At Cote Media, we’re all about the social life, including apps that get us there! One of our latest tries: Uber Car Service, http://bit.ly/1oRKZ0T. “Request, ride, and pay via your mobile phone.”
We were at an Irish bar on 30th and Market in Philadelphia, on a Thursday, when we planned to meet some friends at bar number two of the day, about 15 blocks away. It was the perfect opportunity to try Uber car service for the first time!
Setting up an account on this FREE app is quick and convenient. By connecting your credit or debit card of choice, you see an estimate of your trip’s fare, and send the driver a payment from that card once you’ve reached your destination. Once your account is set, the app gives you a code to share with friends. When those friends use your code to create their own account, you get a free ride! We shared the code on Facebook in hopes a future free ride.
After we set up our pick-up location (the GPS knows where your phone is) the estimated fare for the 15 block drive was about $12, the online casino minimum fare of a black car. (Using a black SUV is a minimum fare of $25.) In an attempt to save a little more, we typed “facebook” into the promo code box, and it took! We were offered $25 towards our ride so it would be free. The next step was to request a car. The bar is across from 30th Street train station so there were at least 5 cars waiting there.
Once the car is requested, the app shows a picture of the driver, the driver’s name, and the car that they will pick you up in. This information was followed by a call from the driver, confirming our pick up location. Two minutes later, a car of the description, pulled up to the curb, and we got in.
We told the driver our destination and a couple blocks into the drive, I received a call from our Uber driver… we’d gotten into the wrong car!!!
The car we were in was an Uber car, though, phew! It was the same style that was confirmed for our request, and our confirmed driver had a similar description to our current driver who had been responding to a request at the same bar!
The requested driver understood the mix up and when we ended the call, our current driver said to cancel the request on the app so the stored card would not be mistakenly charged. Flustered from the confusion, we made small talk on our way to our destination. Uber is a sort of franchise. Drivers provide their own transportation, get a phone from the company to use for their business, and work when they want.
We told our driver that we’d used a code on the previous request. He said its best to hold off on promo codes until payment! Most drivers have their own codes to give their riders a discount, including free trips! When we arrived at bar number two, we paid cash since we’d disconnected from the app; $12 tip.
Personal Review: It’s a classy taxi that you can pay for using your phone. With a minimum fare of $12, we’ll save this ride for a special occasion like when hosting family from out of town or arriving at an upscale event.
Lesson learned: Confirm your pick-up driver’s name with the information given on the app!