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I am not a big user of Uber.  It’s not that I have anything against them or Lyft or any of the other ride-share companies.  I think that they definitely fill a niche – it’s just not one that I personally have a ton of use for.  Even when I had a few Uber credits from writing a New Year’s Eve Uber codes post, I had a hard time using them all.  I don’t drink alcohol (so don’t go out to many bars), and I live in the suburbs so if I need to go somewhere…. I generally just get in my car and drive there : -)

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One time that we will use Uber

One scenario has been pretty useful for Uber – when we need to take one of our cars in to the shop.  Previously we’d have had to play rotating car shuffle where we’d do something like drop off the car, have Carolyn take me to work, etc.

But a $5-6 Uber ride is a pretty good scenario for this, especially given the $15 monthly Uber credits that come from our new Platinum Card from American Express

[SEE ALSO: One bonus per lifetime? I just applied for a 2nd Amex Platinum card]

A strange Uber experience

So that is what we were attempting to do this morning.  The ride into the shop went well.  My wife drove to the shop, dropped off our van, and then Uber’d home.  Shortly afterwards, they called and had the car fixed up, so she logged on and requested another Uber.

Right away something seemed off.  Here is how Carolyn described it, in chat

  • Hey so I contacted an Uber and it’s at least 10 minutes away and not moving on the map at all.
  • Should I cancel and try another person or will it link me back to the same person?
  • It’s finally moving on this direction. It sat there for a long time. We all thought he/she might be stopping by McDonald’s. 😉
  • This driver is a doofus, I’ve seen her pass at least two streets that lead right to my house. She is taking some crazy back way. Now it looks like she’s turning around oh nelly. Heaven help me. 😊😉 OK I’m wrong she went all the way down to <redacted>. And now she’s even further away from my house then she was before. Any suggestions of what I should do? Is she like not coming?.
  • Her ETA was 10 minutes about 15 minutes ago and she’s still not close to my house
  • And according to the map this person keeps turning down random side streets versus taking any direct roads. It’s really weird I mean I know there’s a lag on the satellite so it’s not exactly accurate but still I’ve never seen someone take such a random roads to get somewhere

Invalid request error occurred.

Would you have gotten in the Uber?  Is this a scam?

So something seemed weird and we probably should have just canceled things

Again, here were Carolyn and my chat logs, with a few of my annotations / comments

  • So that was really weird. and i probably just wasted 6 bucks on an Uber i didn’t take
  • I was waiting at the corner for the car (PWaC: when we’re getting Ubers from our house many times we will walk down to the corner rather than picking it up from our house.  I have no idea if this has any real impact or is more “security theater”), and a car pulls up that isn’t the right make or license plate. and a guy asks if i called for an Uber. and i said, yes but that isn’t the right car.
  • And he said yeah, his car is in the shop and it’s a rental (PWaC: Another thing was that the name on the Uber account was definitely a female name but this driver was a male)
  • He suggested i try to contact him through the app and it should ring on his phone.
  • I tried that, and it seemed to. i said okay and then got in the car. but i just didn’t feel good about it, so I got right out

What do you think?  Did she make the right call?  Personally I think so – this was just one of our 8 travel safety tips that we posted about last week – Don’t hop into just any Uber or taxi.

I’m curious to see what others would have done in that situation, or what the best way is to contact Uber to report this driver.  Unfortunately she didn’t get the car’s license plates

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