Uber has become my wing man and guardian angel when I’m forced to use a taxi. I’ve written extensively about the Worst Places to Hail a Cab and just completed a dispute with Citi regarding a taxi from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Scottsdale after being ripped off. The yellow cab drove in circles around the terminal to run up the fare not knowing that I lived in Phoenix for a decade. It would have been worth spending the extra time charging my phone and waiting for Uber than hopping into a perilous cab.
My favorite feature about Uber is not being at the mercy of a shady driver who will take advantage of my unfamiliarity of a new locale. If the driver gets lost or is not on the up and up, Uber allows me to submit a fare review which is like throwing the challenge flag in a football game. If they find your challenge to have merit, Uber corrects the fare. There’s nothing worse than seeing the meter run and run while the taxi driver stops at every yellow light, pretends to make friendly conversation, and blames the nonexistent traffic for his choice in routing in an effort to squeeze a few more dollars out of the customer. I used to drive a real taxi and can tell any taxi driver who may be reading this that these stupid tactics do not result in more cash at the end of the night.
This brings me to my latest fare review: In Mexico City, the driver was completely clueless as to how to get to a restaurant. He kept driving aimlessly even though his navigation was giving him directions. Eventually we made it to our destination. On the way back, I noticed that our hotel was only a ten minute drive instead of the thirty that it had originally taken us. I asked for a fare review from Uber and they refunded me $5 MXN, or a whopping 29 cents.
I don’t feel like a jerk for disputing the route because it took so long to get to the restaurant when it shouldn’t have. This has me wondering if there ever is a point where asking for a fare review would be improper, cheap, or classless when you suspect that the driver went an inefficient way. With the benefit of replay, should all questionable fares be reviewed like all plays are reviewed in college football or should it be limited to two a game, e.g. two each month and on scoring plays e.g., rides to the airport.
What do you think?