Tuesday, 1 September 2015

First Uber Ride *Updated*

First trip with Uber: driver and trip was great, app and experience was sub-par.

Update: Customer service swings experience to positive agian.

I'd like to think I'd be writing this if all went smoothly, but it didn't, and here we are. Let's start with the positive.  My wife and I were standing outside at Bay and Wellesley, we requested a ride to YYZ, Steve was there within 2 minutes.   It was a pleasant ride.  It was cheaper than a cab, it was cleaner than a cab, it was cheaper than the new train thingy from downtown Toronto to the airport ($30/person, really?), and the subway wasn't running that early anyway.

Now, we did the estimate fare thing, and requested the pickup no less than 5 seconds after that, and ZOMG 1.5x SURGE PRICING!  I'm suspicious that demand rose "through the roof" at 8:30am on a Sunday morning within those 5 seconds, but maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe we were the last grain of sand.  It was still cheaper than a taxi, so we accepted the 1.5x fare.

The night before I added a $20 promo off the first ride.  Everyone said add it, and offered their user-specific codes. I realize now I could have, and should have, added the user-specific code from one of my friends so they get $20 too.  The system accepted the promo code I used.  It knows I'm in Canada.   You can see where this is going.

Three days later it has charged the full amount to my credit card, no promo code.  The promo code still shows up in my account "Enjoy $20 off your first ride" (that's it, no restrictions are visible).   I have a sneaky suspicion that this was a US-only code and the system didn't bother to tell me, or at least warn me.  It would be such a simple thing to do--FYI, you have a Canadian postal code, you just put in a US-only promo.  That's just annoying.

I navigated their help system and entered that the system didn't apply the promo code for the trip.  Now my pessimist is taking over and I expect this to happen:
1. They'll mail me back eventually and tell me it's a US-only code, or had some other restriction the system didn't tell me about.
2. I'll request that they apply it anyway because there was no indication it wouldn't work so they should put $20 back on my card, since that would have been the outcome had I used one of my friend's code (which I can't use anymore because I've taken my first trip).
3. They'll offer a $20 credit.
4. I'll pretty much have no choice to accept, even though I don't see myself using Uber again in the near future.

So feeling a bit taken-advantage-of by the last-second surge pricing and no promo code.  But it was cheaper than a taxi.  A little good customer service right now could turn my feelings around but right now I'm unlikely to use Uber again in the near future.

Update:  No sooner did I finish writing that than Chad from Uber responded with some great customer service.  The code is indeed a US-only code, they put the $20 back on my CC.