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What is Uber's Malfunction?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John*Wells, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 19 Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
    John*Wells

    John*Wells Screenwriter

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    My family has been after me to try Uber despite my misgivings about them. Last month after I interviewed for my current job, I downloaded the app and tried to get a ride from my place of employment to my roommate's office. I tried 3 different credit cards and none of them would work. My boss told me no one can get a signal unless they walk a few feet to the side of the office and try.

    Fast Forward to this morning. I had some things to do in Tampa. From my home (and connected to Wi Fi) I try yet again to schedule a ride with uber. As before, None of my Credit cards worked (None of them are close to being maxed out or anything like that and I tried both Visa and MasterCard. Finally, I decide to try to call their customer Service number and get a recording stating it is only for emergency issues. I gave up

    A few minutes later, I download the Lyft app. Set up my account and I was able to schedule a ride with no issues. I scheduled 2 other ones to different places and finally back to my home.

    I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. Has anyone else had to deal with such nonsense ?
     
  2. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I know recently (last week sometime) we had weather issues in Chicago and I recall seeing people on Facebook complaining about having three or four Ubers scheduled to pick them up and then mysteriously they all would get cancelled! Was it during a surge pricing time (bad weather, local public transportation problems, etc.)?
     
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  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Just a thought: the German verb for vomit is ubergeben.
     
  4. The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Never used Uber, and hopefully never will. I've heard too many negative things about them. I also get the impression they're sketchy due - in part - to not really having to answer to an actual company/supervisor. I.e., these are people that work for themselves, so if the customer service is bad (i.e., if they don't come to pick you up when scheduled, overcharge you, are rude, etc.) you really have no one to complain to. Sure, you could post some bad reviews online - but that's about it.

    Also, since I I don't have an I-phone & it seems like I would need one in order to make a reservation - I doubt I'll be using them anytime soon.
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That's not really how it works.

    You download the Uber app onto a smartphone. It doesn't need to specifically be an iPhone, but it does have to be a smartphone with some kind of operating system to run the app. The app uses your phone's GPS to identify where you are. You enter in the address of where you'd like to go. The app tells you what the price will be. You can then decide, based on the quoted price, whether or not to order a car. Your driver is an independent contractor who works for Uber; you pay Uber through your credit card in the app, not the driver. It is not possible for the driver to overcharge you, because the driver does not set the price or handle your money directly in this transaction. The Uber app allows tipping and also allows you as the rider to rate the driver on a scale of 0-5. Most drivers will be polite and courteous because they'd like a tip, and because they're dependent on getting 5 star ratings in order to keep their job. If they get too many low ratings, Uber severs ties with them. In my experience, Uber tends to be very accommodating to customers. I take both regular taxis and Ubers, and my experience these days is that the Uber drivers are more polite, in cleaner cars, and more accurate in getting to the destination in a timely and safe fashion than traditional yellow cabs. I've had far fewer issues with Uber drivers than regular cab drivers, and for the very few times I have had an issue, the Uber company has made me whole, either by providing a refund and/or credit for future rides.

    I think that a lot of Uber drivers aren't being done any favors by the way the system operates - since they're not technically Uber employees, they're not eligible for minimum wage, they don't get benefits, and they shoulder a disproportionate amount of the expenses - but while these things are probably unfair to the drivers and unsustainable long term, from the customer point of view, it just works. I need a ride, I open my phone, press a button, and within a few minutes, someone picks me up and takes me where I need to go and a prearranged price. Compare that to taking a taxi, where I can either call a cab company and be given an imprecise estimate for when I will get picked up, may be forced to share a ride with others, and will have no idea what the cost will be until after the ride has concluded. Or, if I want a cab in the city, I have to stand at a street corner and hope one comes, and if one doesn't, I have to keep walking from block to block until I can find one. That seems a little silly in the age of GPS and instant communication. From a user standpoint, Uber is an improvement. I'm just not sure it's sustainable as is, but the basic concept of using technology to order a ride when you need one makes more sense to me than having a bunch of drivers out on the road at all times and hoping that I just so happen to walk past one when I need it.
     
  6. Message #6 of 19 Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Good to know. However, since I have neither an I-phone or a smart phone (just an old no-frills cell phone that can only make/take calls) I have no way of utilizing this service.

    I live in an area where I have to primarily drive my car to get from point A to point B; I don't like driving, but do so (reluctantly); I also take public transportation to some extent (when possible). So, I have very little need or use for Uber or a Taxi service. Conversely, if I didn't have a car and/or lived somewhere where using a Taxi/Uber would be more advantageous - I may be forced to use them more.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Our local Cantina Laredo has these quarterly tequila dinners where the liquor flows freely. So we Uber to and from. Never had a problem. Only shortcoming is I’ve yet to figure out how to schedule a ride in the future.
     
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  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Rocket Science Department
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    You have to go 88 mph. :D
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Uber is a horrible company founded and run by horrible people. (the drivers are fine. but actual corporate overlords are terrible) Instead, I use Lyft which is a slightly less horrible company run by slightly less horrible people.

    <shrug>

    we make our choices, fight our battles, and choose our conveniences
     
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  10. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    I really must be old. I neither understand Uber nor the thread title itself. Or at least I had to read the whole fisrt post and several
    replies before I think I got most of the point.

    I live pretty much in a rural area with no public transport at all. Old School Taxis have even mostly disappeared. Teh Trailways/Greyhound Center disappeared years ago and i think closest pickup is now at the Amtrak station 30 miles away.

    Feet, Bike, Beg a Friend, Drive Yourself, stay Home - seems to be the options
     
  11. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Why do they call it ride sharing? When we book either service, it’s a lot like calling a taxi except we use our smart phone app and can track the driver. But we don’t share the ride.
     
  12. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    UberPool is truly ride-sharing. Up to four people going to different destinations share the Uber at a lower cost.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Because the way that Uber was trying to sell this whole thing was that they weren’t really a cab company, they were a technology company that helped pair people who needed to go in one direction with people who were driving there anyway - therefore sharing a ride.

    But whether that was actually the original intent that has since evolved, or whether it was marketing BS from the start... they’re a cab company.
     
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  14. JimmyO

    JimmyO Berserker

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    It took a couple of years after it's inception for me to give it a try. I'm a fan.

    I stand wherever I please, press a button, and I usually have a ride in 3 mins or less. I get to say precisely where I want to go, the app feeds that info to the driver so that their GPS is already programmed to guide the driver on how to get there. The price is given to me before I even agree to accept the ride, and I get to choose from at least 3 service levels. Pool (sharing) X (solo, direct, no share) and Comfort (ooh la la cars).

    No guess work. No mystery. No "what route do you want me to take?" type questions. No having to worry about if the driver accepts a particular kind of credit card, or only cash, and if the driver is slimy and tries to skim my card.

    You use the app, tell it where you want to go. Car arrives, get in, get out. Done.

    I also know how many trips the driver has under their belt and their rating. So if I am offered a driver and they don't look like they are experienced, I can reject this driver and get another.

    Oh, and its always cheaper than a cab around here. Always.
     
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  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Last April my wife and I arrived at Tampa an hour after midnight.

    We came from Amsterdam, landing in Detroit where the connecting flight to Tampa appeared to be delayed for just over 2 hours.
    When we finally left the Tampa airport, suitcases and all, no taxi in sight. None. We noticed several people successfully using a local app to get Uber taxis.
    While we were still trying to figure out what to do, there was a regular yellow cab bringing someone to the airport and (although he told us he was going home) we convinced him to bring us to our rather near hotel at a bargained price.

    Terrible experience. Uber sort of kills regular transport procedures and certainties.
    (We kept the driver's card, so next day we used that same cab several times to get at different places.)


    Cees
     
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  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The cab was a terrible experience, so you hired it repeatedly during your vacation? Seems like you’d have been better off getting an Uber / Lyft.

    Or, I’ve missed something in your story.
     
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  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Thanks to these, I never bother with taxis anymore when I'm on vacation without my car. I used Uber and Lyft in both Las Vegas and New York City without incident.
     
  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think what he’s saying is that Uber drivers are flooding the airport with traffic and making a mess out of the pickup situation. A lot of airports don’t have the infrastructure to handle that many extra cars cycling through hoping to get passengers because they’re not able to get into the regular cab waiting area so they just drive around, clogging everything up. I’ve certainly seen that at certain airports. But the cab stand areas aren’t well run in a lot of places either, which just means it’s a mess getting out no matter what.
     
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  19. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Ha, ha. No, that cab saved us.

    The "terrible" experience was the 30+ mins. before it arrived when we really didn't see how to get a cab easily.
    We were tired. The area was almost abandoned. There was no regular cab waiting, and no waiting area. We wandered around a bit. Nothing. Local citizens (on a Detroit-Tampa flight most passengers are Americans) ordered an Uber- (or whatever-) taxi and left. There was no outside-airport personnel in sight. It was late.

    Just when we wanted to get inside again and try to get a taxi for us somehow, the cab I described arrived (bringing someone who wasn't taking a plane at that hour).


    Cees
     
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