Skip to main content

Stranded by Uber's dysfunctional customer service

I was getting ready for my trip to India and my friend recommended that I download a couple apps for our trip, including Ola (a local Bangalore taxi company) and Uber. No worries, I thought. I was one step ahead of her having downloaded Uber for when in New York, as we were spending a few days there. I was quite excited to use the app considering the fact that there was a $20 credit sign-up bonus promotion going on. It seemed as though everything was falling into place as I was ready for our big adventure. I didn't bother with Lyft or the other competitors, knowing I had the Uber app on my phone and assuming since it's 2017, and a very popular option, it's going to work great. This as it turned out, would be a huge mistake that resulted in us taking the public bus at the airport.

What happened? Well, the first time I used the app, it immediately banned me. Thankfully, Bangalore has thousands of rickshaws that got me to and from our destinations. Had I downloaded Ola ahead of time, none of this would have been a problem. However, I still wanted to make the app work. So I went back to the hotel that night and Googled "I can't sign into my account", then shot off an email to their customer service expecting that it would be a quick fix. Surely, it was a mistake?

Hiya, trying Uber for the first time and the account won't work. I'm a U.S. citizen visiting Bangalore. I would love to use it, but it just doesn't want to work.

I received an email back a few hours later:

Your account has been suspended for activity that violates our Terms and Conditions? Ok, but I had no idea what I had did wrong. Was it because I was an American in India. This made absolutely no sense but I was willing to admit I had made a mistake, I'd just like to know what I did wrong. I wrote back:

Could you explain further on how I violated the terms, specifically?

That's not exactly an answer. Quite angry and frustrated, I was done with Uber. I did, from a public relations point of view, want to know more though. How could a company ban someone who had never actually even took their first Uber? So I gave it one last shot:
Ok. No worries. I'll find another app but could you do me a favor and ask your supervisor to shoot me an email or give me a call? I'd just like to have a chat, if that's ok. This email address is fine, or I can be reached at... 
Guess what? I never received a call or an email. I'm traveling once again in a weeks time. I'll need to get a taxi when I land at Dallas. I would have loved to use Uber but it appears that Lyft will be my app of choice in the U.S. now. Honestly, I've never seen such poor customer service and considering the scandals that the company is facing (lawsuits with Google, sexual misconduct), one would think that this fledgling company would be interested in a little transparency. My recommendation, skip the Uber and go with another taxi app.

Popular posts from this blog

Food Lion: Saying One Thing and Doing Another

Something strange is going on, something's wrong at my local grocer store, a Food Lion. The deli and bakery are missing. Rumors are flying around town as to what's happening. Did the snow storm crush the roof? Is it water damage or is there something more mysterious? As it happens, it's nothing more than continued renovations of the store... but no one told the customers.

In a world of communications where transparency is often the only thing holding your reputation together, not telling the customers anything seems like a little bit of deception. More importantly, why not tell the customers of your super cool improvements coming their way? Before the local townspeople crack completely at their inability to purchase their sliced bologna, I have to wonder if this is poor public relations or something more.

Food Lion is selling it to the media in larger markets (where curious journalists have reached out to the company's media relations) as:
The remodels are part of Foo…

Does Christmas Music Increase Sales?

I'm sitting in a restaurant on Sunday and the music playing over the speakers is a rather obnoxious blend of no name Christmas songs. Playing were knockoff versions of classic songs to deliver us into the spirit of the Holidays, but for myself, it made me want to leave. As I shoveled food into my mouth as quickly as I could, I contemplated that there are likely some people who absolutely hate Christmas and that they find themselves living in complete Hell for about two to three months out of every year. What might seem as blasphemy for those who live in North Pole, Alaska or Santa Clause, Indiana (yes they do exist), is likely Guantanamo style torture for my waitress. There's even a top ten most annoying Christmas song list with Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer topping the charts. I'll admit, perhaps moving Christmas to a leap year schedule would increase the nostalgia for myself. Christmas seems to come too soon these day and there's a reason I feel this way. Busin…