UberX no pickup-driver not in car

Most regular ridesharing users have had occasional quirky ridesharing experiences. One of the quirkiest I experienced was an UberX request, where it was a “stacked ping”. That is, the driver is first dropping off a passenger nearby, and then picks you up. Stacked pings started in fall 2015 as a way to get riders picked up faster and keep drivers hustling. I believe drivers see stacked pings as positive generally.

empty car for pickup

So this UberX driver drops off a passenger, and then simply does not come the last few blocks to me. After a few minutes, I start to walk toward the car, which I find to be empty–no one is inside. Of course, I cancel. I rerequest, and the same driver accepts. Since UberX does not auto-accept, I feel fairly certain the driver is doing this deliberately, and they are blocking me from getting a ride I need.

After canceling a second time, the third ride request gets a different driver. While I get into the second car, I see the first driver get in his car–about ten minutes after the driver first accepted me. That was really not nice to keep accepting the ride when the driver was nowhere near their car.