This post is a little different from my usual rants about pudding or pretty things. I went to London yesterday to try on a wedding dress in Chelsea and in the space of 6 hours, I managed to fit this in as well as shopping and lunch at Harrods and a blog event in Soho. Due to my complete inability to find my way around on the tube and the slightly scary tweets I saw about a terror threat I turned to Uber to help me get to my appointments on time. A love hate relationship developed. Now, if you’re a blogger, like me, you’ve probably heard of Uber and the service they provide. You simply download the Uber App and you can book a driver to pick you up and drop you off at the touch of a button. Sounds amazing right? It is if you know the pros and cons. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly.
The last thing you want to do in London is waste precious shopping minutes trying to flag down a black cab. Let’s face it, those all important minutes could mean the difference between getting your hands on the new Louboutin nail polish or leaving empty handed. Thanks to Uber you simply request a driver while you are paying at the till or finishing your champers and are presented with the location of your driver and how long it will take for him to reach you. I love this feature as it limits the standing around time waiting for your car to arrive. I first tried out the Uber App with my Mum a few weeks ago and I was really pleased with the price. We booked a car to take us from London Kings Cross to Fulham Road in Chelsea. The journey is around 30 minutes which if you are used to getting taxis around London you will realise it’s not a cheap trip. Uber cars are notoriously cheaper than black cabs but as there is no meter, I did start to become a little nervous about the cost as we neared our destination. However, I had searched on Twitter for a discount code so whatever the end price I knew I’d be getting £10 off the fare. I needn’t have worried, the fare came to £18 which meant the whole journey had only cost me £8 due to the handy discount code I got from a fellow blogger.
One thing I’m really bad at is carrying cash which brings me to another reason I love hopping in an Uber car. You simply put in your PayPal details or your card details and the charge is debited automatically meaning you don’t have to frantically rummage for cash in every pocket of your Michael Kors. The drivers are polite and you are given lots of information including the name of your driver, his picture and his number plate. It’s all very safe and secure. All of these things make getting around London in a hurry easy.
Uber cars can save you money when travelling from A to B in London. However, because every aspect of your journey is booked through the App, mistakes can happen if you aren’t completely familiar with all of the features. For example, every Uber car I’ve ever been in has been a Toyota Prius. So you can imagine my surprise when a Mercedes S Class turned up to pick us up at the train station. As the driver hopped out to gallantly open the door for us, we giddily exchanged glances and presumed we’d managed to stumble upon this car by chance. We sipped our complimentary Evian and relaxed in the buttery soft leather seats while our driver escorted us in style to our destination. As I mentioned earlier, the fare is automatically taken out of your PayPal account so no money changes hands in person. As we stepped out of the car and into the wedding dress shop I got a PayPal notification to let me know that £38 had been taken out of my account. As I’d done this exact journey before for £18, my jaw dropped and I couldn’t help but feel a little robbed. After all, I hadn’t asked for a posh car to come and pick me up. Had I? Further investigation revealed that that’s exactly what I had done. On the bottom of the screen, there are four circles that represent the different options available for your ride. You can have an Uber taxi, an executive option, a lux option or an even more expensive option. I had accidentally ordered a lux car and had to pay £20 extra for the privelidge. Just the news I wanted to hear after paying one million billion pounds in the form of a wedding dress deposit.
After changing the setting back to a basic car, we decided to give Uber another chance, after all it was my stupidity that caused the price to skyrocket. We booked a car to pick us up in Soho as we needed to get back to Kings Cross to catch our train after the blog event. The driver called me to say the road was closed and he couldn’t pick us up at our required location. I explained that we were in a rush but we would happily walk to another street so he could pick us up. We walked to the main road and after a few sighs from our Uber driver and claims he couldn’t see us, we again explained where we were so he could pick us up. After a few minutes, I said we would have to cancel if he couldn’t find us as we only had half an hour until our train departed. He said that he was sorry he couldn’t locate us and we begrudgingly flagged a black cab. You can imagine my horror as my phone beeped with a PayPal notification that £8.98 had been taken out of my account for the Uber journey we had to abandon because our driver couldn’t find us. I was disappointed with Uber because the driver didn’t tell me I would be charged for the service even though I didn’t complete my journey. I have emailed Uber to complain and I’m eagerly awaiting a response.
Have you used an Uber car before? Do you rate it or hate it?