Why I Got Banned From Uber and How to Fix the Problem

UberI’m a huge fan of Uber since it’s so much easier and cheaper than taking taxis. With just a few clicks, you can order and pay for your ride. It’s so much better than a taxi because you can track the driver’s proximity, the drivers are friendly, it’s a cashless service including the tip, and the cars are generally cleaner and provide more legroom than most taxis I’ve been in. If you need more reasons, here’s my initial post about Uber, including a link for first-time users to get your first ride (up to $30) free .

But the other day, I had my first negative experience with Uber when I landed at New York’s JFK airport. Admittedly, it was partially my fault. Here’s what happened: The moment I stepped off the plane, I tried to request an Uber car and was informed that my credit card on file had been denied. That’s because I foolishly lost that credit card a few weeks ago and though I immediately canceled it, I forgot to let Uber know. FYI: I have so many credit cards since I’m always trying to maximize my miles and earn free travel that I have a difficult time remembering which card is on file where. (Here’s a list of some of the credit cards I use.)

So I quickly scanned one of my other credit cards but was then alerted that my account has been banned. That’s right, BANNED FROM UBER! I thought it was a mistake since I’m always nice to the drivers and I don’t do anything illegal. I logged in and out of my account but it still said that my account was suspended. Suspended is better than banned, but it’s still bad. The message prompted me to email the Uber team at support@uber.com, which I did (I also tweeted @Uber) but I wasn’t waiting around since I was in a hurry to get downtown. I wanted to make phone calls along the way but the taxi line was long and moving ridiculously slowly (BTW: Wait time for an Uber car was just four minutes). So I decided to do what I usually do and just jump on the Air Train to the E train (here’s directions and cost).

When I arrived above ground in Midtown and my phone began working again, I had a tweet back from @UBER_NYC requesting I email them. I heard back from Yvonne, the Community Operations Manager, the following morning saying:

Hi Johnny,
Apologies for the trouble, but yes it does look like your account was disabled due to a credit card on file being deemed invalid.

Do you mind sending over photos of:

A) Your valid photo ID in the same name as your account

B) The valid credit card on this Uber account in your name with only the last four digits, your name, and expiration date showing? (You can cover the rest with paper or your finger.)

We’ll be happy to clear up your account as soon as we verify this payment method and identity. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

Best regards,

Yvonne

A few minutes after I sent the information she’d requested, she emailed me back saying:

Thanks for verifying your information. Your account is all set to log into. Be sure to add your new payment method as soon as possible so our system does not auto-ban your account again. Let me know if you have any questions.

So now I’m back in business. The lesson learned here is to make sure your credit card is valid before requesting a car, especially outside of your hometown. I live in Los Angeles and I used Uber to get to the airport that morning and had no problem but that’s because I live there and have a large credit with Uber since I keep referring friends/readers. I hope this helps and I hope Uber will read this—and consider changing the way they tell people their credit card needs to be replaced.

————————————————–
Haven’t used Uber yet? Here’s my code (UberJohnnyJet) that will get you $15 off your first ride (I also get a $15 credit).

Want to earn more money by driving for Uber? Here’s how to sign up!

Johnny Jet

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Why I Got Banned From Uber and How to Fix the Problem
3 (60%) 2 votes

About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

61 Comments on "Why I Got Banned From Uber and How to Fix the Problem"

  1. I’ll never use Uber again
    Tried to look for ride from Arlington Hghts IL to ORD. They said they could do it right now but I was just checking to see how it’d work.
    I then tried 2.5 hrs ahead of my flight and it came back no rides were available!!!
    Now there was not time to get a SuperShuttle(Mysteriously they don’t come to Arlington Hghts) so I had to order a cab during rush hour in the rain.
    Learned my lesson!

    • Uber works all demand, so there’s no way to “book” in advance. You just open the app and request a pick up when you’re ready to go.

    • Yeah you’re not really understanding how Uber works – it’s not for booking in advance. In my experience it may take a few tries to get an available car during heavy rush hour. But it’s never taken me more than a few minutes for something available to pop up.

      Hope you don’t abandon Uber because it didn’t work out that time! It’s a life saver here in Boston.

  2. Perhaps you should have fewer credit cards. That way you could keep tract of them.

  3. I use different cards too. Some are business, others personal. They need to fix this. They’ve lost 2 rides they could have had today already because my account was disabled too. Frustrated

  4. I don’t understand them asking your for your valid card on file, when your card on file (the one they disabled your account for being invalid) was lost and you had canceled it?

    • Yes, I lost and canceled the one on file

      • Sorry, maybe I’m reading it wrong. You’re saying, when you called them, they asked you for your card on file, which of course was not valid, as you had canceled it? Or were they asking you for a new card? I want to get this, in case it happens to me. You wouldn’t have the card to read them if you had lost it. I’ve run into this craziness before with big corporations, not sure if this is the same.

        • My card on file was canceled by me. I forgot to alert them.

          • What stylieone is saying is, Uber’s email reply asked you for a picture of “the valid credit card on this Uber account”, when you (hopefully) told them you lost that card. This implies they asked for the CURRENT credit card, which is impossible since it’s lost.

    • They wanted to know he was who he said he was. Anyone could make an ID, but they would probably not know the credit card Uber had on file. Asking for that as well as the ID helped to guarantee he was the owner of the account.

      • Thanks all. I don;t think if I lost a card I know that info off the cuff. Well done! Love the site and daily emails :)

      • I’m late to the party, but I have also been banned because my credit card was stolen, and when I tried to enter a new one in the app, while trying to book a ride in another town, it didn’t accept it and banned me.

        The Uber site states the same thing as Johnny says.

        “If your account has been suspended, please send an email to support@uber.com with:
        – a copy of your photo ID in the same name as your account
        – a photo of the credit card on your account with only the last four digits and your full name showing”

        I emailed customer service, asking what to do. The rep reopened my account, I was able to log in on the site and change my payment method. He did this without making me send ID or cc info. Looks like they’re trying to make this a little less painful now.

        • Well here we are in 2016 and Uber is an $60 billon company and things do work so well for us banned customers. I have never got an account to work with Uber and not one of my 5 attempts have been unlocked to date. Sorry Johnny. Party’s over for Uber customer service.

          • i created an Uber account in Canada to use on my Mexican vacation I’m currently on. I had two successful trips and canceled a third and was somehow banned, they said, because of a payment issue with the canceled trip. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my card. I’ve been using it all over the Yucatan Peninsula for the last week with no problems. My customer service experience has been an endless litany of exchanging emails and sending proof of identity, proof of credit card, proof of phone number, each separately on three separate occasions spanning four days!!
            I finally decided that hopefully if I delete my account, perhaps I could start from scratch. I wrote a critical but inoffensive letter going away letter in the window asking why I was leaving and wouldn’t you know it…it started working again but then customer service explained that they were able to fix the problem and that my account would be deleted but I could in fact start over again. Two days and ten emails later, their websites won’t accept my name phone or phone number and my phone seems to be ip blocked from their support site!
            I’d love to be able to use it one day but wow, what a nightmare.

  5. Hi Johnny- The latest issue of New York magazine has an in-depth article entitled “Hail Storm” {July 28-Aug 10 issue; pages 30-37} which gives a comprehensive comparison of all the smartphone apps, including pricing, plus the pros and cons of each. There’s an entire page called “Is Uber Worth Its Obnoxious Customers?” Just thought you and your readers would appreciate the comprehensive review of the current ride apps wars.
    As always, Johnny, thanks for the helpful travel tips, for providing honest reviews of airlines, hotels, etc., and for being an advocate for we, the traveling public.

  6. Oops, I meant to say “advocate for us.” Thought I’d edit my comment in case the grammar police are in the vicinity ;)

  7. In this day of prevalent identity theft, there is no way I would email a picture of my license to Uber. Who knows who has accesses to it and what controls they have in place. They use Zendesk for their support tracking… perhaps that could be compromised. It’s bad enough that they have your name, address and credit card info.

  8. I had the same issue. My solution, hailed a cab deleted the app. Nobody has time for aggravations like this.

    • Steve Lewis | May 29, 2015 at 9:27 am | Reply

      This exact thing happened to me since I had a card cancelled and reissued to me by my bank due to some data breech, I forget which. Then the last minute Uber fail with no warning when the card on file had long been bad.

      I think going with another service provider is the best solution. Uber is not taking care of us, they are not thinking about the customer experience to manage it this way. Big FAIL, Uber. Bye.

  9. Harpreet bains | October 13, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply

    Well my account has been disabled since last Thursday and I sent 10 different emails but no reply from uber pathetic !!

  10. This just happened to me. I emailed and tweeted to them yesterday and still no response.
    The fact is Uber’s customer service is terrible. There’s no reason for them to not allow me to update my CC info via the app or their website (like every other website or app!). It’s just poor design and implementation. This could be the fatal flaw in their busy model that ends the company. You can’t have poor customer service when providing service in a service industry. It’s business 101. If Uber doesn’t get that, it’s doomed to fail. And this is a trend:
    http://jalopnik.com/uber-just-got-a-failing-grade-from-the-better-business-1645622537

    • Steve Lewis | May 29, 2015 at 9:28 am | Reply

      Agreed. Exactly. Imagine your only experience with Uber is account failure no fault of our own, no warning, after spending time to set it up and try their service. Really poor tactics on their part. How’s Lyft?

  11. My account has been canceled too. I’ve sent emails to support@uber.com, but I get NO response at all! I don’t even know why they banned my account. They should at least give me a reason… I don’d know what to do now.

  12. I just ran into this as well, and here is my problem. Emailing a photo of your ID and credit card means that you have just opened yourself up to identity theft in the easiest way possible. Your email is sent in the clear, and a copy of those images will live forever on every server it passes through between you and Uber. This is why no other company – no banks, no retailers, no rental agencies, and none of Uber’s competitors – will ever ask for something like that. There are now a ton of companies providing essentially the same service without this kind of profoundly unsettling customer service experience.

    • Those are exactly my thoughts. Who would be mad enough to send a picture of his ID and credit card? Uber’s not here for long, I’m afraid. This will have happened to others. I’ve asked them to cancel my account.

    • Agree. I had my identity stolen 12 years ago. No way will I open myself up to that again. When uber disabled my account and wanted me to send my ID I LOLed and registered with Lyft.

  13. I had my first experience with Uber 2 days ago and LOVED it. The service is awesome. If only I could get the money I spent on cabs over the years back.

  14. Awesome info- turns out that’s why my account had been banned.

  15. The same thing happened to me two days ago. I was told to send over copy of my ID and the C card because my account was disabled due to security on my card. I called my bank and they did not have any security alert on the card I used. I emailed Uber offering a different card, but I declined to send over a copy of my ID. In the prompt reply, they told me I can cover any sensitive information on my ID. Now, if I cover my address and DL number, what is there to verify? I am very disappointed with the customer service and will not be sending over any pics of my id. Its sad because I did enjoy the service.

  16. My account has been Disabled I have sent 5 to 7 emails to uber support but there is no response. Why the customer service is so poor. Please check the problem soon.

  17. Johnny: how can I get from Appleton WI back to dntwn Chicago, cheap? There are NO trains, and rental cars want over $200 for One WAY!!!

    Thanks,

  18. I hate to say it, but this wasn’t, as you describe it, “partially your fault” that you got banned from Uber – it was your fault. Have some fiscal responsibility. You cancelled a credit card and then tried to use an invalid card with Uber (many online sites I use will alert you if you have a card on-file that’s about to expire, but if you cancel a card on your own – stolen or not – they have no way of knowing what happened, just that you tried to use an invalid card). I agree that Uber should have told you just that the card was invalid and that you needed to enter a new one before banning you and making you jump through a hoop to get back in. However, the onus is still on you to have the correct credit card info on file – it’s ultimately your driver that needs to get paid. I know I’ll sound like my mother, but if you can’t keep track of what credit card is linked to what accounts (by a list or otherwise) then you have too many credit cards.

    • Steve Lewis | May 29, 2015 at 9:32 am | Reply

      I call BS on this. Credit cards expire and get cancelled constantly in real life for all. The proper response is what Amazon does, they say “your card didn’t go through, please click here to update your payment information”
      Not, ” something wasn’t perfect, so we’re making it impossible to finish your transaction.

      This is 100% Uber’s fault for not having a strategy in place to deal with common typical hiccups in modern payment systems. This is very easy to do right, they do it in a considerate manner everywhere else!

      • Completely agree with you. I lost my credit card that was on file with Uber. There’s no monthly fee for uber so I didn’t even think to notify them and assumed that I would just have to change the credit card info the next time I went to schedule a ride, just like every other transact based service (eg, amazon). I had no idea that they would disable my account just because my card was reported lost. Why are they even checking my card when no transactions are being processed.

    • Actually, if this is similar to what happened to me then I would say that it’s completely on Uber. I reported my card lost to the credit card company. Uber identified the card I had on file as lost and disabled my account. This was done before any transaction was made. uber doesn’t charge a monthly fee so they shouldn’t be even checking my card unless I have made a transaction (or attempted to make a transaction).

  19. 2 DAYS BACK I GOT THIS MAIL FROM UBER,,,,CAN U PLS HELP ME

    It appears you have multiple accounts linked to you sharing the same details. You can only have one Uber account. As this is a violation of our terms of use, your account has been suspended indefinitely

    • I got the same thing as I used my partners phone to order Uber. I have no idea how to get it reinstated. I wish Lyft would come to Canada! :-)

  20. Here’s my Uber nightmare story:

    When I made my account on the app I come to find out someone elses name, credit card info, and phone number were listed on my account. When I went to email Uber asking them what was going on or why that was they told me to change the details in my account settings. When I tried the app would not let me it kept saying “we are unable to update your account details at this time.” When I email Uber back to let them know it did not work they insisted I go back into the app and update the info myself even though I told them I tried 3x and the app would not let me.

    So finally someone emails me back and says my phone number is being used by another Uber account to which I responded that this can’t be considering this is my first Uber account ever and I had not heard of Uber until 2 weeks before. So I get another email back after that assuring me everything was all taken care of and that I could use my account again so I go to my account and clicked on the “request Uber X” button only to find a pop up shows up that says my request cannot be completed because my account has been suspended. No reason as to why or what was going on.

    So today I finally get a response back telling me that it was an Uber error and that they accidentally suspended my account but that the suspension has been lifted so I can use my account again. When I go back to my account still suspended. When I go to the email to reply back I realized the name at the top that displays my name in the message reply I sent them before shows the name of the other person whos account info was originally listed on my account. Go figure what a joke. All this running around and here I am a week later and I still have not been able to resolve the account issue let alone request my first ride. Uber you are not only garbage but the worlds biggest joke and yes I am still under suspension even though Uber insisted this was their mistake…!

    • Somewhat similar experience:an endless nightmare of email exchanges and empty resolutions without accountability. Daunting too how it is all but impossible to speak with anyone outside of their online “support .”
      I would love to be able to use it every now and then but I’d have to use a different card, phone and email to get that to happen and they were never able to explain why!!

  21. I hate to say that Uber dose not have any proper system in place from where they find why account is disabled.

    After having many mail communication for reason they don’t have proper answer and they are not ready check for this.

    Along with this they have removed Wallet balance as well from my account.

    Now I don’t know to whom I will contact further to resolve this issue.

  22. Had a card replaced by my bank last month. Next time I went to use Uber I got an alert that my card needed to be updated (I have two in their system) so I deleted it…switched the other card as default and then added the new one (and could have changed that one to default had i chosen to). No account suspension.

    So I guess the takeaway is have a backup card in your uber profile.

  23. Uber is just collecting the bank details and other information of people on the name cab services. I am afraid in which way they can misuse the details (bank atm details and photp id and mobile details)send by me

  24. Unable to book Uber Cab. I get this message whenever I Confirm the booking “Uber promotion code has been deemed invalid for this account and all trips will be charged at the full price”

    What does this mean? Getting same message on my wife’s account too.

  25. Same thing happened to me…. BUT I refuse to give them my photo ID. Surely this is the point in all of this ? i.e. another large company shamelessly trying to file our personal info….

  26. Can anyone suggest a way to get in touch with Uber besides their customer service. I have had an ongoing issue with my account for 5 weeks now. Customer service stopped replying to my emails. I’m not a driver for Uber. Just had account issues and each email they sent mentioned that the issue was fixed. It never was. Eventually, they stopped responding.

  27. UBER is not tip included. tip your drivers don’t be cheap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. I have an opposite complaint. Uber allowed someone to use my credit card number several times in one night. Never used Uber. Card has never been out of my person. Poor security.

  29. “The lesson learned here is to make sure your credit card is valid before requesting a car…”

    How? My account got blocked today when attempting to use Uber for the very first time because my card was “deemed invalid” and I have no idea why or how I could have prevented it. The card info in my profile looked up to date.

  30. Tanu Chaudhary | May 4, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Reply

    Hi ,

    I am highly disappointed with Uber.I am a regular user , book cabs daily.I am paying almost 10,000 INR per month for Uber rides.but they suspended my account by saying that your account was used in different phones.I am pretty Sure that My account is used only in my phone.
    Uber support replied that they will not enable my account even though I have provided govt id proof.
    I am really pissed off with Uber.

  31. lol you really think I’ll wanna use your code so YOU can get 15 dollars of free credit?

  32. I’m having that same problem but it’s cuz I made two other accounts with the same card I can put it where it’s only on one account?

  33. UBER
    ERROR
    YOUR REQUEST IS NO LONGER VALID
    I received tis type of message when I opened uber app in my device ,How to fix this problem

  34. I’m having the same problem.
    Seems like they just like to ban people out of the blue.

    I have all valid credit cards and then BAM tried to use it and my account is banned.

    I sent a support email and then just keep asking for ID with no reason for the ban…
    I’m even using my corporate email address as I use it for work.

    I’m switching to other companies like Grab or Lyft where possible.
    I don’t care for their promotions. I just want a reliable service.

  35. Uber is a useless service. Two time I tried, on-line messages are confusing, after a while says service disabled, without any reason. I added money to wallet, I need it back. I am happy with Ola cab service, quick and on spot.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.