Question: Says my driver is arriving but he’s blocks away stuck in red lights – did I get charged?
The Uber app automatically senses the driver’s GPS location as it relates to the passenger’s GPS location. When it believes the two are close enough, the app programmatically sends out the message that your driver is arriving now. The driver does not control when this happens and it doesn’t directly relate to when the meter begins.
It isn’t until the driver swipes the ‘confirm arrival’ that the meter is on. Now when that happens is up to the driver and I can’t speak to how ethical or not ethical they are. For me, I wait until the passenger is in my car, then I swipe to start the meter, confirm the address, and get moving.
It’s also important to know, if the driver started the meter before he picked you up, like around the corner for example, it would show on the GPS receipt Uber emails when the trip ends. If ever it doesn’t seem right, contact Uber as their customer service is amazing. I’m not just saying that, I have pretty high expectations for customer service and these guys really do achieve it.
The other thing to know is if the driver started the meter while he was waiting for you outside your door, he only gets pennies per minute – the real money comes in miles (i.e. when the car is moving). So him turning it on a minute or two early would be negligible financially. It would also be near impossible for you to know given the GPS receipt would appear accurate (you’d have to see the exact time on his cell phone when you got in, and that seems like a lot of work to audit the 10 cents you may have overpaid).
Hope that helps!