Uber Rules the World
I’ve been big fan of Uber since I discovered it in Atlanta a few years ago. It is so simple. The cars are clean, payments are easy and it is more affordable than taxis. The advantages of Uber are multiplied when you are abroad. While traveling in Asia we discovered that the taxi industry is less than reputable. Many take advantage of tourists by overcharging. Most do not put on a meter and charge an inflated flat rate. Others force you out of the cab before you reach your destination if traffic is too bad. However, the most difficult part of using a local taxi is the communication. We discovered that many taxi drivers speak very limited English if any. And we speak even less, Mandarin, Thai, or whatever the local language happens to be. This has made it very difficult to explain where we are going. On more than one occasion we gave up and got out of the cab or we were dropped off nowhere close to our intended destination. The most frustrating thing is that we have no recourse for any of these failures. It is nearly impossible to track down a number to call if your driver overcharges you or forces you out of the car. You just have to deal with getting ripped off.
Enter Uber. When we arrived in Vietnam we realized Uber was available. We promptly called an UberX from the airport and were on our way. The car was clean. The driver was nice. We charged the ride to our Capital One Venture card to earn points (estimated 1.5-2% net effective rebate). The most valuable part was being able to enter a destination. This meant no communication problems and a GPS guided route to get you there. Most importantly, if something goes wrong you can easily contact Uber through the app. Most issues are resolved in 24 hours. The customer service is top notch and they go above and beyond to see you are satisfied with the resolution. Needless to say, I am an even bigger supporter of Uber and will continue to use the service when available. If you travel abroad do not forget to download the app. Best advice I can give for using Uber abroad is to find a specific pick up location (coffee shop, name of attraction, hotel, etc.) rather than relying on the GPS coordinates of the pin/place you’re standing. This makes it much easier for the driver to find you.