I am late to the Uber party. I was in Denver this past weekend and decided to go “all Uber” to get the complete experience. (disclaimer: I assume everybody reading this agrees that the Uber experience is much better than the cab experience).
- Timing on the pro-tips within the app. The useful tips seems to show up just after I use the app for that particular feature. Maybe the intent was to make sure I use the feature before I get the tip; but the execution was frustrating and left me feeling stupid and not pleased with the tip. (first rule of software: don’t make the users feel stupid. h/t Kathy Sierra)
e.g. 1: I use Uber to get a ride from the airport. After I get into the car and the driver is on his way, the app informs me that “pros” would first get a quote before selecting the driver. Eh? is there any reason you waited till I was securely buckled in before I you gave me this tip Uber?
e.g. 2: uber-x ride back to the airport from the hotel. I get in, the ride starts and the app informs me that “pros are aware that in most major cities there is a fixed fee for rides to the airport”. I ask the driver if we are on a fixed fee ride and he says nope. Again, seriously? why not give me this nugget of goodness before I got into the vehicle.
- Love thy customer. This was my first uber ride ever, so the driver said he had a $20 promo card for me. I took it eagerly, went to my hotel room and entered it —- BAM! “no soup for you”. Apparently since I have already taken exactly 1 ride, I am no longer a new customer and cannot qualify for that $20 promo. Seriously! Uber?
- Surge pricing. Pass the sniff test. My guess is that Uber’s surge pricing is based on some heuristic around time taken to get a ride to the requester’s location. This can fail the reality sniff test. I wanted to see my experiment through, so I requested a Uber-X back to the airport. I was informed that I am facing surge pricing (1.75x) while right in front of my eyes, there were two yellow checker cabs idling. This is my choice and I get it. But I think Uber should find a more sophisticated algorithm for surge pricing. It feels wrong to gouge a loyal customer for being loyal. (yeah i am sort of whining here but I feel like I got ripped of) :-) The driver also told me that surge pricing sometimes appears and disappears within minutes, this is disingenuous to customers.
Overall, I can absolutely see why this is such a freaking awesome experience though. I just hope Uber does not get too arrogant too soon.