It’s been a tumultuous relationship between myself and Uber. When the suave taxi alternative first launched in Melbourne, I signed up with gusto. What a fabulous idea; chauffeured vehicles slightly more expensive than taxis with vastly improved service for less than a private driver. But as with anything new, it came with teething problems. Confirmed bookings would be miraculously cancelled with the little black car on the virtual map simply disappearing from its route towards me. My fare to the airport was considerably higher than reasonable and as estimated on the app. One of the few times that one of my booking was actually successful, my chauffeured vehicle was a clunky Ford Fairlane. For the extra price tag, this simply wasn’t going to do.
As the popularity of the app inclined, people raved about how good it was. While I was still catching taxis, friends would ask quizzically, “why don’t you Uber?!”. I would offer the feedback of my own experiences objectively which others were surprised to hear. I started to think I’d been Uber rejected. In the end, I accepted the fact that Uber and I were just never going to work well together. I deleted the app. I hailed yellow cabs.
Fast forward 12 months, and with the emergence and success of UberX, I was curious once more – and determined to make this relationship work. Reinstall app > Login. Only I couldn’t remember my login password. Nor could I remember the password to the email registered on the system to reset the password. I tried re-registering but as I still had the same phone number, it would only recognise me as an existing user and divert me back to login screen. Kill me. Of course, the times I would try doing all this was always at the actual time that I needed a ride somewhere. Which means I was also invariably running late. I continued to hail yellow cabs.
This went on for at least another 6 months, with friends always ordering the Uber instead of myself. Now I felt like a failure and a sap. How could I be so incompetent with an app that everyone else loves? With frustration at its peak, I decided the only thing left to do is simply get my shit together; I accessed my old email address and password, reset my Uber login, and hey presto – I was ready to Uber once more.
Since then I’ve travelled with UberX around four times. It’s amazing. Our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been. Living in the heart of the CBD means that I can book the car from my city pad and by the time I’ve found my keys and negotiated the stairs in heels, the driver has arrived. We drive, we chat, I drink their water, they offer me Stardust lollies. We arrive, we bid each other adieu, I hop out, they depart. A receipt is sent to my email and I rate the driver on the app. So much time is saved in this entire process. For someone who is perpetually late, this is highly valuable. The cars and the drivers feel safer, cleaner and are more polite than many of the yellow cabs I’ve been so loyal to all these years. It’s also cheaper – a bonus for humble little business owners such as myself.
Sure, I appreciate that not everyone is happy with UberX. But for now, I’m in.
Uber - let’s drive.