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Uber Wants to Charge You For Jerking Around Your Driver

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer WeekendsThe Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends
The Uber app Photograph by Victor J. Blue—Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’re in the habit of summoning an Uber ride long before you’re ready to jump in the car, you may have to rethink that approach soon—unless you want to pay for it.

On Wednesday, the ride-sharing company said that it will begin testing shorter free wait periods as well as a shorter ride cancellation window in Dallas, New Jersey, New York, and Phoenix. Currently, riders will be charged if their driver waits for them for more than two minutes, the company says.

“When a driver arrives promptly, we think it’s only fair that they’re compensated for their time,” Uber wrote in a blog post. “While we encourage riders to only request a ride when they’re ready, we understand that sometimes they are running a little behind. In these cases, drivers will be compensated for the extra minutes they need.”

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In the case of UberPool, Uber’s carpooling option, riders will continue to have a two-minute window to get in the car before their driver takes off without them. This ensures minimal delays for the passengers pooling with them.

Uber is also experimenting with shrinking the ride cancellation window from five minutes down to two minutes in those cities. After requesting a ride, passengers now have only two minutes to cancel it—for whatever reason—without being charged the customary $5 to $10 fee (depending on the city and type of ride). Considering that the amount of the fee can often be as much as the ride itself, this is likely to make many riders fret. Two minutes can pass by quickly.

The one consolation is that other than the time window, Uber isn’t changing anything else about its policy, a spokeswoman confirmed to Fortune. That means that riders can still avoid the cancellation fee if their driver takes longer than the original estimated time of arrival quoted in the app, a common reason that some people cancel rides.

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“If for any reason your driver takes too long to get to you (the current ETA prediction for your driver shows the driver would arrive 5 minutes over the original ETA we provided) then the cancellation charge will be waived,” Uber’s website says.

Still, the new experiments are likely to frustrate some riders. This test will determine how the new policies pan out, and whether Uber decides to roll them out to more cities.

According to its website, rival Lyft still has a five-minute cancellation window before a $5 or $10 fee is charged.