suggestions. However, if Uber gets any other feedback about the smell or weed, then the driver might find himself kicked on the platform.


»Allowing Smoking: Drivers themselves often run into a problem with riders who want to smoke in their vehicle. 90% of drivers will not allow absolutely any smoking anywhere near their car. Even if they are a smoker too, they know how important it is to keep a good smelling car at all times when picking up passengers. A rider will leave a low rating if the driver’s vehicle is smelly and they know that.


»Passenger Bribe: Then, you have those riders who will try to blackmail or bully a driver into letting them smoke. By saying that they will contact Uber or leave them a bad rating. This sometimes work, as the driver think that by them contacting Uber will cause them some sort of trouble and they want to keep from that person rating them below 4 stars. Drivers should not give in to this type of behavior instead report the rider to Uber.


»Actions Uber Will Take: Well, the truth here is that Uber will never tell a partner to allow riders to smoke in their car. So the driver do not have to worry about Uber contacting them about that. And furthermore, drivers should not be concerned about one bad rating.


»When Allowing Riders To Smoke Fail: Whose to say if the driver allow the rider to smoke, they want still leave a bad rating? And whose to say that the driver’s next set of passengers want leave them a low rating because of the cigarette odor? The driver has now caused himself probably a few unnecessary low feedback scores when he could have just said no and took the one bad rating if the rider was even serious in the first place.


»When To Allow Someone To Smoke: Only time we “might” can see a partner allowing a passenger to smoke is if it’s the last ride they are doing of the day. And even then, the driver needs to know how to get his vehicle back to scent-free before they sign back in to drive again.


»Refusing To Take A Smoking Rider: If a driver has asked a rider not to enter their vehicle with a lit cigarette and the rider ignores their request. Then, the driver has every right to cancel the trip. Alternately, if a rider lights a cigarette while on their trip and the driver asks them to put it off and the rider refuses, the driver has every right to drop the rider off at the nearest safest location and end their trip. The driver should contact Uber and let them know why the trip was cancelled or ended early so they can make a note on the trip’s profile.


»Requesting Cleaning Fee: A lot of drivers have submitted cleaning fee claims for smells/odors that may have been left behind by a rider like cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, partners cannot be reimbursed for something like this. In order to be successful in this industry drivers must learn how to return their vehicle back to top notch shape without being paid extra sometime. That’s just the reality of things. In the case of odors, drivers should always carry something like Dakota Bomb Car Odor Eliminator or a Car Air Purifier to remove those unflattering smells. 


»Lastly, Don’t Worry Much About Rating: If a partner is regularly driving on the Uber system, then a few below average ratings will not hurt that much. The more trips a driver take, they will see that it’s not a huge impact after all. Since all drivers start off at 5 stars, their rating will normally go down a little bit anyway. We have yet to see or hear of a straight up 5 star partner. Nonetheless, we do know of several 4.9 and a whole lot of 4.8’s. With that being said, do not stress about getting a not-so-good rating from riders from time to time.

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