My Uber Experience: The Good, Bad & Ugly

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.

Suggested Improvements

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.

  1. There should be a proper 24/7 telephone helpline so that people can get their issues resolved immediately.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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  • Looking forward to try one over the weekend. Hoping for a good experience, as the expectations are high..

  • I got a conformation last day about credit card issue, They randomly selected a big group of people to test Cash payments, once test have been successful they will roll out for everyone.

  • HaHa
    @Haseeb Ahmed
    You Paid for it while it was free
    and recommending the same “Paid-Free” Service ?

  • To your Ugly part: If you have an App and in-App support then there is no real need of telephonic customer support.
    Credit card and cash option issue. They mentioned Cash option is not for 100% users. Here in my office all of us got “Pay Cash” option except one colleague.

    Now your bad part: I was/am already expecting this kind of issues. But I hope they will work on these issues and fix ASAP.

    • In-app support isn’t live support. You submit a ticket and wait for them to respond. If there is a billing issue, I definately can’t sit in the ride and wait for them to respond. I need someplace where I can call and get the issue resolved ASAP.

      As far as CC issues is concerned, you had only one person with issue, I have had only 2 persons without the issue in my friends circle so it is definitely an issues which needs to be addressed. :-)

      • Broo: CC issue is not an issue. I asked them on twitter and they clearly said, Right now they are testing Cash option and allowed to some number. If it goes well, they will make it live…

        help-line thing. let’s see

  • I also face similar issue yesterday. Upon booking the vehicle didn’t arrive despite numerous calls to driver.

    • They mentioned on their social pages, “We cannot promise free rides to everyone because there are very few dedicated riders for this.”

      • If there are a few dedicated drivers than maybe the app shouldn’t show that your ride is coming. From what I understand from @disqus_9o0yD2T9N5:disqus’s comment is that Uber matched him to a driver but the driver did not show up.

  • I’m getting the issue now for verification of Mobile number during signup. Although it was signup later but the mobile is not being verified. They not sending the code. :(

  • Its still too early to judge the whole service. With time I am sure it will imporve more as more drivers will join and more customers will use the service. Its a good start.

  • 0) Uber is not in Pakistan. Only their feasibility and assessment team has arrived, with payments to Bramerz. One cant show me any company registration, or a declared office place or legal representative or tax registration etc.
    1) When it comes to missing cash option during signup, it is not a glitch. Despite the claim, the app is modeled in a way that cash option is offered only intermittently. They want to probe willingness of people to add debit/credit card in absence of cash option. In fact, they want to force people to use card option while keeping a baby face.
    2) Uber did not bother to include fitness certificate of vehicles in their driving rules.
    3) Uber will not inspect drivers’ cars because doing so makes them liable legally. For instance, it took several rape accusations that Uber started to look into its drivers. Even for doing so, they dragged their feet for a while.
    4) They gave you Uber credit, instead of refunding your money. In this way, they have forced you to use Uber again. If it were US, you could have filed a lawsuit.
    5) We should not need to tell Uber to give us the quality of service that they are known for. Their actions clearly indicate that they consider us inferior humans especially in absence of laws to hold them accountable for anything.
    Like you, I was looking forward to Uber launch. It only proved my claim that our desi retards will get hired by of a foreign brand name, beat it to shlt and force it to pack up and leave.

  • dear PP, why does my comment refuse to publish? If I am wrong, let someone correct me. I am sure you know that you the only local blog which does not act like Hitler’s Gastapo. I do not need to get paid to speak the truth. Facts do not change, even if i am on someone’s payroll.
    If Uber is a global brand, which they are, they should act like one. If they cant stand harsh criticism, and prefer to get comments removed instead of debunking them, they might as well hide/delete/change driver’s rating.
    Can I request you to at least return the text of my comment privately?

  • whats the use of going in a cultus?they should give option what the people want to use. Experience was pathetic for first day but i hope it improves.

  • @Writer
    Agar thori research kartay aap to aapko aapkay taqreeban sab sawalon kay jawabat mil jaatay.

    • Maybe, but why? This isn’t a review or a news piece. It’s just an account of the writer’s first experience with the service which he approached from the perspective of a regular customer. Expecteing people to do extensive research before hailing a ride would defeat the entire purpose of the service.

    • I already do have answer to all my questions but as clearly mentioned this isn’t about getting answers for me, this is me sharing my experience (and constructive criticism) so that it can be used as a feedback to improve the service.

      Believe me, I’m all in for international services coming to Pakistan and you wouldn’t find a person more excited to see that happen than me. But when I see the basic of things missing e.g. a simple telephone helpline, that disappoints me :-)

  • got my free ride from Uber on friday. New model corolla came to pick me up. The poor driver was having a hard time following maps on his cell phone.Had to call him 3 times to help him find the address, even though it was a very simple main road place. Also when asked him a few random question, what i judged was that he didn’t knew anything about anything. -ive marks to uber for that.

    the ride was free. Both me and the driver got the 0Rs Message on uber app.[From Allama Iqbal town to Industrial Area kot lakh pat.

    Another -ive point to uber for not having enough cars in every area of Lahore. When i wanted to come back and opened my uber app. IT was showing me that no car was available in the area. So i had to take Careem back from work to my house.
    +points to Careem for having cars available in almost all areas of Lahore.

  • I tried yesterday. It was Automatic GLI and fare amount totalled 291 but I paid none as it was free.
    It was a good experience though…

  • That “Ugly part” and the end of “Bad part” is definitely for me, or anyone who doesn’t have easy access to internet.

  • Uber is a great tech 52 billion dollar company and they are not even public traded company yet. They have lot of money and they will fix all those issues with no time.Uber will create lot of part time jobs for students who are studying but don’t have money. They are even facing lot of opposition in America from local taxi drivers/companies because no body is using them any more and they are all loosing money.

  • To all Pakistani taxi drivers NEVER EVER Join uber! its a jew american asshole company. they will trick you to join with money, and then when they have a lot drivers and customers they will steel from you as a driver by raising the commison every YEAR UP TO 50% IF YOU DONT BELIEVE ME THEN YOU WILL FIND OUT BY YOUR SELF. i am uber driver from Holland. they started paying €30 a hour! and now they pay about €4 euro a hour! THINK ABOUT IT PLSSS

  • I faced the same issue in terms of payment and ended up paying the full amount. However, I reported this issue via the post-ride feedback form and within 10 minutes, the customer team added my full amount to credit points. I was satisfied with the customer support’s reaction time.

    About the driver being familiar with the app, He lacked the knowledge and was confused. I offered to start the trip on his mobile to which he agreed and thats when my trip started.

    My trip was at 12:15 Pm on the day of launch so I was among the first customers to give it a shot. I believe they will improve and work on these issues overtime.

  • Extremely disappointed services by Uber on eid day, it took me around an hour to get a ride. and after getting the ride driver called me to ask to cancel the ride as he was not willing to take any ride. Contact number of driver (03054499652)
    then I tried for another ride and got another around after 20 -25 Min. Driver called me and informed me that you cannot consume your free ride, i told him that no intimation from app is available about this… and he refused for ride and asked to cancel the ride. when i refused to cancel the ride. he literally misbehaved in regard of harassment and abusive language, which is not bearable at all! (03224008471 LEC8426 Naveed)

    last but not the least, tried once again, and found another cab after extreme efforts (+923344211019) And i got a text message from that driver to cancel the ride!…… i mean its pathetic!!! i wasted 2 hours! literally 2 hours for this. and then i got a ride! and even in that ride i had to pay 150 extra charges to cancel the ride!!!! which i have not canceled even!

    I need immediate action for specially the second driver Naveed. ASAP.

    Contact details are [email protected] as can’t mention contact number here.
    My promo code is: mamoonac2ue.

    Incident Date is 6th July 2016 Lahore Pakistan.

    Few screenshots attached for your reference.

    • Uber drivers can be rude at times, but this doesn’t give you the reason to post their contact number and other details here in the comment section. This is not a police station where you’re intending to report whatever happened to you. Kindly, be patient. Bad things happen but that doesn’t mean we should make a mountain out of molehill. This can lead to people harassing those drivers for no personal reason. You should report it to Uber instead. Thanks

  • MISCOMMITMENT , FRAUD, EMBEZZLEMENT all these words come to mind when i received my payout after meeting all the KPI set by UBER Karachi,

    The Karachi Staff give you wrong or less information they do not tell you the and let you interpret it on your own .

    After working the whole week you get a payout which shows you that u did not qualify for a payout .

    The Slab rates set by uber is less the gross fares earned and the guaranteeed amount per tier is 75% of the guarantee.

    this information is not shared at the time of signup it is not shared with the vendor untill he sees it him self.

    Further more the 90 % bench mark is so tough and there is no cussion for network glitches ,

    Sadly UBER has dissappointed me in terms of Payout and i would never recommend any vendor/Driver to join uber as a Investment.

    The Result IS Poor Customer Service and Unavailability and Un willingness of Drivers

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