Apps like Uber make access to rides easy, instant, and affordable. Uber alone provides over 1 million rides daily for its users. To avoid uncomfortable scenarios customers should be aware of the following.
1. Transparency is an important aspect of Uber’s brand, with its user generated star rating system, riders immediately can see the drivers fairly accurate rating. A driver with a 5-star rating is likely to have a good conversation, a clean vehicle, and possibly other perks like bottled water or an array of phone chargers. Drivers must pass a DMV background check and have their own car that is insured.
2. Riders should also be aware that they are also being rated by their drivers, anything from constant requests to cancellations can cause the driver to give you a poor rating. Your rating cannot be bought and must be earned, to earn a high rating preferably be easygoing, and realize that many drivers wait to rate you based on the rating you give them, a cash tip may also help.
3. Although affordable Uber prices can catch you by surprise due to unexpected cost such as tolls, or cleaning fees if necessary, as well as surge pricing. Surge pricing can occur due to supply and demand, for example if many people need rides simultaneously, however Uber can no longer apply surge pricing during natural emergencies. It should be also noted that there is an added charge per mile and per minute to the base price of the ride.
4. Uber offers a wide variety of services, varying in price and quality. UberX, it’s most commonly used service is cheap and utilizes average cars, as opposed to its original service Uber black; which is slightly more expensive but in a more high-end car with a professional driver. Uber’s most luxurious and expensive service Uber Lux allows customers to ride in more expensive town style cars.
5. Availability differs depending on the time of day, location, and the driver themselves. Although available in 45 countries, due to regulations, Uber is not available in select locations including Portland in the United States. Although Uber is essentially available 24 hours in large metropolitan areas it may be hard to find a ride in a small town in the middle of the night.
Riders should also be aware of their surroundings. Recently Uber has allowed riders and drivers to file in court allegations for harassment, sexual assault, and rape. Uber also plans in the future to do criminal background checks on all of their drivers and install a 911 emergency button in each car. Uber’s insurance does not cover passengers injured in accidents, however the driver’s insurance may cover the injured passenger, if the other car involved is responsible for the accident their insurance likely pays.