Uber has disrupted the global transportation scene. The location-based smartphone application connects drivers with riders and has become an alternative to traditional taxis.
After about 40+ Uber rides I have learnt a few tips and hacks which help me make the most out of my rides. In this week’s article I will like us to explore some ways in which we can prevent stress, save time and a few cedis riding with Uber. These are tips gathered from my Uber experiences.
Why you should consider riding with Uber
- Convenience – your Uber will pick you up at your specified location. You don’t need to go to the roadside to hail a cab. There is also an in app chat feature. You can simply send a message directly through the Uber App to your driver.
- Security – Sometimes there are incidents of abductions, scams, robberies etc. which take place in our traditional taxis. It seems that Uber is a safer alternative for now. Another advantage you will have is the ability to recover items you left in an Uber.
- Comfort – according to Uber’swebsite, Uber drivers must have a mid-size or full-size 4-door vehicle in excellent condition. This means that you wouldn’t have to settle for that wretched taxi and arrive at the meeting smelling like you took a dip in petrol. Riders can have some form of comparative luxury including air-conditioning. Most Uber drivers pay attention to offering some form of customer service and ensuring that their passengers are comfortable.
- Value for money – It is relatively cheaper to ride with Uber. The time of the day, traffic and the availability of Uber services may however inform the pricing.
The process – How to request a ride
- Enter your destination address in the “where to?” box, or tap a shortcut icon at the bottom of your screen. Shortcuts include recent destinations form your ride history or custom “Saved Places” you can set in your app
- Your default pickup point is set to your current GPS location. If you are not being picked up at your current location, tap your pickup location on the map and update the address
- Confirm your request
- Wait for Uber to find a ride – in other words for an Uber driver nearby to accept your request
- When your request is accepted, you will see your driver’s location on your map and the estimated time of arrival at your pickup point
Getting discounts and free rides
Uber offers riders old and new promotional discounts.
You are eligible for free rides when you invite your friends to sign up to Uber with an invitation code. When your friends sign up with your invitation code their first ride will be free. You will also get your next Uber ride for free (up to an amount). If you are not signed on yet to Uber, you can use my promo code bucc6s for your free first ride (worth up to Gh10)! You can share your code to WhatsApp, SMS, Gmail, Snapchat and even create a pin in Pinterest.
You can add your promotional code before or during a ride. To add a promotional code:
- Select payment from your app’s menu
- Then scroll down to promotions
- Tap on Add Promo Code/Gift Code
- Enter your code and tap Add
These are a few tried and tested ways to reduce cost as an Uber rider:
- Know shortcuts and traffic tempo
It is prudent to know the different routes you can take to get to your destination and the traffic situation on those routes at different times of the day. This will save you from paying extra on the time you waste in traffic.
- Request for your Uber 10 to 15 minutes before to set off time
The time your Uber ride arrives at your destination depends on the proximity of Uber drivers to your location. A driver may be close by but may be unable to accept your request. That is why it is advisable to request rides ahead of time to make up for these constraints. Uber has also recently added a 5 minutes wait after arrival time, after which riders will pay a per minute rate to drivers waiting for the trip to begin.
- Cancelling rides
The cost for cancelling an Uber ride is Ghc 5. I once had this experience where the Uber I requested stopped at a wrong location. The driver sent me a message that he was at my destination and his phone was about to go off. My app showed the driver was two minutes away. I couldn’t get through to him because his phone was off. I was running late too so I had to cancel the ride and order another one. That meant that I was going to pay Ghc 5 plus the cost of the new request. According to Uber, cancellation fees are put in place to ensure that drivers are compensated for their time when accepting a trip request. If you feel that you were unfairly charged you can take it up with Uber to review it.
- Setting off early or late
I prefer using Uber very early in the morning before traffic builds up. This saves time and a few cedis.
- Adding saved places
When you frequent a location, it is a good idea to add it to your saved places. This makes it easy to access the location when ordering a ride.
To save a location:
- Tap the menu icon in the app
3. Tap “Add home” or “Add work”
4. Enter your home or work address
The addresses will appear in your Favorites list in the Account Settings section of your app.REMOVE WORK OR HOME FROM FAVORITES
1. Tap the menu icon in the app
2. Tap “Settings”
3. Next to “Home” or “Work,” tap “Delete”
ADD A DESTINATION TO SAVED PLACES
After you’ve taken a trip to a destination, you’ll see a “Save this destination” card in your app feed. To save it:
1. Tap “Add to Saved Places”
2. Type in a name or nickname of the place (such as “Joe’s house” or “pet store”)
3. Tap “Save Place”
Note: Adding a destination as a Saved Place will only be available after you’ve take a trip to that destination.
REMOVE A SAVED PLACE
If you no longer want a destination in Saved Places:
1. Tap the menu icon in the app
2. Tap “Settings”
3. Tap “More Saved Places”
4. Tap the “X” next to the place you would like to remove
5. Select “Remove Saved Place”
Next week we look at how we can stay safe whilst riding with Uber, some downsides and some alternative services.
Don’t forget to use my promo code bucc6s for your free first ride (up to GHc 10)! Have a fruitful week
Marketing your business with Social Media this Season
“There are only a few days left in the countdown to Christmas! Making the most out of your online presence these holidays can be challenging. News about your deal, special event or new product can be drowned in the sea of online noise, louder especially during the holiday season.”
I have written a few blog posts over time which aims at helping your brand/business to make the most out of Social Media during the Christmas season. They include: