These drivers share their nightmare customers and nights they won't forget.
"My first night driving was this last New Years in Los Angeles. I dropped off a passenger at a corner by a ton of bars in downtown. As I drive off, I randomly look to my left and see this kid sitting down on the curb zoning in and out of coherent consciousness trying to request a ride, surrounded by multiple bouncers outside of this club. I think to myself, 'that kid is going to puke.' Nevertheless, my naive nature allowed me to quickly shrug off the thought of the likelihood of a reality I would soon face. I continued to drive for a few blocks when I received my next request. Noticing the abnormally close proximity between my last fair and my next, I became a bit anxious. Lo and behold, that wasted kid was my next fair. I almost canceled the trip, but greed beat logic and common sense, and fairs were surging.
As we begin the trip, only a few blocks up and around the street, he begins to dry heave and I pull over. Thankfully that was only the case. We arrive at the destination where he proceeds to tell me, 'this isn't Bel Air.' I tell him I only dropped him off at the address he entered. He then offers me $200 cash if I took him home. Only a few minutes into our trip traveling on I-10 from downtown to Bel Air, the kid rolls the window down and sticks his head out of the window and pukes all over the entire passenger side of the car and a little on the inside of the door.
The kid lived all the way in the back end of Bel Air, closer to the Vally than Sun Set Boulevard. He opens his wallet to pay me. If you guessed that this kid didn't have the money, then you are correct. He slurs that his mom will pay me and to hold on. I grab his phone to make sure he comes back. Before he makes it out of the car, his mom comes out and starts shouting his name, which just so happened to be my name too. Instinctively I answer, 'yes!?' Still not sure why.
She tells him to get inside and then asked me to tell her everything that happened as if this isn't her first rodeo. I tell her what our deal was and that he got sick everywhere. She sighs, rolls her eyes, and nods her head as if this is nothing new. She goes inside and comes back out handing me $300 and apologizing profusely to me for her son's actions. I was able to clean everything off thanks to a windshield brush at the gas station.
I hit the road again, made a few more stops, then decided to accept one more, thinking I would stay local. I get to this house in Beverly Hills and pick up this couple with an 8.9 surge. Until I started the trip, I had no idea their destination was in Santa Ana, about 50 miles away. Their bill was $639. All in all, I made $870 after Uber's cut from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m."
"Former Uber driver here. I once decided to try my luck with Hollywood one night after the clubs closed. When I pull up to the pickup location, a stream of people start poking their heads into my car to ask if this car was theirs.
I finally find the girl and she opens my passenger door and tells me to wait because she needs to find the rest of her friends. I'm blocking traffic while she is calling for her friends. She drags one girl into my back seat and returns to the still-open front door and tells me more are coming. At this time, the police pull up behind me and use their speaker to tell me to keep moving. I tell the girl to get in so I can go around the corner, but she refuses and keeps yelling at her friends.
The cops get out of their car and demand I move the car or face arrest. I tell them the girl won't let go of the door or get in. They start yelling at her to get in or let go of the door. She tells them no, and that she needs her friends. Cop moves toward her and closes the door. I pull away with her wasted friend and no idea where to take her. I circle the block a few times but I can't find the first girl again.
I spent a good while trying to wake up the girl in my back seat and get an address. She finally gives me a rough idea of where she lives. I drive her there and find the rest of her crew standing outside of her place. I don't bother asking what happened, I just dump her off on her friends and go home. Never doing that again."
"I drive full time, mostly Uber but plenty of Lyft and side deals. Generally, the passengers are okay; I'm huge and have their credit card on file. The real horrors are the same stuff anyone driving bar closing hours would see. I average 200 miles a night, typically from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. I haven't seen anyone die yet, but I see someone almost die at least once a night. Wasted drivers, no lights on the freeway, near misses, wasted college kids running into the street, police chases that don't make the news, fender benders galore. I'm much more afraid of the strangers on the road than the strangers sitting behind me.
But two weeks ago, I drove two young girls home around 3 a.m. on a Friday night. They were quiet and polite passengers but when they get out I find they've literally stabbed up my back seat. They paid for a new seat, full retail price. Attacking someone driving a car you're in seems suicidal, but wasted girls are crazy. I spent the next few days paranoid. Now I'm rational level paranoid. I watch the rear view closer now."
"I just started driving for Uber this past week. Saturday night at 2 a.m. right before I'm about to call it a night, I get a ride request from one of the college bars less than a mile away. I get there and pick up three wasted girls, while the fourth standing outside tells me she is the one who ordered the Uber and she needs me to take her friends back to her place.
The less trashed of the three gets into the front seat with me while the other two drag them in the back. They all start asking me if they can throw up in my car and, naturally, I tell them no. I also explain that if they do throw up in my car, that it's their friend who is paying for this ride that would be charged the $200 clean-up fee. This made them mad because HOW DARE I tell them where they can and can't puke.
I get to the address (the girl who ordered the ride also asked me to make sure they got inside her house safely) and they get out and start stumbling around this neighborhood going from house to house trying to find the girl's house. I walk over to the house with the address plastered on the front door telling them that this was the address their friend gave me, but they start yelling at me that they know their friend's house and that isn't it, and to 'take my money and leave.' The backseat girls ask me again if they can throw up in my car and I gave a final 'no.' So instead, they hurl ON my car before taking off down the street. One fell over into the street and just laid there laughing. I said forget it and left them there."
"I have had one incident that scared me to the point where I almost kicked them out of my car.
I accept a trip and head over to this house where four guys hop in my car. These dudes are wasted and all have drink cans in their hands as well as some entire boxes of drinks. This was red flag number one for me. Now, the guy in the passenger seat is a big fellow with a rude attitude; he was demanding and impolite. The whole ride is him smacking my chest and following with 'AY fool, why you look so nervous?' or 'AY fool, just hurry up already.' His cousin in the back is telling him to shut up and stop being a prick, followed by the other two dudes just going crazy, scream-talking about Chicano rap. At this point, the dude in the passenger seat and his cousin are getting violent because the cousin kept defending me from his obnoxious behavior most of the ride.
Finally, we get to the city they wanted to party in, but come to find out that the hotel room they booked was booked for the wrong day, so now here we are, trying to figure out who's going to give them a room on Valentine's weekend at 2 a.m., all while one of my passengers is trying to find out where to get some illegal substances.
At this point, I was irritated and was wanting to just leave them there and go home. But the cousin tipped me $40 for putting up with everyone, so I took them to the nearest gentleman's club, called it good and went on my way."
"I once picked up a guy from a shady part of town. I knew I shouldn't have, but I did because it was slow. I take the guy a good 15 minutes away and he asked me to pull up to this apartment complex in another crappy neighborhood. He asks me to wait for him to come out. Once again, I obliged against my better judgment.
The guy was taking forever and I was about to end the trip and leave because the denizens of this particular project were giving me dirty looks. Finally, he comes out a few moments later with a Dora the Explorer backpack, reeked of smoke, and my first thought was, 'Oh, no.' I didn't ask, but I'm sure there were illegal substances in that bag. He asked me to drive back to where I picked him up. I went home after that. The thought of inadvertently contributing to the local hard substance trafficking just soured my night."
"Picked up a guy in the middle of the day from a bar, took him to a nearby casino. As soon I got on the freeway, some lady started tailing me and constantly beeping at me. I freaked out a little and he said, 'that might be my wife; don't worry, she'll stop following soon.'
She followed us for the whole 20-minute ride, non-stop beeping. Once we got there, he jumped out of my car and ran for the door. She followed him in her car, almost hitting him. The last thing he said to me was, 'don't ever get married!'"
"I am an Uber Black driver. A few months back I picked up a man and woman in their 40s from a restaurant. They were not having a good time and arguing about something. Toward the end of the ride, he punches her in the face as hard as he could. When we pull up to the destination, he pulls out a knife and starts to threaten her and me. I tell him to take it outside and I drive away.
I couldn't help but feel bad for that woman, so I drove to the county sheriff department and told them what happened. Luckily, the Uber Black cars have a camera inside that recorded the events. When the sheriff looked at the video, he asked for the address and they arrested the guy. I also reported the incident to Uber, and they called me and took a recorded statement by phone."
"I've had people do illegal substances in the back seat. I've had barely conscious people have strange incoherent conversations with imaginary friends in my backseat. I've had five or so heavy makeout sessions happen in my backseat. I've had three girls take pictures of their chests on July 4th. I've had people take selfies of me, distracting me.
I'm a 'killjoy' when I tell them to stop it. I've had girls grab my steering wheel. I kicked them out. I've had people honk my horn. Adios. People that are wasted and partying expect you to be in a great mood, or else you're a lame person ruining their experience. People blast your radio to 100 percent all the time. And if you don't take the abuse, they rate you a one-star and you're one step closer to being fired.
Honestly, the ten percent of the horrible customers ruin that job. Also, people trust their uber driver way too freaking much. Guys, I'm just a college student trying to pay rent. I'm not here to party. No, I can't afford to just get off and join you to the club. I'm working. Respect that."
"Female driver here. One Friday night I picked up a law student after last call in West Hollywood, he was wasted and wanted to go to UCLA. No biggie. He gets a call from his wasted friend and has me stop the car so he can try to figure out if we have to turn around to grab his friend. Again, no biggie, I've got the clock running. Turns out the friend doesn't need a ride, so we head off.
He starts talking about how he has had a good night and he really needed this after his bad week. He broke up with his 'bae' on Wednesday and urinated on her apartment stoop when she wouldn't call him a cab, and then Thursday night he talked himself out of a ticket, so he was riding with me to avoid getting pulled over again. This guy was the classic UCLA Law Bro.
I try to lightheartedly tell him that that's two of three karmic strikes and he should keep his head down for awhile. He laughs and agrees. We finally get to his places and he starts going with, 'Man, you're so pretty, you look nothing like my ex, maybe that's why you're so pretty.' And I see him pucker his lips while grabbing my shoulder to move up towards the front. 'Get out of my car, I've got mace up here!' I warn. Dude freezes and rolls out of my car. I'd call that strike three."
"My boyfriend is a Lyft driver. He had a woman climb into his front seat and then the person he identified as the woman who had requested the Lyft hop in the back. The woman in the front immediately passed out.
Turns out, the woman who had requested the Lyft did not know this woman in the front. She was a corner worker who just climbed into my boyfriend's car because he sat waiting in her area long enough. Once he realized this woman was a stranger, he pulled over, woke her up and kicked her out."
"I'm an Uber driver and the worst I've had was a guy who was belligerent and entered the wrong address. This was around 1 a.m., and he told me to 'just drive' and 'I'll tell you when to turn.'
We do circles for a bit around a neighborhood, then he says to 'stop here,' then says 'not my house, but I can walk from here.' I hope he made it home."
"Been driving for Uber a few months now. Nothing too extreme; just every other weekend or whenever I need a little bit of side money. But anyway, my first week driving, I'm called out to this bar to pick up a couple. They're friendly, ask me how I am, and all the typical stuff. But the longer they are there, the more they start whispering and laughing to each other. So, curious about what's going on, I casually glance in my rearview mirror to see what's going on.
Well, she's just going to town touching his man part. Totally shocked and unnoticed, I put my eyes forward and hurry along with the ride. Luckily, they didn't finish up or get anything in my car, and I'm sure they didn't know that I saw what was going on."
"I drive occasionally for Uber. I once had a guy who went absolutely bonkers on me when I wouldn't speed through a downpour to get him to the airport. He was this big 250-lb guy and was an ex-Marine. He spat on me and I pulled over on the freeway and promptly threw him out of the car. I told him he could get his luggage up the road about half a mile. I then drove a half mile, put his luggage on the side of the freeway, drove to the nearest convenience store and wrote an incident report. I never heard back from Uber except for a canned reply that I should, 'remain professional in stressful situations.'
I also had one passenger who had food poisoning and ended up driving him to the E.R., then calling his parents out of state to let them know what was up and what hospital he was at. My complaint is the many passengers who are entitled pricks who treat me as if I'm their servant."
"I have been doing this gig for two years. I have experienced crazy things. Gay guys have asked to fool around with me. A girl tried to fool around with me while I was driving on the freeway. Two teenagers got into a fight and one was bleeding.
The scariest one for me was when a girl passed out at 3 a.m. It was a 45-minute trip and she gave me a wrong destination before she passed out. When I got there, it was a park. When I looked at her, she was completely slumped over, out cold. So, there I was trying to wake her up outside a park. I was scared of being a victim of wrong accusations. I had no choice except to call the police, who showed up in 15 minutes. Finally, they woke her up and I drove her to her real address. I don't drive at nights anymore."
"I've been driving for over a year and a half now, and have had close to 7,000 rides between Uber and Lyft. I've taken celebrities, pro athletes, politicians, you name it.
One night I pick up a young college student. He was clean-cut, nice looking and seemed very normal until he gets in my car and as he had not entered an address yet, I asked him where he's going. Well, this guy is awake, looks me directly in the eyes, and cannot speak. He tries to tell me where he wants to go, but he is so tense that when he tries to say anything the words will not come out of his mouth.
I am a calm guy, very calm as a matter of fact. I ask him again if he has a place in mind. Same response, except this time he starts getting very agitated apparently because he cannot speak, so he just starts screaming very loudly in frustration.
I am a little worried. I just start driving around looking at this guy, and I figured that he was probably on some kind of illegal substance and this was probably his first time taking them. Again, I think I may have asked him if he was okay, and again the same response with an even louder scream. So now I am getting very worried, for him and possibly for me.
So out of the blue, I pulled over and said to him, 'Okay, here's what we're going to do. I am going to roll up my windows, and you are going to scream as loud as you can, get it out of you, sound good?' I think he may have nodded, so I did and he did scream and I am sure everyone on the street heard him.
The good news is that it worked, and this guy seemed to calm down and could now speak to me. About this time his girlfriend called him and I could hear that she was worried about him, but he blew her off and turned his focus towards me. I think he started to trust me more so he starts asking me if I could take him to an ATM. He was still shaky and I tried to get it out of him which ATM he wanted to go to, and I think I convinced him to go to a certain one that was close.
He starts asking me about what I was doing the rest of the night, he wanted me to stay with him and follow him around. I politely declined. We get to the ATM and I wait as he fumbles around and finally is able to work the machine. He gets out a wad of money, probably a couple of grand at least, and then gets back in the car and starts asking me again about following him around.
I keep denying him and asking him where he would like to go, and after he gets the cash he finally tells me that he wants to go to the casino and he wants me to follow him in there because he 'doesn't want to lose this money.' He is persistent, so I have to keep refusing more and more forcefully until finally, he starts offering me money, $50 an hour, to follow him in the casino because he can't lose the money.
Tempting, but I keep refusing, thinking casino security is going to kick him out anyway. I finally convinced him that I wasn't going to follow him, but he had one last request. Just wait for me here for 10 minutes and I will be right back. I waited 15 minutes, closed him out with 1 star (one of the only ones I have ever given) so I would not get him again, and high tailed it outta there."