How PCO drivers can deal with misconduct by rideshare operators

As a PCO or private hire driver, having access to the rideshare app is vital.  Without the access, you are unable to complete your job and this means losing money and time.

When an issue rises with the rideshare app, it is important that you as a PCO and private hire driver understand where the problem originated from such as, it is the rideshare company or TfL, this way it will make it easier to resolve the problem and get back to work quickly.

Unable to access rideshare app:

When rideshare operator or TfL suspend or block rideshare app, there are various reasons; therefore, as part of a security procedure rideshare operator or TfL must follow the rules.  This not only protects the passengers, but also benefits the drivers.

Reasons on why rideshare app may be suspended or blocked:

  • Invalid insurance
  • Documents out-of-date
  • Licenced suspended/revoked by TfL or DVLA
  • Poor performance such as rating is low or driver cancelled job too many times
  • Vehicle did not meet the required standard – not safe for driving
  • Code of conduct – result of irresponsible driving or account inactivity
  • Complaints from customers/other drivers or pedestrians

Reactivate rideshare app:

Not all rideshare account is suspended or blocked is a outcome of a serious cause, it could simply be a result of incorrect details on the app, did not provide valid documentations in time or a simple technical malfunction. 

This may take substantial time to sort it out and it could be between 2 to 3 days or even up to a week; therefore, it is very important that as a PCO or private hire driver you communication with your PCO operator and have patience, as by being inpatient does not solve the issue quickly.

Dealing with complaints:

When rideshare app is blocked, PCO and private hire drivers instantly think is it due to a passenger complaint; however, this is not always the case.  Complaints can be made by various people, it could be a pedestrian, another PCO or private hire driver or even a cyclist/motorist.

When complaints are made it can be done through the rideshare company, Tfl or to the police.  When a complaint is made against you, it is very important that you stay calm, as you will need to ensure your side of the story is thorough and with appropriate evidence. 

However, sometimes due to lack of information from the operators, PCO and private hire drivers can get agitated and confused, which can make matter worse. Therefore, as a PCO and private hire driver, it is best to take few steps to ensure you have all the right information so that you can prepare yourself.

Finding the facts – it is vital that when a complain against you is made, your operator provides you with full details of the incident such as date and time and provide any video evidence they may have.

Preparing evidence – the first step the operator will take when a incident happens is ask for evidence such as a video footage as this is the best way to understand the truth and deal with the issue.  However, not all PCO and private hire drivers have dashcams; therefore, is it crucial that all PCO and private hire drivers have a dashcam installed in their private hire vehicle for the safety of them and others.

Submitting your response – when submitting your response to an incident, whether you have a video footage or not, you as a PCO and private hire driver must submit a written explanation.  When writing about the incident, please note you must be thorough and write everything, even if you feel it is not relevant; therefore, the best way to deal with this is to write the facts and answer the questions accordingly.

Ways to prevent any incidents

As PCO and private hire drivers, you will need to ensure you always follow the code of conduct and avoid the following:

  • Never ask any personal questions during your conversation with the passenger or make a personal remark about their appearance.
  • Never touch the passenger, unless assistance is required.
  • Do not contact passengers after the journey is over, unless you find something.
  • Be careful when making gestures as some could interpret as inappropriate, threatening or disrespectful.
  • If a customer is being difficult or rude, do not engage at any time and just be calm.

As a PCO and private hire driver, it is crucial that you always stay calm and avoid getting involved in a conversation if you have a difficult customer.  As long as you follow the rules and regulations and have a dashcam installed in your private hire vehicle, you can carry out your job with ease.


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