Uber

Uber

Uber is one of the big names in the new field of peer-to-peer ride-sharing. With an easy-to-use app and huge coverage areas, Uber allows anyone to get a ride at anytime with a few clicks on a smartphone. Founded in March 2009, Uber has grown to offer services throughout the United States and in 57 countries worldwide, helping to change the way we view ride-sharing. It also has fed the craving for customized service that is so prevalent today. Below, we look at some of the main concerns about Uber’s ride-sharing services, including price, speed, safety, and user-friendliness.

The Good

  • Availability
  • Price estimates
  • Usability

Uber is undoubtedly one of the most widespread ride-sharing services, meaning that users can rely on Uber in more locations than other services. Uber is available in 58 countries and in North America, Uber is available in 176 cities. Additionally, Uber has high usability and customizability, meaning that the app is easy to use, and that riders have more control. For example, for a higher cost, riders can arrive to their destination in a luxury vehicle, or, for a lower cost, riders can ride with a friend and split their fare. Uber drivers generally use their own cars for pick-up, but users have control over size and quality. Riders can request a taxi, uberX car (budget-friendly option), black car, SUV, or luxury vehicle.

While prices fluctuate by location, time, and car preference, Uber always allows you to get price estimates before you commit to your trip. These estimates are based on the expected time and distance of your ride. Tipping is also available through the app, but there is no required tipping fee. On average, the cost to use a basic Uber car (UberX) is as follows:

  • Cost per mile of $1.48
  • Min. Ride fee of $1.70
  • Safe Rides Fee of $1.00
  • Cancellation fee of $10

Uber is designed for usability. Since reservations, ride information, payment, and reviews are all in the app, riders have a hassle-free experience. Additionally, the app now offers a "Split Fare" option, making riding with others easy. To use Uber, download their app on your device and register. After registration, simply open the app and enter in your destination to request a ride. Users can also choose their preferred driver and car. When a driver arrives, users will get a notification on their device. After the ride, pay in-app and review the experience.

On average, Uber riders wait 4 minutes and 16 seconds for their driver to pick them up. When reserving a ride, users receive an Estimated Time of Arrival for their convenience. Uber has a reasonable wait time (an average of about four minutes) and all payment, driver rating, etc. is available through the app. With such convenience, it's no wonder more and more people are choosing Uber over traditional taxicab services.

The Bad

  • Surge pricing
  • Independent contractors

Of course, with the good comes some bad. Uber is notorious for their surge pricing, which raises the fare for rides at certain times of the day or during periods of high demand. While this is good for Uber drivers, who are independent contractors, it can be inconvenient for riders looking for a cheap lift.

There have been riders who have complained about their driver and their qualifications. It is also important to remember that users have the ability to rate and view the ratings of their Uber drivers. As of Spring 2016, all Uber drivers were independent contractors. As such, each Uber driver was screened to ensure:

  • No DUI or other drug related driving violations or severe infractions
  • No history of reckless driving
  • No fatal accidents
  • No sexual offenses
  • No violent crimes
  • No hit and runs
  • No resisting or evading arrest
  • No gun related violations
  • No driving without insurance or suspended license charge in the past 3 years

During the screening process, the following tools were used:

  • National Sex Offender Registry screen
  • Social Security Trace (a lifetime-long record)
  • County courthouse records going back 7 years for every county of residence
  • Federal courthouse records going back 7 years
  • Multi-State Criminal Database going back 7 years
  • Motor Vehicle Records (past and present)

The Bottom Line

Uber has fast pick-up times, cheap rates, and widespread coverage, which is likely why it has become one of the big names in the ridesharing industry. We also understand that Uber is one of the best options for those who want an alternative to pricey and inconvenient cab services because of its widespread availability and customizable experience. Those that use Uber to get a ride around town can expect the following from the service:

  1. Low fares, especially compared to taxis
  2. Ability to request car models/types
  3. Relatively short wait time
  4. Strict requirements for drivers
  5. Review and rating system

11 Uber Reviews

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  • User Score

    9

    June 13th, 2017 Sandy, UT

    Each time I have used the service I have been happy with the driver and the vehicle.

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  • User Score

    8

    June 13th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    I was just in California with my fiance and we used uber from airport to our hotel. The car was there on time, the driver was dressed in nice clothing and his car was clean. We had a wonderful experience. And the price was much cheaper than using other services.

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  • User Score

    8

    June 13th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    I always am a little nervous getting into a car with a complete stranger but I have had a pleasant experience every time. Every driver has been super nice and cars have bean clean. It is a little annoying when the price changes based on busy times, so I have had a couple of expensive rides but besides that, it is definitely my first choice over taking a taxi.

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  • User Score

    3

    June 10th, 2017 Orem, UT

    i was an uber driver for about 6 months. they are not a great company to work for. they don't encourage tips, i loved meeting new people but i couldn't even begin to make minimum wage with the amount of money i was paid. you do not get paid for the time or gas you spend picking people up only once they are in the car, so you may have to drive clear across town and then get a 10 minute fair.

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  • User Score

    2

    June 8th, 2017

    Uber is a really good idea, but it is incredibly hit and miss with your drivers "performance".

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  • User Score

    1

    June 6th, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

    I was an Uber driver for most of last year. I really enjoyed giving people rides, and had so much fun meeting new people. However, Uber is horrible to work for. The money wasn't worth the gas, and the couple of times that there were errors with the app, I was the one who ended up paying for it. I finally stopped Ubering. As fun as it was, it just wasn't worth the it. Sometimes when I would take a shit it would end up costing me money. I figured on average I made close to $7 an hour which is below minimum wage.

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  • User Score

    4

    May 29th, 2017 Mona, UT

    One time after a Beyonce concert I had to walk five miles in order to get an Uber. By God's great mercy, one found me at a Jack in the Box. That was a weird trip.

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  • User Score

    3

    April 29th, 2017

    While out of town, scheduled a pickup for an employee. Uber apparently showed up and didn't see her, didn't call, no text, nothing and left. Trying to contact customer service and they are telling me that I can't because the phone number that I'm calling from, that's on my account, that has always been on my account is invalid. In the middle of nowhere standing next to a tree to get a signal for over an hour now to get this resolved and nothing. I'd rather just pay a friend to get the same thing done or call a traditional taxi service with a brick and mortar office so that I have some recourse to deal with issues. Otherwise what is the point in using a 'business'?

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  • User Score

    0

    April 11th, 2017 Portland, OR

    i contracted with Uber for a ride to the airport. The quoted time was 8 minutes. I watched the driver on the app sit in one place for over 5 minutes, then start slowly toward me. All of a sudden, she veered off in another direction. I waited to see if she would correct. She didn't. I called her. She said she had just dropped off a customer. Over the next several minutes, she could not seem to figure out what she was doing. I placed 2 more phone calls to her, getting unsatisfactory responses. I finally had to cancel 23 minutes after I placed the order. Uber originally was not going to refund my cancellation charge, and gave no reason, except for they reviewed the call and decided not to. I replied and they ultimately gave me a credit to my uber account. I asked for a Visa refund, as I know they can do this, and they refused. I will never use them again. The fact that a customer is penalized for cancelling an order that is more than 15 minutes later than the original quote is ridiculous. What penalty does the driver pay? Never again

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  • User Score

    1

    January 21st, 2017

    good and services need more security and safe

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  • User Score

    10

    October 27th, 2015 Pleasant Grove, UT

    I had a great experience with Uber. Last Spring my wife and I traveled to Europe. For the last two days of the trip we were in Amsterdam without a rental car. I had heard about Uber and decided now would be the perfect time to test it. Everything worked great. The drivers all spoke English and were very kind. The app is amazing! It shows in real time how close the driver is so you know exactly when they will arrive. It has you submit your credit card information when you launch the app. This makes payment seamless. Once the ride is over, it automatically pays the driver for you. The app also makes the drivers very competitive. The higher their score (rated by customers) the more likely people will use them. Because of this, we had drivers offer us water, help with everything, etc... It was super fun!

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