Tips for managing difficult passengers

During holidays, events and festive seasons, Ola drivers may experience a spike in rides and get more passengers in their car who may be ‘over-enthusiastic’ or who may display undesirable behaviour after indulging too much alcohol or too much party fun.

While Ola requires all drivers to maintain an excellent standard of customer service in line with our Driver Customer Service Policy, we understand drivers can often face a situation when managing difficult riders becomes quite a challenge. There will always be times when riders are unruly, rude and destructive, and can exhibit undesirable behaviours such as: 

  • Being disruptive and non-cooperative
  • Verbally abusive, intimidating or harassing
  • Physically assault or abusive
  • Throwing objects and projectiles
  • Damaging your vehicle
  • Intoxicated – drinking, smoking or drug use
  • Bullying and violence

It is important for drivers to attempt to minimise the situation when riders threaten to exhibit or demonstrate these kinds of undesirable behaviours. 

As an Ola driver, you are responsible for remaining professional at all times. Here are some tips in managing difficult riders:

  • Often the things riders say when affected by drugs or alcohol are not things they would say when sober. Don’t take it personally. Keep calm and try and keep the conversation to a minimum. 
  • If you find yourself in a situation where the rider is being disruptive and non-cooperative, remind the rider that you can and will end the trip if they continue to do so. 
  • If you need to end the trip due to the rider’s behaviour, ensure you do this in a safe manner. Never drop a rider in an unsafe location or in a dangerous position, like on a motorway or on a bridge. Ensure the area is well lit if it’s at night, and do not leave the rider stranded in the middle of nowhere. 
  • Use the Emergency SOS button in your driver app and make sure you call emergency services if you feel threatened in any way at all. Whilst you need to keep your riders safe, you must also ensure that you are safe too. 
  • Remember you can always report bad riders to us for further investigation. Riders should always treat you with respect.
  • If you have drunk customers in your car, keep an eye on the riders for signs of being sick, and try and have a plan in place for where you can safely pull over if you need to. Make sure you drive smoothly and keep fresh air circulating through the car.
  • You could also keep vomit bags in a handy location for such emergencies.  
  • Keep an eye on how many passengers get into your car. Never allow more than 4 passengers in your car, unless you have an SUV that can fit more in, and refuse to start the trip if your car has too many passengers. Also, ensure all your riders have seat belts fitted!
  • Don’t ever take advantage of drunk riders, this includes financially, by making the ride longer than it needs to be, or in any sexual way by inappropriately touching the passengers.
  • If a passenger makes a mess in your car, never ask for money from the customer. Ola has a policy to deal with this situation you can read about here.


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