What did we do before Uber? Seriously though, I actually said that to a friend recently. And before you brush it off as a typical Millennial, entitled observation about the on-demand society we live in now — which has transformed the consumer experience across several industries — hear me out.
I’m a big fan of Uber — not only because of the service’s convenience, speedy arrival time and easy payment methods — but also because of its ability to track pretty much everything about my experience. Uber — and other services like it — have given people a cheap, easy and safe way to get around — especially for young people. Twenty-somethings who would have maybe driven home after one glass of wine will now opt for a super cheap UberX ride instead. A few years ago, after just one glass, the drive home would’ve probably seemed more appealing, just to avoid the hassle and cost of calling a traditional cab service (that actually was my friend’s response to my question about life before Uber).
Great customer service experience
But what I’ve been most impressed with lately is Uber’s customer service. I recently took a cab from Chicago Midway airport to my hotel in the downtown area — the cab stand was right outside and it was easy to hop in with my colleagues. It was a $35 trip door to door.
When it was time to head back to the airport the next day at 5 a.m., I figured ordering an UberX while I headed down to the lobby still half asleep would be easier (and cheaper) than hailing a cab. But when I got my email receipt from the trip, I was very unpleasantly surprised — $58?! How could an UberX possibly be that much more expensive than the cab stand from the airport? And obviously there was no traffic at 5 a.m., so that wasn’t it.
I was even more upset when I found out my colleagues, who were staying at the same hotel, paid only $21 for their UberX ride back to the airport.
So being the loyal Clark Team member that I am, I obviously wasn’t going to let it go. I emailed Uber using the contact form on the website, explaining what happened, the fare, and that as a frequent customer, I was really disappointed.
The same day, I received an email response from an Uber employee who said she tracked my ride using my account information and that the driver didn’t take an ideal route to the airport that morning. She immediately refunded me $34, based on their estimates of what that route should cost, and said someone would be in touch with the driver about better understanding the city and how to navigate the area more efficiently.
Thanks to that customer service experience, I didn’t cancel my Uber account and wasn’t forced to post anything negative about the company on any review sites. So thanks, Uber! I will continue to be a big fan of UberX (whether wine is involved or not), and I felt it was my duty as a consumer to share my story so other people can know — if you think your Uber driver ripped you off, ask for your money back! The worst any company can say is no.