Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Let's Talk About Uber

Where to begin? Uber really is a two-edged sword. It is both a fantastic service and a necessary evil.

As a frequent traveler that doesn't own a car, I need a way to get to and from the airport efficiently and safely, as well as a way to get around town when I'm in a location where renting a car simply isn't practical such as New York City, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. To that end, I typically turn to Uber as my go-to car service, and this experience tends to be a mixed bag. Almost every driver has made me feel welcomed and safe, but the problems start when I have to deal with Uber the company and specifically support.

Uber's support is probably one of the worst support groups I've ever encountered, and the app itself, hard codes all the support options making it incredibly difficult to actually get help on the specific topic you need help with. To date, I have yet to get an issue resolved on the first go. In fact, I firmly believe that it is Uber policy to not offer help unless you push the issue further. Even worse, and as an IT professional this irks me in the biggest way, they seem incapable of reading a support request and comprehending the problem on the first go regardless of the verbosity of the description of the problem.

However, on the positive side, as I mentioned, the drivers for the most part are great. I get that everyone has a bad day, and sometimes you just don't feel like chatting, so I forgive those drivers that made me feel a bit meh. I have had some great conversations with drivers, and I think it is great that they come from all walks of life and different life experiences, and I've actually learned some interesting stuff from drivers. But I've also had a driver--NYC--scare the crap out of me dodging cars, driving on the wrong side of the road, and taking risks that I thought were insane. The good news is that when you rate these drivers, Uber is great about following up right away and taking action with these sorts of drivers.

The best advice that I can give you regarding Uber is always, always, verify the license plate number before getting in the vehicle. And compare the driver's picture in the app with the person driving the vehicle. Finally, read the Uber FAQ. This is probably the number one thing everyone should do before you start using Uber or before you start using them extensively. These same tips also apply to Lyft, by the way.

So have you taken an Uber ride? If so, what was it like? Any tips? Any of you drive for Uber? Any secrets you can share with us?