Wednesday, March 30, 2016

UberPool default creating challenges for request at Oakland Airport

An Uber driver arranged pickup of his client's daughter at Oakland Airport. While waiting for this rider in 2E, another man asked whether the Uber driver would be driving him. This Uber driver requested the name of his driver, but unfortunately this client was unable to make a ride request, as all UberPool vehicles were currently taken. Pushing UberPool as the default service is confusing clients.

The Uber client handed his phone to an Uber driver to help him. This older man was confused on how to make a ride request at the Oakland Airport. He said Uber should make it easier for him.

If the client's daughter hadn't been in a hurry, then this Uber driver could have done more to help this client. He attempted to request an UberPool for this client; however, all vehicles were reserved and demand remained high. The Uber driver wanted to help this client secure a car, requesting an UberPool for the third time. The app read, "No available cars" right now.

The Uber driver returned the phone back to this Uber client. He told the client to try and request a car in about 5 minutes. At midnight, Oakland Airport was swarming of clients waiting for their reserved ride. This Uber driver wanted to request an UberX vehicle for this client. As time constraints blocked this attempt, the client asked where he could find a taxi.

If Uber did a better job to inform clients with newsletters and updates, this older man could have located an UberX rather than a default UberPool. It doesn't make sense to promote UberPool, but have no cars available upon request. Uber clients need to know they have alternative options.

The Uber driver did his best to help this client. If he had two more minutes, he could have requested an UberX ride for him. The older man appeared tired from his air travel. He really needed to get a ride home, so taxi services are still in demand due to high demand and lack of app awareness.

Uber, many clients are confused about this UberPool default. Some experienced Uber riders may understand the carpool service, but the majority are lost and require additional information. It is easy to frustrate your clients, potentially losing their valuable business to taxis.

UberPool is not always the best option for Uber clients. Encourage clients to use UberX on trips where they need immediate rides and have little time to reach their destinations. If these clients are tired, UberX makes better sense to use. UberPool is now a hot carpool service in the East Bay. In contrast, UberPool is unavailable at Oakland Airport during the busiest times.