Normally I tend to stay on the positive side of things, and most of the OmniBlog or Fireside Codex entries are on the lighter side. However my experience with Uber is something I wanted to share. Note: This does become a bit of a rant, so apologies ahead of time.
Something many of you may not know is that I only started driving a year and half ago, which was by choice. Reasons being the cost of the car/insurance, costs of maintenance, and environmental factors. Before getting that car I had walked everywhere, even across my town to get where I needed to go.
When I had jobs downtown, about 2.5 miles from one of my old homes, then I would walk most of the time 45 min to the workplace. However over time I started using Uber and Lyft much more, as not only was it faster, but it could perhaps save me from being late because of it.
There was a steep cost to both, but Lyft often was cheaper (and they constantly gave me coupons). Sadly there just wasn't as much lyft drivers in town, as there was Uber.
My Trials with Uber
I would say by far people driving Uber were often more rude, rushing, and overall a less enjoyable experience. Now I would argue that was because of how they treated their employees (or contracters I guess).
This however is NOT why I made this post today, for the story I'd like to share is much worse.
Whenever I would get a ride with either app I would ALWAYS pay right away, and give a tip if the driver was deserving. Often would give a tip and good rating even if they weren't, simply because Uber's rating system is horseshit. Anything less than a five gets the driver in a lot of trouble, which is ridiculous.
Knowing that I always pay right away after the ride is key to the story though.
Since I didn't drive at the time, and I lived a decent ways away from work that caused me to use the apps more in the winter. One fateful winter day I was working downtown, and it happens that a blizzard comes in. Now I knew it was gonna snow, but Missouri weather is finicky at best. Bipolar at worst.
Meaning that a bit of snow wouldn't be a big deal, but I didn't prepare for the blizzard that came. I couldn't walk home in that, and my coworker couldn't give me a ride.
I phoned my Uncle who was able to help me, however on the way to my abode his car broke down. Sorry Uncle! So he had to find his own way home too, and so I started walking.
A Block Away
I barely make it a block away before my lack of proper winter gear like gloves and hat start to make it clear that I shouldn't walk all the way home.
I look at Lyft first, and of course in a storm there is no rides out. Reluctantly I open up Uber, as even at that point I was frustrated with their service.
I stand there in the freezing bitter cold flabergasted because the app has the adacity to declare that I hadn't paid for my previous ride. Despite the fact as you know now, that I always pay when the ride concludes.
Frustrated I struggle to find a signal so that I can pay for the ride I know I already paid for, or at least did the process to do so. It hadn't charged me yet, so perhaps it didn't go through the first time despite looking like it did on my end.
Finally I get the ability to pay, and then look for a ride. There was one lone gentleman driving, and he picked me up. This gracious man even told me that I was his last ride, and he picked me up cause he saw that I was out in the cold.
We share a pretty quick ride to my home, as it is only a 10 min drive on a sunny day, so probably not much longer than that on a bad day.
I get home and of course I IMMEDIATELY pay, so that this experience doesn't happen again.
Now I mentioned earlier that I normally give a tip, but this time I basically gave him a 100% tip. As the cost was probably around $10, but he had saved me from the cold.
An APP first Experience...
Horrified when I finalize the order, that the transaction doesn't go through. When I am literally three feet away from my router. Mind you as a content creator I make sure I have strong internet.
I tried another time, and it still doesn't go through. The ONLY way I could make it work was when I got rid of the tip, and then it finally went through. This was immensely emotionally raised, as this man went out of his way for me. I couldn't do ANYTHING for him, or even look him up in a history. Wherever you are sir, if you find this I owe you a drink and more!!!
Obviously this experience was horrendous in app user experience, and so I reached out to support. It took a literal week for me to finally get an email back, and what do I get? A copy pasted response, one of which completely disregarded my entire situation.
Barely awknowledged the technical problem, and didn't even entertain the customer experience part.
Pretty much enraged I calm myself, and go onto their website. Which in my usage of their egregiously useless site, as getting to the contact form was a journey in of itself. The user experience was just not up to par to any modern standard, and maybe now it has improved. Although I just went to it, and still couldn't find the contact. As they presumeably want you to use the app to do so.
The form started an email sequence, and I believe I used the form twice. In total I reached out to or replied to an email a total about a dozen times.
Every. Single. Email. I got from them was another copy pasted response, and none of them even remotely correlated to the problem I had brought up.
I complained about the experience of being in the frigid temperatures because of their faulty app experience (I know for a fact it wasn't user error). Another was to let me thank the awesome driver, and another was in response to their crappy responses.
In the End.
It didn't matter, and I ended up deleting my Uber/UberEats apps. Swearing to never use any of their services again.
I know the tone of this post is far gone compared to the rest I have made on here, but I wanted to share this experience with you. Just in case if you had the choice between Uber and a competitor. So that maybe, just maybe, you could make the better choice with this knowledge.
I wish you all the best.