I’ve been using Uber more often because it is the most convenient way to get a taxi or town car around the world.

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I like being able to hail a taxi with a few taps on my phone and then to be able to see where my taxi is and how long it will be until it picks me up.

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I really like that at the end of the trip, you rate the driver and poorly rated drivers are removed from the program, which incentivizes a clean, odor-free car and reliable, safe driving.

So far every trip I’ve had, I’ve rated 5 stars (out of 5). Except for one trip. I recently took a trip where the driver scammed me out of $0.90. Uber’s response? A refund of $23 overnight.

  • What was the scam?
  • How did I complain?
  • What was Uber’s response?
  • What the heck is this Uber thing?

The Scam

I was heading back from First Friday in Chinatown Honolulu to a friend’s place in Waikiki. I tapped Uber and was picked up by a taxi in about a minute.

The drive was uneventful and when we arrived the meter was $17.45. Common practice, in my experience, is for the driver to key that $17.45 into his Uber app and then the all-in price with fee and tip will display on my app pretty much instantly.

But I have only used Uber a few times, and as I lingered, waiting for the driver to key in the price, he shooed me away: “You’re good. That’s it.” Not that confident that I should stick around until payment was completed, we got out, and he drove away.

About three minutes later, the price arrived on my app, and it was too high.

My phone wouldn’t break down the meter, the fee, and the tip, so I couldn’t tell how much he had overcharged me until I got to my computer. If you sign in to uber.com, you can see the receipts for all your recent trips on your Dashboard in the Your Trip History section.

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Click the appropriate trip, and you’ll see all the stats on it including a fare breakdown.

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I saw that he had overcharged me $0.90. Looking at the map of our trip on the same screen showed that he had just left the meter running as he drove a few tenths of a mile after dropping us off.

The Complaint

I decided to complain because I wanted the dishonest driver to get into trouble and because I wanted to see Uber’s response. On the same screen, I clicked Request a Fare Review.

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I typed a few sentences explaining where he had dropped us off, the meter at that time, and how the map showed that he continued before turning off the meter.

Uber’s Response

A few hours later, I had an email response from Uber. It was three words (“Poor route choice.”) and $23.02 back to my account.

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Uber’s response was quicker and better than I was expecting.

Overall Experience with Uber

Now that I’ve tested out both Uber’s taxi service and Black Car service, I can say that both are incredible.

  • No more smokey taxis because the drivers know they’re being rated.
  • No more “your cab will be there in 15-30 minutes” and having to wait outside until it arrives because the app shows exactly where the car coming to pick you up is.
  • No more “my credit card machine is broken” or “I just started; I don’t have change” tricks because the payment is automatic from your stored credit card.
  • No more taxi driver scams because Uber will simply refund your ride.

$10 Sign Up Bonus

New Uber users can get $10 in free rides when they sign up through my referral link.

(I get $10 in free rides too. Feel free to post your own referral link in the comments.)

More Info on Uber

Uber is a worldwide transportation app. You can hail a cab or a Black Car.

The cabs are just regular cabs that also do Uber pickups. The cabs use a meter, and you are charged the meter plus a $1 fee plus a 20% tip in Honolulu. (I believe the formula is the same elsewhere, but please correct me in the comments.)

The Black Cars don’t have a meter, but do have a cost based on distance, time, and a flat pick up fee. You can get an estimate of the price before pick up.

The innovative features of Uber are the ability to see the car coming for you on your phone with its estimated time of arrival, the ability to rate your driver (poorly rated drivers are removed), and the ability to pay instantly with a stored credit card.

What has your experience been with Uber?

 

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