Using Uber for a Ride
After utilizing Uber in El Paso for the past year and a half, I decided it made the most sense to use them this time to take me to the airport and then travel around when I arrived into the city. My layover would be a while and in case I wanted to see a nearby landmark in Los Angeles, I knew Uber would be a reliable option, instead of being an ultimate tourist and using public transportation and possibly getting lost. I trust [Uber] policies and the fact that I can select which vehicle capacity I prefer, and their application is completely user-friendly and intuitive. My only gripe is their approach to which party would be responsible if you’re in a motor vehicle accident.
The driver was very laid back the morning of my flight and gave me the option of playing my own music. He helped me put my luggage on the curb and I was grateful that he was a gentleman. However, when I received my receipt from the trip, it only reflected my recent trip.
Later that evening, when I reached my hotel, I reviewed my messages and I had a voicemail from my financial institution that my account had been flagged for fraudulent activity. When I review my bank app, I had been charged three times, once for my trip and then two additional charges I didn’t recognize. Thankful that my bank called me via an AOD (Automated Outbound Dialer) and requested I contact them to verify the charges, I was happy to comply with the process for verification and ultimately, unlocking my card.
I am unsure why Uber did this and didn’t reverse the charges to reflect the accurate trip rates. However, the issue was a minor hiccup and I decided to use the personal Uber profile for my excursions and then the business profile for my trips to my conference and the other networking events planned for Smashing Conference.
Arriving in San Francisco
The layover was approximately 5 hours between LAX to SF International Airport, so I spent the time watching previously downloaded movies on my iPod and working on my itinerary and editing some code for a project. When we finally made it to the SF airport, I was pleased to find that the Uber app identified my location and provided a screen tip, recommending I select the area for pickup nearest to the baggage claim for my flight. I headed for baggage claim and then retrieved my luggage within a few minutes of arriving at the carousel.
I recognized something about this user experience from my flight on Southwest Airlines, which I would later learn during the conference, was credited to limiting the perception of wait times for passengers after they have deboarded, improving the experience and expectation of how long a person waits to pick up their bags after a long flight. Therein, making passengers walk a longer distance and then turning on the baggage carousel within a few minutes of their arrival to this zone creates the illusion that the user/ passenger is waiting for a shorter period of time, increasing net promoter scores and enhanced user interaction decisions for the final steps of a flight.
My only gripe was that the Uber application could not recognize what floor I was on and in effect, inaccurately placed me on the floor/level below the Uber driver I requested. By the time I traveled up the escalator and out the correct door on the floor above the one I was on, the Uber driver canceled the request. I took it in stride and decided to download the recommended app, Uber Eats. I figured I would be hungry later.
Consequently, the email sent to me included a promo code, which I tried to redeem 4 days later and it gave me an error message, so I am unsure if the promo code actually works or would be successful for a user who downloads the app and inputs the code within 24 hours of download. (If anyone tries the promo and it works after you download the app for the first time, and Uber Eats is available in your city, I will update this section.)
For now, I will have to say that was in part, a mildly negative experience for me, but I was tired the night before my flight back and too lazy to head down the road or up the street to a local diner. So I went to the Retailmenot website and chose a different promo code, which was of the same value and did work correctly. The images of the foods advertised looked delicious and so I gave in and ordered a burger, fries and a beverage. For a peek at what I received and how it all turned out, I have provided a 1.5-minute video below.
Featured image c. The Hunt for Chicago Bacon Egg Cheeseburger
Update: Get Your Uber Eats Order in 30 Minutes or Less, Or Your Order is Free*
This offer was announced April 26, 2017, where an end user can receive their purchase “free” if the delivery takes longer than 30 minutes and you’re in San Francisco.