It’s every Uber driver’s worst nightmare: To receive an email from Uber letting you know that you’ve been deactivated as an Uber partner, or a message in the app that says you can’t drive. It’s a huge disappointment to be fired from your ride sharing job, and to make things worse, you’re given little to no warning or explanation about your deactivation. Instead, when you try to log on to drive, you’re greeted with an error message.
Update: In April 2016, Uber finally published a more complete deactivation policy that lists all the ways you can be deactivated and how to get reactivated.
You’ll get these error messages in the Uber app if you’ve been deactivated:
- “Your driver account has not been activated”
- “The partner account you drive under has been disabled”
- “You are waitlisted”
There are many reasons why Uber drivers can be deactivated, ranging from the bureaucratic (forgot to update documents) to the performance-related (star ratings too low, customer complaints). The good news is that if you’ve been deactivated, there’s a chance you can be reactivated if you patiently work your way through Uber’s email support system and correct the issue that got you deactivated.
Why Uber drivers get deactivated
- Average star rating drops below 4.6. If your star ratings are low, you’ll be given a warning and be placed under ‘quality review.’ If your ratings continue to stay low, you’ll be deactivated.
- Documents expire. Your driver’s license, auto insurance, vehicle registration, and vehicle inspection all have expiration dates. Make sure to upload the up-to-date versions of your documents at least a week before they expire to avoid trouble. These deactivations usually come without notice, but they’re the easiest to correct.
- Cancel too many rides, aka Cancellation Abuse, ACRO, or Skipping. To avoid a low ride acceptance rate, some drivers will accept a ride and then immediately cancel it. Uber will deactivate you for canceling too many rides.
- Violate the Code of Conduct. Uber requires drivers to follow a code of conduct that prohibits violent or inappropriate behavior, drug and alcohol use, and any other illegal behavior.
- Unsafe driving. Uber will deactivate you if passengers report any unsafe driving
- Become inactive by not giving a ride for more than 90 days. Uber deactivates inactive drivers. Sometimes you’ll be warned with an email, sometimes you won’t.
- Passenger makes a serious complaint about you. If a passenger goes out of their way to tell Uber that you were rude, or that you’re a bad driver, or that you made them uncomfortable in any way, you can be immediately deactivated without prior notice. You aren’t likely to be reactivated after a major passenger complaint.
- You violate the Uber Terms of Service. Common policy violations that cause deactivation: Manipulating hourly pay guarantees, picking up street hails, manipulating the ratings system, picking and choosing passengers.
2016 update: Uber will no longer deactivate you for a low ride acceptance rate
In the past, if you didn’t accept enough of the ride requests that you received, Uber would warn you and deactivate your for having a low acceptance rate. As of April 2016, Uber will no longer do this. Instead, Uber will warn you via text and email that you aren’t accepting enough rides, and if you continue to keep a low acceptance rate, they can temporarily lock you out of the app.
How to find out why you were deactivated
Not every deactivation notice includes an explanation, so if you were deactivated without reason, you’ll have to email Uber to find out the cause. Be patient — it could take days to get a response that explains the full situation. If you’re not satisfied with the response you get, don’t give up. Keep asking for more detail, but don’t argue or complain.
You might be upset and frustrated that you’ve been deactivated, but the worst thing to do at this stage is to lash out at Uber. If you let your emotions get the best of you and fire off angry emails to Uber reps, you’ll ruin any chances you have at reactivation. Stay calm and make sure all of your messages are polite.
How to get reactivated by Uber
In some situations, you can be reactivated as a driver if you follow Uber’s instructions and correct the issue that got you deactivated.
- If you’ve been deactivated due to a documentation problem, upload the updated document and you’ll be reactivated.
- If you’ve been deactivated because of low ratings, email Uber and ask if you can take a class to be reactivated. The classes typically cost less than $100.
- If you get deactivated due to inactivity, email Uber and tell them you’d like to become active again. Make sure to give at least one ride every month to stay active.
You probably won’t get reactivated if…
- You violated an Uber policy. If Uber thinks you broke the rules they won’t want you back.
- You received a serious passenger complaint. Uber values the passenger experience over anything else, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be reactivated in this situation. Like most service jobs, if it’s your word vs. the customer, you’ll often lose.
If you can’t get reactivated, do this instead
After you’ve done everything you can to get reactivated, try these alternative driving jobs that are similar to Uber.
Avoid deactivation — Be a good driver!
Avoiding deactivation is straightforward: Keep your documents up to date, follow Uber’s rules, and be a good driver. If you do slip up and trigger a deactivation, try to correct the issue as soon as possible and don’t antagonize Uber support employees. Remember — this is a service job. Your passengers want a safe ride from a sane driver, so don’t do anything to make your passenger uncomfortable and keep conversation light and positive.