Uber dominates as one of the top ridesharing businesses in the world. It is convenient, affordable, and uses GPS tracking to know exactly where you are. Many people make a living by driving for Uber which sounds like a fun gig until you hear stories like these. Uber drivers reveal the rudest passengers they have ever picked up. This content has been edited for clarity.
“A couple of months ago, I picked up what I believed to be a paranoid schizophrenic. When I got to her house, she asked me to load a guitar case into the back of my van because it was too heavy for her and that she would give me a 40-dollar tip for my services. The case wasn’t very heavy so I put it in the back of my van and as I was doing so she says,
‘Better be careful, that’s a 20,000-dollar guitar.’
I said ‘Uh, okay, no problem’ and walked back to my seat to wait.
The woman came back with a bag of pork rinds and a handwritten note that said she was being doxed for her money or something like that. She mentioned her mother trying to get a hold of her money. The pork rinds were a gift to me that I accepted and thanked her for (in reality, that bag was going straight into the trash because I didn’t trust her). She told me that I needed to take her to the Maserati dealership where her father worked to pick up the car that her ex-fiancé allegedly stole.
On the way there, she asked me if I was affiliated with the government or the mob and I said I was not. She then told me that she was being watched and wanted to hire someone as a personal driver and bodyguard. She disclosed information about herself that I didn’t need to hear but I let her continue out of my own curiosity. This woman who was about six feet tall and blonde claimed to be an ex-Navy Seal and an ex-pole dancer.
At that point, I was thinking, ‘What in the world did I get myself into?’
She told me she signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) so she couldn’t speak of anything she had done as a Navy Seal.
I played music for her the entire trip and everything was all honky dory until we got to the dealership. We entered a Porsche dealership that was closed at the time and couldn’t find her car because we weren’t in the right place.
She had the audacity to say, ‘You’re supposed to know where you’re going, right? You’re the driver here’ even though she put in the address of the Porche dealership.
Luckily, the Maserati dealership was right next to it. I drove over and she called Maserati to let them know she was there to pick up her car. She said she wanted her father, who supposedly worked there, to come on down so that she could get it. At that point, she saw her car nearby and told me to park next to it. As I’m parking, she was still on the phone with the Maserati representative.
I kind of missed her car a bit and she said, ‘Stop stop, stop, what are you doing? Go back there.’
The woman on the other line said, ‘Ma’am I don’t know who you’re talking to like that but I’m going to end the call right now.’
I parked next to her car and told her I needed to end the trip because I had to go. Boy, she did not like that. Things went from 0 to 100.
The woman said, ‘Oh no babe, you just failed the test.’
‘Test? What test?’ I replied.
She said, ‘I was going to hire you to drive me around and protect me for one thousand dollars and you just failed the test.’
I was very confused at that point. She then called Uber support and was giving them my name, license plate number, and my van description on speakerphone. She proceeded to lie by saying I was refusing to let her out of my vehicle and attempting to kidnap her. I decided I was getting out of there and dropping her at the nearest gas station so I could rid myself of her and move on.
As I was driving out of the dealership she started shouting, ‘HELP! HELP! HE’S TRYING TO KIDNAP ME RIGHT NOW!’
I reversed all the way back and told her to get out of my van or I was going to call the police. She then said I was leaving her stranded so she could get kidnapped by human traffickers. I told her once more to leave my van or I would call the cops. She then said that I would be in trouble with the feds if I did, so I dialed 911.
In the meantime, she was getting out of my van and grabbing her guitar case from the back. She came to the passenger seat to take her pork rinds back and slammed my door. I let the 911 operator know she had left my van and they said I didn’t need police assistance and ended the call. She gave me a one-star rating and reported me for illegal driving, fast driving, and a couple of other things.
I drove to a nearby 7-Eleven and called Uber to report her. They blocked her from getting matched with me ever again. I never got my 40-dollar tip.”
“I’m a female driver and picked up two wasted male passengers. One kept dropping his phone on the floor of my car and the other made some rude comments.
He was talking to the other and said ‘I heard narcissists are the best in bed. I’m a narcissist.’
Then he said to me, ‘Miss Driver, what do you think about that?’
That was not an appropriate conversation in my workplace (my car). Especially not when he tried to include me in the conversation because I’m a female.
I responded curtly, ‘Yeah, I don’t know anything about that.’
Had they said anything else, I would have been even clearer that the conversation was inappropriate and ended the ride but nothing else was said. When we got to their house and they exited the car, I rolled down my window to ask if the first guy had remembered to get his phone. He said yes and I left.
I gave the ride three stars and marked it for ‘rude conversation.’ I have given one star to passengers in the past for creepy behavior or reckless/destructive behavior. I was not sure why I gave three stars on this one – I was letting it pass as a gray area I guess. Although in retrospect, a male in my car talking about inappropriate matters and then asking my opinion clearly crosses a line and makes me feel unsafe. I should have given it one star and reported further.
Shortly after dropping them off, my phone rang. I figured it was them but I did not want to answer the phone while driving. I was also mad about the conversation and on my way home for the night (it was about 1:30 am). Even if they had left something in my car, I wouldn’t have felt safe driving back to their house that late. They were both wasted so their driving to meet me at a safe space at that time would not have been possible either.
When I got home, I found the one guy’s phone in my back seat after all. I reported a lost item to Uber through the app, left the phone in my car, and went to bed.
After sleeping in late, I woke up to a ton of phone calls, voice messages, and text messages from both Uber and the passengers. It was concerning that the passengers were able to call AND text my number. I was under the impression that calls from passengers would mask my number.
Next, I got a message from a co-worker at my primary job. I’m a massage therapist, a sole proprietor who shares office space with others. My co-worker said that the guy who lost his phone showed up at the massage office looking for me and left his email. This really creeped me out but he found out where I worked because of my voicemail,
‘Hi, you’ve reached First Name / Last Name at Name of Massage Workplace.’
So now this stranger knew my full name and where I work but I needed to keep that information on my voicemail for when massage clients called me. I ended up creating a burner email account to email the guy and arranged to meet him at a Mcdonald’s. The entire situation could have been avoided if he would have double-checked when I asked him if he had his phone the night before.”
“I dropped someone off in the middle of nowhere, way out of town. I got a notification about another ride and figured I’d pick them up before heading back. The pick-up was at an apartment complex and I waited at the leasing office because it didn’t specify a certain apartment.
I called and texted but didn’t get an answer. After three minutes, she told me which apartment she was in. Once I find it, five minutes have gone by.
I said, ‘You’re not here.’
‘I’m at the exit now,’ she says.
The complex had multiple exits and I had already spent my five minutes looking for her so I decided was going to go out the first exit. If she wasn’t there, I would leave. She wasn’t there (no surprise) so I canceled the ride. As I drove off, I got another ping from her. I texted her to say I was sorry about canceling but Uber only lets drivers wait five minutes.
She ordered a ride again so I drove to the new destination she put on the app and it was a block down from the apartment complex.
I said, ‘Ma’am, you mapped to a house this time, is that correct?’
She said, ‘NO I’M STILL AT THE EXIT!’
‘That isn’t the address you put in the app,’ I replied.
She goes, ‘I don’t care what I put in the app. Pick me up at the exit.’
A few minutes goes by and she texted, ‘Are you coming now? I’m late. We’ll need to rush to get there.’
I camped out in front of the house until the five minutes is over.
After that, I replied, ‘I’m sorry, but I see no reason to pick up someone that is rude. Try to be nicer next time,’ and canceled the ride. Ten dollars for doing nothing! Thanks, lady!
“I picked up a couple from a bar and they smelled like they had been drinking a lot. They immediately got aggressive and accused me of smoking weed in my car even though I had never smoked a day in my life.
I offered to pull over and spray Febreze but they replied with rude comments. I told them the attitude wasn’t necessary and the male passenger got aggravated and told me to ‘just drive.’
I’m not willing to deal with rude riders so I told them I was ending the trip and to get out of my car. When they refused, I dialed 911.
The female passenger decided to leave but the male passenger stayed to antagonize me. I got footage on a dashcam that clearly showed this man getting in my face and threatening me which I submitted to Uber.
Due to my high anxiety, I got out of the car with the intention of pacing back and forth to calm myself down. At the same time, I was trying to talk on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.
Out of nowhere, the guy squares me on my chest while my back is to the car. His chest was applying pressure to my pacemaker and I couldn’t get out of the way. Since I was trying to talk on the phone with the dispatcher, my natural instinct was to shove him, but then he dragged me to the ground.
We got into a brawl and he tried to dig out my eyeball and tried choking me to death. I have video evidence of the moment it started escalating up until he took me to the ground. When I submitted the footage to Uber, instead of investigating, they decided to deactivate my account.”
One Star Rating
“On a Friday night, a middle-aged woman got in my car, said hello, got on her phone, and immediately cracked open a drink. That was strike one. I should have booted her right then but it was a 40-dollar ride to the area I wanted to be in on a Friday night. Sigh. Whatever.
She was dolled up in fringe cowgirl attire, a gaudy western hat, and talked like Paris Hilton. She sounded like a 16-year-old valley girl with nothing but vocal fry which was really obnoxious. The aroma that wafted in with her was the female version of axe body spray carefully applied with a garden hose. I was choking.
Her first words to me were, ‘Where is the cable so I can play my music in your car?’
I said that I didn’t have one so she proceeded to blast country music out of her phone. That was strike two. I had the radio on low and would have changed it to the stupid country station if she would have asked.
As I was driving out of her neighborhood, she was barking orders at me about where to turn. The directions were clearly marked on the Uber GPS on my phone which was very visible to her. Annoying, but not a mortal sin.
Next, she started having conversations on speakerphone at full volume. The first conversation was with a friend who was out of state. They spent ten minutes relaying how trashed they had gotten the night before as if they were sophomores in high school seeing a keg for the first time. She talked over and over about how her kids were with her ex so she was free to go crazy.
The second conversation was with her mom and I got to hear her lecture her daughter about how the new man she’s dating needs to be a Christian. Better yet, I got to hear a grown woman in her forties sound like a whiny teenager,
‘I know Mom, GEEZ!’ for thirty minutes.
I swear it was like some 1990s MTV reality show except it was just my personal nightmare for the better part of an hour.
The final straw was when we arrived at the restaurant and they had clearly marked sections for valet parking and rideshare pickup/dropoff. I stopped the car, unlocked the doors, thanked her, and wished her a great night. Her jaw dropped and she said,
‘Are you KIDDING me? How am I supposed to walk that far?’
I apologized, hoping for a tip while plotting my revenge: a one-star rating and details as to why she deserved that review.”
“The worst passenger I had while driving for Uber was an older woman who had someone order her the ride. When I picked her up, she started off by saying that there was a road closure on the way to her destination. I thanked her and continued following my GPS.
She started screaming, ‘You’re going the wrong way! The road is closed!’
Annoyed, I let her know that it was the 21st century and in the first-world city in which we lived, there would probably be detour signs if my GPS didn’t pick up on the road closure. She disagreed and told me to turn into a residential community. After telling me to make a few turns around the neighborhood she said,
‘You’re lost. You don’t know where you’re going.’
I agreed with her and asked if I could please get back to the GPS. She said no and started stupidly guiding me around the neighborhood again. Her drop-off address was about ten miles from the neighborhood she made me pull into. Fed up, I told her I was going to follow my GPS. She screamed from the back,
‘BUT THE ROAD IS CLOSED! I’M PAYING YOU. YOU DO WHAT I SAY!’
At that point, I told her I was going to take her to a gas station and let her out so she didn’t have to pay me anymore. I hope whoever ordered the Uber had to sit her down and give her a talk about how to act right.”
“I picked up a passenger for a short ride between hotels they were staying at. She was really nice the entire drive. We talked about a couple of things like bars, how she got wasted last night, and what we do for a living (Uber isn’t my daily job). When we arrived at her hotel, I helped her unload her luggage and she asked me if I wanted to hang out with her and her friends later that evening.
I immediately declined, telling her that I had a girlfriend and that I was sorry but didn’t think it would be appropriate. Right after that, her attitude changed like she was mad or shocked. I didn’t really understand that reaction honestly. I wasn’t being rude in any way, just being honest. I didn’t think my girlfriend would be okay with me going to a party with a girl I knew nothing about.
I tried to put that aside and as I do with all my passengers, asked her if she needed help bringing her luggage to the lobby (she had to go up some stairs). She said no so I wished her a great day and left. She gave me five stars and even a tip.
The next day, I woke up to an Uber support notification saying that one of my passengers reported me for making an uncomfortable comment. I told them my side of the story and they said they would take it into account and flag it as a possible false report. It sucked because I was new to Uber and already got reported because that girl was mad I didn’t go out with her.”
“I’ve literally never had a passenger act this malicious. I should’ve known it was bad when she called me three times before I even got there. She got in with her three friends and all of them are completely wasted. Immediately, she demanded to play her music. I said no and when she asked why I said,
‘Because it’s my car.’
She passive-aggressively announced what I said to the whole car. Her friend, trying to be nice, asked what I liked. I answered and the snide one sarcastically ‘uh-huhed’ me as if liking The Strokes was a moral failing. Her other friend started blasting really bad Tejano Rock from his phone.
About five minutes into the 25-minute trip, she asked me to take them to a gas station. I normally would but her attitude, the time, and the number of people in my car made me lie and say she had to put it in the app or else Lyft would get mad at me.
After three minutes of complaining where she implied I was too stupid to pull off the highway, I decided I would just ditch them at the gas station. Luckily, my old high school was coming up so I was familiar with the area. I pulled off to the sketchiest Circle K in town. Once everyone got out, I drove off as fast as I could and gave her a one-star rating.”
“I showed up at the pick-up address and parked behind a car that had a couple of people in it, no big deal. After about two minutes, the passenger came out and started walking to my car. They stopped and turned back to the car in front of me (I’m assuming they’re friends). They grabbed two handfuls of some kind of food and chomped it down. Then they headed to my car with a hand covered in some kind of brown sauce.
They get in my car and I ask, ‘Do you have sauce all over your hand?’
I can tell they want to say no but we are both looking directly at their sauce-covered hand. They started to lick the sauce off of their fingers which grosses me out. At that point I said,
‘Yeah, I don’t think I wanna take this ride.’
They then opened the door with the hand they had just licked and tried to convince me it was okay.
I replied, ‘I literally just watched you lick your hand and grab my door handle, I’m canceling the ride.’
She didn’t fight me after that and got out. I stopped a few blocks away to clean the door inside and out. The people who gave her the food gave her a ride and made some rude comment out of the window as they drove by.”
“One time I accepted a ride that would take me 15 minutes north of Portland. Based on the pickup location, I knew this would take me just a little ways into Vancouver, which was fine because I knew I could turn off the app and be back in Portland within five minutes.
However, right as I was pulling up to the stop, the passenger changed the pickup location to a couple of blocks away. It was irritating, but not a big deal. As I pulled up to the new pickup spot, the trip was updated because they added a stop to the trip. As they were getting in, I asked about the added stop and they said it was just a quick drop-off by the waterfront before the final destination. I was fine with that because it didn’t change how far I was driving out of Portland.
As we were minutes from the final drop-off in Vancouver, they informed me they were going to add another stop that would change the final destination to Ridgefield, Washington. This would have forced me to drive an additional 20 minutes away from Portland. All the extra time on the road would make me miss out on more ride opportunities and cause me to miss my weekend goal.
I told them that would significantly change the ride I originally agreed to and I wouldn’t have accepted it if they had programmed in all their stops in the first place. I was really polite and apologetic but told them I had to end the ride at the next stop and they would have to order another Uber for the trip to Ridgefield.
After dropping them off, I graciously gave them three stars so their rating wouldn’t be dinged too hard while ensuring I would not be matched up with this person again. They were clearly aware that getting a ride so far outside of town would have been difficult so they tried to pull a bait-and-switch.
The next day, I checked my Uber app to find a one-star rating and a report saying ‘not polite.’ It wasn’t a huge deal but it is tiring being rated down and reported whenever some unreasonable, rude, entitled person doesn’t get their way.”