Zūmer Best Practices
We want your Zūm experience to be enjoyable, smooth, and safe. We’ve thus created our Zūmer Best Practices to give you some ideas on how to ensure that your ride is successful for you, the child you’re transporting, and the adults who are entrusting you with their child or student. While you’ve impressed us by passing our extensive background checks and contracting process with flying colors, we think that communication is key to a great partnership—and transparency about our Best Practices, upfront, will allow you to enjoy being a Zūmer and to continue to earn positive ratings and money.
While we won’t ever tell you how to run your ride, we’ve been told that Zūmers find success (and get rave reviews) when they: (1) provide high quality rides; (2) provide safe rides; (3) use good judgment; (4) communicate with Zūm when they aren’t sure what to do. On that last point: Zūm frequently communicates with the children, their parents, school districts, and you, in order to ensure that the ride went smoothly, without any hiccups. Because of our open and continuous lines of communication, as well as our technology deployment, our platform allows us to see how customers view your performance and how they assess: the (1) quality and (2) safety of the ride. Should you pick up too many complaints in those 2 categories, Zūm will communicate that to you and possibly remove you as from the platform. Similarly, if you engage in any Zero Tolerance behavior (discussed below), Zūm may immediately suspend your account while it investigates the incident, and ultimately remove you from the platform.
High Quality Rides:
Parents and schools encourage Zūmers to not only drive safely, but to be consistent, dependable, and thoughtful. Kids also want to have an enjoyable experience. So what might that look like in terms of service?
- Be on Time: We get that traffic can unpredictably flare up, and that sometimes you don’t have control over unforeseen road detours. But our live Zūm operators and app give you sufficient heads-ups and reminders so that you reach the child on time and reach your destination on time as well. It helps to be vigilant and be on time so your child makes his or her math test or soccer practice. In the event that you arrive to your pick up on time and the child is not ready, please be patient and give the child a 10 minute grace period; should there be further delays, please contact Zūm immediately to ensure that we work on our end to resolve any safety questions with respect to the child.
- Be Consistent: Children thrive on consistency. Once you’re their caretaker/safe transportation person, we’ve been told that they expect that you will be reliable. And that makes perfect sense. That’s even more true with special needs children. Please help the children--and their parents (who are using the platform)--trust you by consistently showing up. For example, parents have given poor ratings to drivers who have canceled last minute or rejected rides after being assigned to them at the beginning of the week. Continue to get those rides by showing up--which makes the parents and kids happy.
- Your Car Is Everybody’s Sanctuary: It helps to keep your car clean and free of debris. Children and parents have voiced complaints about cars reeking of smoke or funkiness. A clean car makes the drive more enjoyable for all. And on the flipside, if a child makes a mess in your car, document it and we’ll reimburse you.
Be appropriate: Remember your audience—these are kids between 5 and 17 years old.
- We would never tell you what music to play, but children and explicit, sexual innuendo-filled music are like oil and water. Plus, their parents really don’t like that;
- You know this already, but kids generally don’t like small talk that makes them uncomfortable, like commenting on appearance, swearing, or making inappropriate comments;
- Same with respect: yelling at a child, even in a stressful situation, isn’t well-received;
- A lot of the children using the Zūm platform have life threatening allergies, so best to not give them candy, food, or drinks. You’ll also save yourself an unexpected trip to the hospital;
- Some Zūmers provide children with electronics or devices to play with or allow children to watch TV, but from what we’ve heard, parents don’t like that practice, as they like to monitor and control their child’s “screen time.”
Be prepared: Zūmers have reported to us that it helps to review the instructions before accepting a ride so that you can effectively provide a high quality ride to the child. We have a video to help you on that very point at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFM4wmURN_w&feature=youtu.be. But generally, each ride will have specific instructions about the pickup and dropoff location, as well as a child’s specific needs (these instructions will come from parents or schools, not from Zūm). Also, there may be specific instructions regarding the protocol of how to sign a child out at pickup, and who to hand the child off to at dropoff. In addition to reviewing the instructions, Zūmers like to:
- Understand how the app works before using it;
- Bring a booster seat if he/she promises to provide one;
- Bring a driver’s license;
- Not allow a child to dictate a change in dropoff address without consulting Zūm or the child’s Parents.
- Safe Driving: In addition to complying with local/state/Federal laws, Zūmers have told us that based on their experiences, safe driving includes:
- Never leaving the car running when you get out of the car at pickup or dropoff;
- Turning off the ignition when helping a child into or out of the car;
- Properly belting child into his/her seat, or properly securing child into a booster seat in compliance with applicable law (in the backseat of the car and NEVER in the front seat);
- Completely closing the doors before starting your drive;
- Safely pulling the car over and stopping in the designated area for pickups and dropoffs, and working with school staff’s needs where they administer that procedure.
We also understand that not all Zūmers learn and retain information the same way--some of us may be verbal learners, others visual. We’ve thus created a few videos to help you be better prepared for your rides. They cover the same material that you’re reading here, but they may resonate better with you based on your learning style. Plus, you can download them and play them whenever you like or want guidance. Check them out at:
Thank you for being an awesome and thoughtful Zūmer:
We know you work hard to ensure that every one of your Zūm rides is both smooth and a safe experience for each child. Our goals are not only to ensure each child is always safe, but to help you achieve both safe conditions and a happy experience for you. We hope that our Best Practices and videos are helpful resources for you on your journey as a Zūmer. If any circumstances arise and you’re unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to call us at 1.855.RIDEZūm. We are always here to help.