My Uber FAIL Experience

Old Jan 11, 16, 9:00 pm
  #1  
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My Uber FAIL Experience

I wanted to share a recent misadventure with Uber on Saturday morning. I was up in Boston for work and took Uber (as I often do) to get from my hotel to my company's office. It's normally a 3/4 mile, $5-6 ride that takes about 5 minutes.

In this case, a 4 minute estimated arrival time took more than 15 minutes, and the journey was over 11 miles and took 33 minutes, and was "only" that short because I started navigating via my Apple Maps after he went out of the city to the north, looped around and went out of the city to the south.

It's not that the driver got lost that frustrates me, rather it is Uber's unwillingness to concede anything -- their only response was to adjust the fare to what it would have been had the ride been a more direct route.

For the record, I was traveling on business, and frankly could have submitted the original $24 ride charge and nobody would have blinked. But my philosophy is that I don't do anything with company money that I wouldn't do with my own money under the same circumstances. So even if Uber gave me a free ride as compensation, I would have used it to go back to the airport today and save my company the cost of the ride to get back to the airport. So I had no thoughts of any personal gain here -- this is purely a principles issue.

The following are my comments from the Uber app after rating the driver "1 Star" (and for the record, out of ~40 rides, I only ever rated a driver below 4 stars on one other occasion, as he missed a major exit and doubled my fare -- he got rated 3 stars), and the email discourse that ensued. What strikes me the most is that Uber is really clueless about customer service, or what many on Flyer Talk refer to as service recovery:

My Uber App Comments, when I gave this driver a 1 star rating

Absolutely Awful. Got lost finding my hotel (took 15 mins to arrive) and took me on a 30+ minute wild goose chase to go about 3/4 of a mile. Phone in one hand with GPS, clearly does not know where he is going in Boston.

Rep (Uber)

Hi HT,
Thanks for reaching out! Sorry to hear about this issue with your trip. I can see how this was a frustrating experience. No worries, though! I’m happy to make it right.
Please let us know the exact starting and ending point of the trip so that we can do the necessary steps to resolve this concern.
Looking forward to your reply.
Best,
Rep
help.uber.com


High Technology

Hi Rep,
I started at the W Hotel in Boston (on Stuart St) and ended at xxx High St in Boston. It's a 3/4 mile, 5 minute, $6 trip.
Instead of 4 minutes to pick me up, the wait was about 15 minutes as he drove round and round trying to find my hotel. He then took me out of the city, back in, missed the exit, looped back around and I finally started telling him where to go. That was 33 minutes per my receipt. He either does not belong driving in Boston or should be terminated immediately.
So I was a half hour late to meet other people at my office (I am on a business trip). Needless to say, the meeting started without me and they had to back-track and catch me up.
Uber really let me down this morning. Saying that I am extremely annoyed and disappointed would be a tremendous understatement.
High Technology
—---
>

Rep (Uber)

Hi HT,
So sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with the route and fare for this trip. I understand that your time is valuable and that you depend on Uber for a reliable and efficient ride. Happy to resolve this for you.
I checked the trip details and you're right, the driver could have used a more optimal route. No worries though as I’ve adjusted the fare to $6.46 which is our estimate for what this fare should have been. The difference will take a business few days to settle on your account.
Thanks for bringing up this issue with your trip and driver so that I can follow up appropriately and make sure that your next ride is better.
If I can help with anything else related to this trip, just let me know.
Best,
Rep
help.uber.com




High Technology

Wow, I am completely dumbfounded by this response.
Saying the driver could have taken a more "optimal route" when they took me on an 11.45 mile drive instead of something that should have been less than a mile is incredibly frustrating. Then resolving this by adjusting the fare to something akin to what it would normally be for this trip is frankly insulting from a customer relations perspective given the circumstances and the amount of time that was wasted.

Please escalate this email to your customer relations department. I work in a client oriented business myself, and on the rare occasions we make a mistake we do not compound it by insulting the customer any further. Rather, we make a concession to the customer that is commensurate with the inconvenience that we caused.


Rep (Uber)

Hi HT,
Terribly sorry to hear about the trouble that you have faced during this trip. This is Rep #2 stepping in for Rep #1 and I am here to assist you.
Rest assured that your concern had already been forwarded to Driver Operations, and they will be getting in touch with your driver and remind him the standards that Uber is trying to implement for your satisfaction and other riders as well.

Unfortunately, a refund would mean a loss of profit on the driver's end. Please understand that the driver still deserves some compensation for the time, effort, and fuel that he spent in order to help you reach your destination.
(emphasis added)
Though the changes may not happen overnight, these feedback will surely help us in keeping our standards high. If you have any other questions related to this issue, just let me know. I'm here to help.
Best,
Rep #1
help.uber.com

Last edited by High Technology; Jan 11, 16 at 9:19 pm
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Old Jan 11, 16, 11:30 pm
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Tell them you're not looking for a refund, but you would appreciate a credit.
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Old Jan 13, 16, 1:03 pm
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A complete refund would be nice but I think the reduction to $6.45 is reasonable. You have to understand that if the driver gets enough low ratings Uber will deactivate them. I think the 'unofficial' rating floor is 4.6 for drivers before they get deactivated. I would've just walked the 6 blocks
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Old Jan 13, 16, 4:30 pm
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Also don't forget
https://help.uber.com/h/074d9f51-b9e...6-c8cf25ea5a7f
You may cancel your request without charge for up to 5 minutes after your initial request. [...] Please note: if your driver is running more than 5 minutes behind the provided ETA, you will not be charged a cancellation fee.
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Old Jan 16, 16, 8:38 pm
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I think they acted appropriately. They can't give you your time back. What is it that you are hoping for?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 8:56 pm
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This will be the minority opinion but you chose to request uberX which is a ride-share platform (except for in NYC). You chose to be driven by a private car owner. There are certain advantages riding uberX (dirt cheap cost / convenience) and disadvantages (older cars / drivers unfamiliar with the city / questionable insurance issues.)

When someone feels their time is important and want a professional chauffeur driver ... they should request UberBlack and then expect flawless service.

You suggesting to Uber that the driver should be terminated is nonsense. Yes it was a bad experience. It shouldn't have happened. And Uber agreed to refund you for the overages. But when will riders take responsibility that with dirt cheap rides come less than perfect drivers / service?
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Old Jan 16, 16, 10:50 pm
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The sheer beauty of Uber is you can challenge being taken for a ride. If a taxi took you for a ride all you can do is whine.
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Old Jan 19, 16, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
I think they acted appropriately. They can't give you your time back. What is it that you are hoping for?
It cost him an extra half an hour, so I'd say a credit of 30*(UberX Boston per minute charge) would be reasonable.
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Old Jan 26, 16, 8:52 pm
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My Uber FAIL Experience

If your time was that valuable you should have navigate yourself given you had a smartphone to request an Uber. Given you were aware of the route to take, maintaining situation awareness would be wise not just here but generally speaking.

They adjusted your fare. What else do you want them to do?
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Old Jan 31, 16, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
It cost him an extra half an hour, so I'd say a credit of 30*(UberX Boston per minute charge) would be reasonable.
It's 20 cents/minute. If someone was pissed off enough to write a 500 word+ rant on FT, do you think a $6 credit would appease them?

Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
If your time was that valuable you should have navigate yourself given you had a smartphone to request an Uber. Given you were aware of the route to take, maintaining situation awareness would be wise not just here but generally speaking.

They adjusted your fare. What else do you want them to do?


If the OP had taken this route before (which is clearly indicated), and the driver was going around and around, I would certainly have stopped them much earlier and turned on my GPS.

As mentioned before, if this were a taxi, you would be screwed and stuck footing the bill.

Chalk this up as a learning experience, and move on.
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Old Feb 6, 16, 2:33 pm
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Still not as bad as Lyft. Lyft will give you a credit (not an adjustment) and do nothing else.
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Old Feb 12, 16, 4:19 pm
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Personally, I'd be fine with a credit so long as it is not one-time "use it or lose it" as many of my rides are $5.

I concur that the standard form letter response is insulting, but as expected from this type of business model, particularly when dealing with outsourced drones in email centers. If you desire a more personalized response, you need to pick up the phone, which in itself is difficult to do with this type of company.

That being said, it never ceases to amaze how penny wise pound foolish some companies are. A $25 ride credit for the "inconvenience" would go a long way. This isn't a churlish 5-minute mistake - but a half hour out of a customers time due solely to the incompetence of the driver. When it's your business to drive you should know the roads better than a London cabbie. IME about 90% of the drivers know much less than I do about our local roads and the best routes to take, which is pathetic.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
When it's your business to drive you should know the roads better than a London cabbie. IME about 90% of the drivers know much less than I do about our local roads and the best routes to take, which is pathetic.
We are talking about uber which are often people with regular day jobs and driving is just part time. So I would disagree that they should know the roads as it is not their main line of work.

Even if they were a full time driver it doesn't mean they have been in that part of town before.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
We are talking about uber which are often people with regular day jobs and driving is just part time. So I would disagree that they should know the roads as it is not their main line of work.

Even if they were a full time driver it doesn't mean they have been in that part of town before.
With all due respect I don't understand why you would tolerate someone in any line of work who does not know their job and perform well. My employment would be terminated if I screwed up as badly as some of these uber drivers. Would you accept the same kind of excuses from the volunteer fire and police employees that work a day or two a week (we have many of those here)?

I don't care if you work 5 hours or 50 you need to know your job period. Driving for uber is one of the lowest skill jobs and the barriers to entry are pretty low. But if you just moved to the area it is not the right job for you unless you are willing to invest some time learning local geography and traffic patterns.
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Old Feb 13, 16, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
With all due respect I don't understand why you would tolerate someone in any line of work who does not know their job and perform well. My employment would be terminated if I screwed up as badly as some of these uber drivers. Would you accept the same kind of excuses from the volunteer fire and police employees that work a day or two a week (we have many of those here)?

I don't care if you work 5 hours or 50 you need to know your job period. Driving for uber is one of the lowest skill jobs and the barriers to entry are pretty low. But if you just moved to the area it is not the right job for you unless you are willing to invest some time learning local geography and traffic patterns.
UberX is explicitly designed for freelancing, nonprofessional drivers. When you hail a ride through UberX, you have to understand that you will get a random person who has signed up through the app and met only minimal standards. If you want a higher quality experience, you can pay more for an UberBLACK, or call a licensed taxi company that requires its drivers to pass "the knowledge" or some similar examination.

You wouldn't stay at a Motel 6 and then complain that the staff was unable to make you dinner reservations at a top restaurant in the city, would you? If you want employees with a higher degree of competence, you need to pay more for it.
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