It happens to everyone. Sooner or later, you’ll show up to pick up your rider, but they won’t be there. Don't Stress.
That’s my first piece of advice - don’t stress about it. The worst thing that’s going to happen is that you’ll get paid a cancellation fee and move on to your next ride.
Note that you need to wait for the rider for 5 minutes before you can get the cancellation fee.
But before you do that, there are several things you should check.
Because in my experience, most no-shows aren’t.
Check the Address
It seems obvious, but many drivers don’t do it.
Make sure that you’re at the right address. Check the street number if you have one. Make sure you’re directly outside the pickup point if it’s a restaurant or a hotel or similar.
Put yourself in the rider’s position. Maybe the rider app said you’d be 10 minutes but you made it in 8 minutes, so they simply haven’t come out yet.
Maybe they’ve been held up by a minor emergency. Who knows?
Contact the Rider
Tap the rider’s name at the bottom of your phone’s screen and you’ll see a little telephone icon. Tap it to start a phone call.
If the rider answers, introduce yourself as “It’s (your name), your Uber (or other rideshare service) driver.”
Then, depending on circumstance, either “I’m outside your place now” or “I’m where the GPS says I should be but I can’t see you anywhere.” Note that these are simple statements of fact. You’re not criticising the rider. Always treat the rider as someone who will potentially give you a 5 star rating.
Either should lead to a discussion that leads to you picking up the rider.
Incidentally, as soon as I’ve confirmed that the ride is going to take place, I swipe the Start Trip button. I figure I’m entitled to collect something for the rest of the wait time and I also like to know where I’ll be heading for. Then when the rider gets in, I greet them by name and say something like “Heading to (destination)?” Riders appreciate that. It really looks like you’re on the ball.
If they don’t answer, or the phone’s busy or goes to voicemail, I’ll try twice more during the 5 minute wait period and if I still haven’t made contact, cancel the ride and move on.
Sam likes to text riders in the first instance. Sending a text and calling both accomplish the same thing ultimately, but sending a text can seem a little less pushy. It’s really easy to save a templated text on your phone as well as a keyboard shortcut allowing you to just tap a few keys to make your entire message appear. Sam’s message says “Hi, I’m just out the front, Sam (Your Uber Driver). He only needs to tap zzx and this message fills itself in. You can create these easily - here’s a quick video I found explaining how to do this.
Don’t Stress (Still)
Again, keep your driving enjoyable. Remember that you’re not responsible for your rider’s actions or attitude, but you are responsible for yours.
Either you’ve picked up your rider, in which case treat them nicely and they’ll rate you well, or you haven’t and you’ve picked up the cancellation fee instead.