I spent a few days in NYC, last week. The first day was awesome, which is why it was weird to see tourists ice skating at 30 Rock. Maybe it’s a brilliant move, though, because the rink was empty.
The rest of the week was shit. Nobody wanted to be outside. I was with a group of friends. I was slow. I made us late for dinner. In the rain. During rush hour.
I used Uber to grab a private car. Uber is a service that allows you to request, ride, and pay for your trip via your mobile phone. It’s linked to a credit card. I took my first ride in an Uber in January 2013 in Washington DC. I was hooked.
When weather is horrible, the prices are higher. It’s called surge pricing. Some people hate it for real reasons, but Uber makes its users go through a three-step process to accept the surge pricing.
Don’t want to pay the surging price? Find a different method of transportation, I guess.
Back to my trip in NYC: we hopped into the Uber and went to dinner. Super convenient. Since it was during a surge, the trip was super expensive. Unfortunately, the driver’s app kept crashing. There was a system-wide outage. I had no idea how much the trip would cost. I didn’t have any cash. I told the driver, a Uzbeki immigrant studying business at a local community college, that I would make sure he got paid.
He was suspicious, but there was nothing he could do.
The next day, I contacted the NYC Uber community manager. I gave her the details of my ride. She looked up my account and agreed to pay my awesome driver at no charge to me.
Not everyone loves Uber. There are some horror stories. I am always happy with my experience, and I’ve used it everywhere from Madison to Lyon. I am pro-labor and pro-union, but I believe in customer service. The best product should win, and you can’t tell me that a smelly taxi beats an Uber.
New York City can be a tough town in the rain. I was pleased with my ride, and I was certainly happy with the phenomenal customer service. I’m a fan for life.
P.S. If you want to try Uber for free, I have a code: www.uber.com/invite/h49ot I’m not paid to tell you this. I just think you should try it. And if you’ve had experience with Uber, let me know what you think.
Uber is super amazing fantastic awesome! I’ve always had a great experience with them. We can’t get out of our own way long enough to have it in San Antonio, but when I travel it’s the only service I use!
Customer service can definitely make or break a company. Uber launched in Philadelphia last weekend and there is a law that that you need a taxi medallion to offer ride service. Cost of a medallion…they start auction of them at 500k. The city was prepared with a special unit to tow cars and give huge tickets when they found them driving for Uber. Uber made sure to reimburse all of the drivers for tickets, towing and extra for their time.
Meanwhile Philly is in negotiations to try to stop a SEPTA (PA public transit) strike which may happen this week.
I miss living in the city sometimes but love that I work from home and live in the suburbs where Uber is allowed.
I love Uber. I write impassioned pleas to mayors about it. In certain cities, New York, especially, it is not a luxury. Because some cab drivers don’t like to pick up black people. So I just hit my Uber button. Boom. Another smelly taxi bites the dust. And on the rare occasion when I have to take a taxi, and the driver looks at my $20 bill like it’s foreign currency, or sighs because I’m not going to the airport, I have been known to say “That’s why Uber is going to kick your a$$!”