As we posted earlier, Uber has recently started operating in Lahore. I was excited about Uber finally coming to Pakistan, so I thought about giving it a shot. Sadly enough, as much as I was looking forward to it, my first experience of Uber wasn’t what I was expecting. To share this experience with you, I’d like to divide it into three parts: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Even though most people would like to start with the good part, I’d rather start with the ugly to make myself more clear.
The Ugly Part
First and the most ugly part of the Uber experience is the lack of customer support. I’m aware that you can contact the Uber Lahore team via their email address but in my opinion, that is the slowest form of customer support. When on road or in the Uber ride, I won’t send an email and wait for them to reply back (which might take a minute or maybe half a day, who knows?).
Second ugly thing about the Uber experience is the signup process. Even though I was able to signup without any hiccups, I have heard a lot of people complaining about Uber not letting them signup without a Credit Card. Some people do see the “Skip” or “Cash” options but most people don’t. What might be causing it remains a mystery but whatever it is, Uber needs to fix it ASAP before it pushes away more users than it signs up.
The Bad Part
Now, moving on to the bad part of the Uber experience. We know and understand that system glitches are bound to occur in new services but what makes these system glitches worse is lack of customer support. The reason why I say this is because I took my first Uber ride as a part of the free weekends promotion.
Imagine my surprise, when my ride ended and I was charged the full cost for it. Just to double check, I checked my email invoice and it mentioned that the total cost was PKR 0.00 while my driver’s app showed PKR 260.00. When I asked him if he had any helpline contact, he insisted that there is no such thing and he was himself not sure what to do in case he runs into problems.
Disappointingly paying the fare for my first ride, a little while later, I ordered a second ride to get me back to my workplace. I was once again surprised when Uber told me that a Suzuki Swift was coming but instead a Suzuki Cultus arrived. Moreover, the arriving car was not at all clean.
The Good Part
Despite all the ugly and bad parts of my first experience, there were a few things that I really liked about Uber as well. For starters, I’m really impressed by how much developed the Uber app is in comparison to its competitors in Pakistan. Following is the list of features that I really liked:
- Share ETA: Uber app gives you the ability to share your estimated time of arrival with your friends so that they can monitor in real-time that were you are.
- Fare Split: Uber app allows you to split fare by sharing your ride with other people. This feature is currently showing up as disabled in Lahore though.
- History: Uber app has the ability to view all your previous Uber rides. This is a very basic feature which is unfortunately missing from some of the other apps.
Not to forget, the in-app customer support is pretty good as well. I launched a complain regarding my first ride that I had to pay for it and a Uber CR contacted me within about 2 hours and instantly credited the amount to my Uber account.
As always, our aim is never to demote any upcoming service providers but to help them provide Pakistanis with the same quality services that they provide in other 1st world countries. So, in my opinion, here is a list of due improvements that would make the Uber experience a lot better.
- There should be a proper 24/7 telephone helpline so that people can get their issues resolved immediately.
- Signup process should be fixed. The option to either “Skip” adding a CC or choosing “Cash” as your payment method should be visible for everyone.
- Drivers need to be properly trained not only on how-to behave with the customers but also about how-to use the Uber Partner app.
- It needs to be ensured that drivers are driving the same car which they have registered with Uber. Moreover, there should be routine cleanliness checks.
Did you guys try out Uber yet? If not, do try it out since first 5 rides of upto 500 PKR are free between 3rd and 6th March