While it is nice that Uber Eats delivery drivers have an option to either accept or decline an order, you may wonder if there is any penalty or other consequence if you do decide to decline an order.
We’ll explore this issue in greater depth below.
Table of Contents
How Does Declining Orders on Uber Eats Affect You, the Driver?
What Happens When a Driver Declines an Uber Eats Order?
Uber’s website states that if an Uber Eats driver declines an order it will simply be re-assigned to another Uber Eats delivery driver nearby.
Some users report online, however, that Uber’s algorithm may secretly “punish” you for declining orders by sending you fewer orders after you have declined orders.
This may be speculation, however, Uber’s website does imply that they prefer you don’t decline too many orders. They do state that they encourage drivers to only be logged on when they are actually ready and willing to accept orders.
It makes sense that Uber Eats would not like its delivery drivers to frequently decline a lot of orders, as this might add precious minutes to order delivery times or even result in some orders not being delivered at all.
What Happens to an Order When a Driver Declines the Order?
As explained earlier in the article, if an order is declined by an Uber Eats deliver driver, the order itself will get reassigned to a different Uber Eats delivery driver.
If there is some reason that driver after driver declines a particular order, or there is not another driver to accept the order, then the order may eventually be cancelled.
Uber Eats’ help page explains that one of the reasons an order can be cancelled is that Uber Eats is “experiencing a large volume of orders” in an area. In other words, there are not enough Uber Eats delivery drivers to accept all of the orders, or perhaps, there is simply not an Uber Eats driver willing to accept that particular order.
If this happens, the customer can try re-ordering the order through the Uber Eats app again, but he or she should try to consider why the order may have been cancelled. They should check to make sure there wasn’t simply an issue with an item being out of stock, or a special allergy or other request that was not able to be accommodated by the restaurant.
Some Uber Eats delivery drivers have preferences for how long or short their trips are, so the customer might also try ordering from another restaurant that is a different distance away from them.
Choosing a different restaurant in a slightly different location might also ping a different driver altogether, which may help if there is a shortage of drivers in the original area.
Canceling an Order After Accepting it Versus Declining an Order
If for some reason an Uber Eats delivery driver cancels an order after he or she accepted it, this is a very different scenario than simply declining an order from the outset.
Whereas there is speculation that Uber Eats’ algorithm may send drivers fewer orders if they decline a certain amount of orders, there is no policy about actually deactivating or otherwise overtly punishing the driver for declining orders.
If an Uber Eats delivery driver cancels an order after accepting it, however, that driver does have a chance of being deactivated unless he or she cancelled the order for a reason that is specifically allowed by Uber Eats.
Reasons Uber Eats Delivery Drivers CAN Cancel an Order After Accepting It
The main reasons that an Uber Eats delivery driver would be allowed to cancel an order after having already accepted it are if the driver was not able to deliver the order for a legitimate reason.
One legitimate reason for not being able to deliver the order is if the driver did not feel safe and/or something seemed suspicious about the drop-off instructions or location.
Another legitimate reason for an Uber Eats delivery person canceling an order after accepting it is not being able to find the drop-off location after making a reasonable effort and not being able to reach the customer within a reasonable time.
Actually, Uber Eats’ support page says that even if the delivery person just could not reach the customer after making a reasonable attempt, the order can be cancelled by the driver. Uber Eats advises customers to make sure that they can easily hear their phone when expecting a delivery.
If the drop-off address is changed after the Uber Eats delivery driver accepted the order, he or she is also allowed to cancel the order without penalty.
The Uber Eats delivery driver should always be sure to follow the correct protocol if they have to cancel an order by following Uber Eats’ instructions, here.
Declining Orders on Uber Eats Affecting Acceptance Rate
The acceptance rate is the number of trips accepted by a driver divided by the total number of requests sent to the driver, converted to a percent. For example, if 8 out of 10 requests were accepted by a driver, that driver’s acceptance rate would be 80%.
Uber Eats strongly encourages its delivery drivers to keep their acceptance rate as high as possible. They explain on their website that keeping a high acceptance rate basically helps everyone by providing a more reliable and efficient service to their customers and restaurant partners.
On another page of their website, Uber states that some promotions do require a certain acceptance rate.
Whenever there is a promotion that you are interested in participating in, it is important to read through the requirements of that promotion to ensure that you meet them. If one of the requirements involves a minimum acceptance rate, be mindful of the trips that you choose to accept or decline so that you do not fall below that minimum threshold.
In addition to only being online when you are truly ready to accept and complete delivery orders, Uber Eats advises its delivery drivers to also make sure that their phone is close by during these times and that the volume is turned up loudly enough so that you can easily hear all pings.
As a quick reminder, be sure to actually press “accept” as soon as you know you can accept the order, so that the order does not expire and get sent to another driver.
Acceptance Rate Exception for California
Uber’s website also states that there is an exception to tracking acceptance and cancellation rates for promotions in California. They go on to explain that a discounted Service Fee might be applied.
To ensure that you are getting your correct promotions, the driver can tap on Earnings and then Promotions in their app. Drivers can also reach out to Uber Eats Support to verify promotion requirements, or any other issues or questions.
Does Declining Orders on Uber Eats Affect You, the Driver?
Although Uber Eats does not explicitly state whether or not declining an order generally affects the driver, they do state that some promotions require a specific acceptance rate. In online forums, however, people have shared that Uber’s algorithm may secretly penalize you if you decline orders.