So full disclosure, I certainly don’t think I’ll be the first person to tell you about Uber. The app, which allows users to summon a black car, SUV, taxi or UberX vehicle to their location with the touch of a button, has been around since 2009. In the past few months though, I have become a major fan of the company, and really wouldn’t think of hailing a cab in Boston (or any of the other 31 cities and 20 countries it services) any other way now.
Why I’m in love:
- Call me lazy, call me a girl, or simply call me human, but there is nothing glamorous about trying to hail a cab. Sure, maybe it’s magically cliché the first time you do it in New York City, but when it can take over 20 minutes to get someone’s attention (I’m looking at you Boston) I’d much rather leave it to my phone to handle the task. Uber lets me wait inside for my ride. My cute shoes and propensity for feeling cold couldn’t be more grateful.
- I hate that awkward shuffle at the end of a cab ride with the inevitable, “Oh, I don’t have cash,” or “Here, just use my card – you can get the next one” debate. Honestly, unless you’re dating the person it rarely works out. Uber lets me split my ride with my friends easily.
- Generally I take cabs after I have been having fun. By “having fun,” I usually mean I have helped myself to some cocktails. Uber kindly emails me my receipt, reminding me how much I spent after having lots of fun.
- Have you ever called a cab and then waited…and waited…then never gotten picked up? It’s terrible, upsetting, and a certain cause of crankiness. Uber lets you watch your driver arrive and gives you the ability to call and text him/her. No more angry, “Where ARE YOU?!” calls from either end of the arrangement.
- I don’t know about you, but I’m not the biggest fan of the inside of cabs. They’re kind of icky. UberX makes sure your ride is always a unique experience, generally a clean pleasant one. I’ll admit, it’s a little weird at first to get into someone’s actual car instead of a public vehicle because it feels really personal. In the end though it’s SO much better! Since it’s the driver’s own car, it tends to feel a lot cleaner and better kept than a normal taxi. Occasionally they’re really awesome makes or models! Even the seemingly odd details that sometimes occur tend to spur talking points – once when I was loading my bag into a driver’s trunk, we had to move aside his child’s car seat, but in the end it gave me a chance to ask him about his family!
- Going off this last point, I find that Uber drivers tend to be very friendly, professional, and helpful. For the most part they seem to genuinely care a little bit more. I think that in part, it’s because they’re treated quite equitably – Uber lets drivers work on their own time. Every Uber driver I’ve asked about this has the same positive sentiment: they like working for Uber because they get to make their own hours and determine their own flexibility.
- A major reason to adopt any new habit – Uber tends to end up being a lot cheaper. Obviously, this doesn’t always happen because if you’re looking for a cab during “surge” hours you’ll end up paying a bit more. For the most part though, if you use UberX, it will be cheaper than a normal cab.
- I’m not saying that normal cabs aren’t safe – I have taken many of them in different cities and have yet to feel like I was in an unsavory situation. However, I know I can trust Uber to be safe. Unless someone figures out a diabolical way to hack into their server and override their way in as a driver, I can honestly trust that every Uber driver that takes me somewhere has been rated by other riders and has gone through a solid hiring process. As a younger, more petite member of the female gender, this is reassuring.
- Most importantly, Uber cares about its customers. Example: I got a free Uber ride last week because the weekend before, my last experience was during “surge” pricing, a time when my ride was more expensive than normal. The company sent me an email saying they’d noticed I hadn’t used Uber since that higher-priced ride, and offered me a free ride (up to $20) as a means of assuring me that future Uber experiences wouldn’t always be as expensive. I didn’t have to do anything to redeem the offer, it had already been applied to my account. As a sucker for good customer service, that experience cemented Uber’s spot in my heart.
Does anyone else share my #UberX love? Honestly, if you don’t already use it and you live ina major city, you should get to downloading right now!