The Place Where Your Uber Drivers Go to Talk About You

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An Uber driver waits for a client in Manhattan.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

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By Alyssa Newcomb

Uber, Lyft and other rideshare drivers are turning to private Facebook groups — many organized by location — to ask for advice, share experiences, and — perhaps most importantly — to vent.

Earlier this month, when a passenger passed out in an Uber driver's car at around 4:15 a.m., his Houston-based driver decided to snap a photo and share it on Facebook.

"Dimitri doesn't know where he lives and apparently that's my fault. Don't be a Dimitri," the driver wrote.

Uber and Lyft do offer drivers dedicated support channels online and over the phone. In addition, Uber has more than 650 "Greenlight Hub" locations around the world where drivers can drop in and get in-person assistance with whatever they need.

But these Facebook groups give drivers the workplace "water cooler" fodder they're craving, several drivers told NBC News.

"You get instant gratification. You get your questions answered," said Karen Reed, who has been driving for more than a year, mostly for Uber but occasionally for Lyft. The 10 or so groups she's a member of — including one where she is a moderator — are "great places to vent," she told NBC News.

Reed said she's had a serious dose of crazy passenger stories, many of which she has shared with the driver community in the Facebook groups, looking for a sounding board. However, she said she's against posting any photos or videos without a passenger's permission.

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"I've had some doozies. I've had them roll down my window and pass out with their legs hanging out," she said. "I may tell the story, but I don't have to tell it with a picture."

Uber allows drivers to have dash cameras in their vehicles; however, drivers are also advised to check local regulations, where they may be required to let passengers know they're being filmed and to seek consent.

Another Houston-area Uber driver, who asked NBC News to use his nickname, Roo, said he started driving for Uber two years ago after he was laid off from his job in the oil industry. A few months into the gig, Roo decided to join a few driver groups on Facebook — hoping to get a sense of community.

"What I like is it's somewhere to vent, ask questions, help answer questions [and to] see what others are doing like their car setups/schedules," he said.

Luckily, Roo said he hasn't had any big incidents with passengers, but after seeing stories, he said he is planning to install a camera in his car.

"I figure the law of averages is going to catch up eventually, so I want to be prepared," he told NBC News.

Stephanie Lee, who has been driving for Uber and Lyft in Sacramento for the past few months, said she prefers to vent to her brother-in-law, who is also a driver, rather than in a group.

"I understand you want a place to vent," Lee said. "When we leave comments for passengers, they don’t see that comment and don't know what to do to correct their behavior or understand why they have a low rating."

(Lyft allows drivers to leave comments when they rate a passenger; however, the passenger never sees them. Uber does not.)

And while there are plenty of passenger-from-hell stories in every city, the groups NBC News reviewed also include plenty of fun stories, including celebrity passengers and some pretty funny comments left by riders in the app.

"I go there for the entertainment," Lee said. "There are some really entertaining posts."