Last Friday evening, it had gotten too late to take public transportation, thus I opted for an Uber. I always ask for an estimate for my journey, because it’s London and we cannot afford to be frivolous with British pounds. Almost home, my driver’s app began to beep frantically, so I moved my head to the side to see what was causing a ruckus on an otherwise peaceful journey. I saw his Uber app glowing red with numbers and he looked just as confused as I felt. I wasn’t worried; surely this couldn’t have meant anything more than a slight glitch. I then opened my Uber app, however, I couldn’t access my journey, and it kept giving me an error sign. I said nothing because we were almost at my house, he then asked me to tell him the rest of the way because he himself couldn’t get a hold of his GPS. So I did. I arrived. I bid him adieu and went to bed.
The evening after, I realized I hadn’t rated the lovely driver so I opened Uber to do so, I was then greeted with the greatest gift I could have received: a £56 bill on a £13 journey. Confused, I then looked at the destination, not my house, not my area, not even the same side of the city. I was billed for the wrong journey.
Now, being a social media manager, my first instinct was to open Twitter and question Uber as to why I was charged for a completely different journey. Say what you want about Uber, they are epic at social media replies, it was midnight when I contacted them and within minutes I was getting results. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this issue; it was a major glitch in their system (on the worst and possibly busiest night of the week).
I then noticed something curious, I was being favourited and retweeted by people I hadn’t met before, they were all cursing Uber and promoting Black Cabs. Something that made me even more curious was their hashtag: #Ubered.
They have created a clever way to deter future Uber customers by turning their brand name into a verb. They had a point, with the company’s previous history, they’ve not had the best track record, and this glitch, whether their fault or not, meant I didn’t have a pleasant experience with Uber. I had, therefore, been #Ubered.
The next morning, I woke up to five emails from the Uber support team letting me know that my issue had been sorted, I had been refunded and the correct amount of money was taken for my journey. They were quick, responsive and kind towards me, which made my guilt go through the roof. Even though I did not indulge the crusade against them, my public tweets did fuel a fire that was already in full force.