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Anyone here using Uber?

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posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 04:27 AM
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I tried it for the first time tonight and was pleasantly surprised.

The girlfriend and I decided to cab it over to Seattle to meet with friends since we both felt like having a few libations.

The cab company I usually use has flat rates and is usually WAY cheaper than any other service. I'm not actually worried about it but this company only employs people from Africa (that travel to and from regularly, I take a lot of cabs and like to chat) and I joked about not wanting to catch anything. Looked up other cabs and the rates were deplorable, same with their reviews.

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Screw it, let's try Uber. Hopped on the website, took a minute to sign up then downloaded the app.

Opened up the app and was rather impressed. You don't have to give them a direct address, which to me is a nice feature since when I'm cabbing it I'm usually not going to be home (the whole night) or sober and at a certain point have a hard time figuring out and telling dispatch my current address. You show up as a dot on the map, and you can see all the cars that are near you and available.

So hit pick me up from pin (my location on GPS) and got assigned a driver. Looked at him and realized he was driving a PT cruiser. NOPE. Cancelled it. Hate those cars with a passion and seriously question any person that owns one on their sanity.

Changed my selection to Uber Black or X or something so we could get a nicer car. OK, we'll take the Lincoln Navigator.

Hit the button, and the guy (who was rated by other customers and had a picture of himself) was on his way.

They give you a time estimate on arrival through the app, and you also get to watch the car come towards you. You can contact the driver through the app too. I usually wait about 15 minutes + for a cab on a Friday night. This took 5.

After you request a car you can enter the address you want to go to (or not) and that information is relayed to the drivers phone so they automatically know where you're going and have the GPS set up. This is also awesome. Friends want to meet somewhere so you copy and paste the address and boom, you don't have to spend 10 minutes relaying the address to the guy that doesn't speak English while he fumbles with his GPS. It also gives you a time estimate on arrival based on how far away the car is, and how long it will take after you get picked up.

Car pulls up, open the door for my girlfriend and hop in. It was immaculate. It looked like it was fresh off the dealership floor. Smelled good (this is VERY rare in my experience) and was clearly well maintained. The outside was perfect too. I'm a bit of a germaphobe but felt absolutely content in this car. Driver adjusted the climate settings in the back for us so we were comfortable.

Driver actually drove well, knew exactly where we were going, and drove fast enough for my liking on the freeway.

We get to our destination, he asks if we need anything else. Nope, we're good. Just hop out of the car and it automatically charges you. No tip involved, no fumbling for money or swiping your card. You get there, you say thanks and you get out.

When we got inside and I checked the charge I expected the ride to have cost quite a bit more than my old trusty flat rate company with it's fleet of Priuses/Prii? It was the same. I've taken that trip before a number of times. Since I have a tendency to tip too much it was probably way cheaper. And this was for the upgraded car. I don't know if you all cab it often, but being in a clean car is worth it. I would gladly pay $15-20 more to ride in a nice clean car, in style, and know exactly when I was getting picked up and dropped off.

At the end of the night I hit the app and had a Lincoln Towncar on the way, again, 5 minutes from me. In a busy area at what I assume would be peak hours for cabs. I ended up canceling because one friend was sober and insisted on driving us home, but man was it awesome to see that car turn around and know exactly where it was. And not have to worry about finding the businesses address.

Ive seen a lot of sketchy crap involving Uber. This is just one experience so I'm not willing to actually rate them. It was a 5/5 this evening though.

Anyone else use it? I think I'm probably going to continue, even if it's sometimes a bit more than a regular cab.

If anyone has a better cab idea for me in Seattle-ish WA than Eastside For Hire or Uber let me know.




posted on Oct, 25 2014 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: Domo1

Established cab companies in big cities that don't like the idea of an Uber type company competing with them have the same type of app designed for their company. It's the same deal. The customer downloads that company's app, the customer puts in the pickup and drop-off information, the driver who has his app turned on that is closest to that customer will get the call. The customer then is informed of the cab number that is picking them up and see's the picture of the driver that the driver had the company take when he/she contracted with the company. If the customer doesn't like what they see, they can request another cab. Females also have the option of requesting a female driver for the obvious safety reasons. Also, Parents have the option of requesting a driver that has passed a fingerprint clearance check with the state when they need their kids to be picked up and taken somewhere.

Some even go so far as having job fairs to attract people who want to do this in their personal vehicles. The vehicles have to be a certain year or newer and pass the same mechanical tests that the companies give their own fleet of cars. The biggest difference between this and an Uber type company, is that the business umbrella that the driver is under is more established and known than Uber. That, and all drivers would be required to have commercial insurance on their personal vehicles. A requirement that Uber currently does not have in most, if any,states.

The fact is, Uber is good for what it is, but it will never be a major competitor to established cab companies. The brunt of their business, for all intents and purposes, are bar runs. This is basically how cab companies start up. Taking money from the inebriated. In this case though, they are mainly high-end establishments. But still, they're bar runs. A drunk is a drunk. New York and Chicago for example laughs them out of town. The average consumer doesn't know how competitive and high-tech cab companies have gotten over the years. The bar is continually being raised for better fleets and better customer service. These companies know exactly what their customers want from a cab ride, and are constantly improving their business in those areas. On the other side of that coin, drivers are wanting better quality calls. Meaning, a better class of people. People who the drivers know will pay in one fashion or another. This means the drivers are going to be of a better class than the stereotypical hacker. It works both ways.

Established companies also have the advantage of bulk fleets. This means they can offer customers quality rides in quality cars for a fair price and get to a customer anywhere within 15 minutes. In a city the size of Seattle that shouldn't be too difficult a task for a company like Yellow. A city like Phoenix and all of the surrounding cities though is a whole other story. The sheer size and population of that entire metro area makes Seattle look like Mayberry. The point is, a company like Uber may do well in Seattle because they don't really have a lot of competition, and they don't really have a lot to learn in regards to where something is and how to get there. They won't do well in the Phoenix metro area though because they have way too much competition that will cut their throat in a New York minute to make sure they STAY established.

From what Google has shown me about Seattle though, you might actually be better off using Uber. Here's the thing though, if enough people start using them because all the alternatives suck, the alternatives will start upping their game if they want to stay in business. The only company I see up there though that have the strongest legs to stand on is Yellow. And if they're anything like the Yellow in Phoenix, they have a reputation of taking 1 hour to get to an address so they would have a lot of work to do to get customers away from Uber and back to them. And the best way to do that is with the same tech that Uber uses.

One other thing you might want to know about Uber. In some cities, Uber is telling people that if they want to drive for them but don't own a vehicle that is up to their their standards, they can lease one from them. So the next time you hop into a Lincoln Navigator, don't be all that impressed by the driver. It may not be his. Eastside For Hire may not look as nice, but at least you know what you're getting yourself into.



posted on Nov, 4 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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a reply to: DeepImpactX




Established cab companies in big cities that don't like the idea of an Uber type company competing with them have the same type of app designed for their company. It's the same deal.


Huh. Haven't seen that around Seattle, but I suppose I haven't really looked.



One other thing you might want to know about Uber. In some cities, Uber is telling people that if they want to drive for them but don't own a vehicle that is up to their their standards, they can lease one from them. So the next time you hop into a Lincoln Navigator, don't be all that impressed by the driver. It may not be his. Eastside For Hire may not look as nice, but at least you know what you're getting yourself into.


Not impressed with someone owning a Navigator either. Liked the driver because he was well dressed, polite and kept his car immaculate. It is a little ego boosting to hop out of an all black Navigator as compared to a green and red Prius, I will admit that.



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