It’s no secret that companies like Uber and Lyft have had their fair share of trouble with customer service. It’s also no surprise. When Uber burst onto the scene in 2011, it was the first idea of its kind, and bound to have some kinks to work out in the brand new world of ride sharing services.
Many have, and continue to be, critical of canned responses to their concerns or complaints from Uber. Thankfully, Uber, and its major competitor, Lyft, continue to up their game in the customer service department. While they may not have yet perfected the system, improvements are being made, with quicker response time and better service.
If you’ve struggled to get in touch with Uber or Lyft in your moment of need, we’ve got some tips for you that will hopefully make that struggle a distant memory. Here are 15 ways to make sure you know what to do when you are in uber need of help from Uber.
Pardon the pun.
The most important thing to know when it comes to contacting Uber support is what to do if you feel you or your passenger are in danger.
Uber’s head of security, Joe Sullivan, recently said “In the United States, 911 is the panic button and it’s the panic button that we want people to use. It’s the panic button that law enforcement wants people to use. And we don’t want to try and replace that.”
If you ever feel that you are in danger from your passenger, or that you and your passengers are in danger from some other threat, your first move should always be to call 911. This is true for both Uber and Lyft. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep a first aid kit in your car. But what next?
Uber Critical Safety Response Line
This number was originally kept quiet, although no one is quite sure why. Whatever the case, it is meant to be a sort of non-emergency emergency line.
Say a passenger left behind their charger and is trying to track it down (better to keep your own charger handy!). Or a driver finds a lost item that they want to return to their passenger. These are both non-emergencies. However, they do require rather swift attention. That’s where the safety response line comes in.
Need to use this line? Call 1-800-353-UBER.
Lyft Critical Response Line
Lyft has a similar line, 1-855-865-9553.
Lyft stipulates that this line is for “accidents, safety concerns, and citations.” They, too, insist that 911 is the first number to dial in case of serious emergency.
The Uber Help Portal
When looking for customer service, the first place to look is the Uber Help Portal. This is the official help site for Uber’s passengers and partners. When you visit this site, you’ll be asked to select “partner” or “rider,” and then given a list of options based on which you are.
For the most part, this site can be used for frequently asked questions. For riders this includes information such as whether or not you can bring your service animal, or how to use Uber for business travel.
For partners, this is the place to go with questions about payment or for tips about how to be successful as a driver.
The Lyft Help Center
This is Lyft’s version of the Help Portal from Uber, although it’s presented a little differently. Here there is a list of frequently asked questions, followed by the following categories of information:
- Using Lift
- Driving With Lift
- Become a Driver
- Promotions & Rewards
- Policies & Other Info
- Airport Info
Again, as with Uber, this is a great place to go with your basic questions regarding being a Lyft driver or passenger.
What if your questions aren’t answered on either of these sites, though? Here are some other places you may find help.
The Uber App
This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you are familiar with Uber’s app and know all that it has to offer before going somewhere else for information. It’s designed to answer many of your questions.
As of March, 2016, the Uber app has In-App Support, a much needed feature that may surprise you with its usefulness. Any issues you may have with your account or fare, or any unanswered questions after perusing the Help Portal, will probably be answered here. Give it a try!
Messaging Systems (Formerly Email)
If you’re looking for contact with an actual human, email used to be the best way to get information specific to your questions, but neither Uber nor Lyft uses a support email any more. Rather, they’ve both moved to a messaging support system for responding to questions and concerns.
When contacting Uber, go to help.uber.com. This is the Help Portal, but you are able to submit specific questions in the search field, and you might be surprised by how many answers you can find this way.
If you are a driver with specific questions that cannot be answered using the search field you can go here, and submit a request.
Try to be as specific as possible, and include any pertinent information, such as your contact info or your ride number.
Lyft’s messaging system is similar, but is, in my opinion, a little easier to access and use.
You can get to the support page directly from the main page of their website. If you have a question you’d like answered via email, simply click this button:
Once you’ve done so, you’ll be asked to provide your email address and phone number, the subject of your concern, whether or not you are a driver or rider, and some basic information about your question. Try to be very clear, but concise. Don’t write a novel, because no one will read it and you’ll receive a canned response.
If you are unhappy with the response you do receive, you can simply start over, and will end up in contact with a different person. You can also reply to the unsatisfactory email and ask for more clarity, and will probably receive more information.
Of course, if you have been a driver or rider for any amount of time, you know that there is virtually no way to contact Uber or Lyft via phone. However, the good news is that Uber is currently testing out a pilot program for phone support in San Francisco, where the company is based.
Maybe phone support is on its way?
Local Partner Websites
Many cities have local partner websites, which can be especially helpful if the information you’re looking for pertains to the city in which you are driving or riding. The most popular of these is probably Ubermovement, with information for hundreds of cities all over the world.
The best way to find these websites is to simply google “local Uber partner site.” You might try including your city, as well, to make sure you are finding sites which serve your area.
If you’ve been unable to get help using the app, online resources, email, or phone, you may be able to visit a local office for assistance.
- Lyft. As of right now, Lyft does not have any local offices. There are efforts to change this, so keep checking back in on this.
- Uber. Many larger cities have Uber offices, including New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. If you live in a larger city, it’s worth checking to see if there is a local office available to you. Talking face-to-face with another person is always preferable!
- Know Local Office Hours. If you are lucky enough to be in one of those cities with an Uber office location, make sure you’re aware of their office hours. Again, this spreadsheet can be very helpful in finding this information.
As with almost anything these days, social media can be a wealth of information. It can also be a helpful tool for getting the answers you want quickly, and here’s why: when you fuss enough about a company on Facebook or Twitter, they’re sure to want to turn your criticism into praise, and will do what they need to in order to make that happen.
That being said, the best way to go about doing this is to do the following:
Lyft’s Facebook page is actually a very helpful tool, and those monitoring it respond pretty promptly to questions or concerns. It’s best to send a private message, although it seems that commenting on the wall gets swift attention.
If you prefer to use Twitter, Lyft’s handle is @AskLyft. Someone monitors this account from 5:00AM to 9:00PM. If you receive a generic response to a question on Twitter, you can either DM Lyft or reply that your question wasn’t answered. Again, if you keep pushing, They’ll want to solve your problems to keep their image up in front of the watching world.
Uber’s Facebook page is similar to Lyft’s. According to The Rideshare Guy’s blog, Uber does offer private messaging support, like Lyft. However, it seems that they typically try to steer people back toward their Help Portal, rather than ask them to send a private message. So you may not find as much help here as you’d hope.
Uber’s Twitter account, @Uber_Support, is more helpful than their Facebook page, and works similarly to the Lyft account. There are also individual city accounts for Uber, which might make finding help specific to your area little bit easier. Plus, Uber support offers 24/7 support, unlike Lyft.
So there you go! Assuming you’ve been doing everything else correctly, next time you’re in need of assistance, hopefully one of these resources will work for you.