Monday, 22 February 2016

Why My First Uber Experience Will Also Be My Last!

I had heard good things and bad things about Uber cabs but I like to make up my own opinion on things like this. So I downloaded the Uber app onto my smart phone and managed to get a £15 code to use off my first journey.

I was in London with Tilly and a friend and we decided to give this app a go. We booked the Uber cab as soon as we got off the train and we are delighted to find there was one waiting for is at St Pancras. I got a phone call from the driver who told us what his name was and where he was waiting, now being a visitor to London we don't know the area very well and I told him that we were by the exit of St Pancras next to the Harry Potter bird cage (this bird Cage is huge and you really can't miss it)  he told me he didn't know where it was and to say what else I could see. So I told him I was at the back of St Pancras and that I could see the back of King's Cross station and I was surrounded by black cabs and he still didn't know where I was. At this moment I was getting quite frustrated and I told him I could see an ambulance, at this point he said he could see me but that didn't help me because I couldn't see him!  He told me to cross the road where we saw a black car and I tried to open the door. The door was locked, so at that moment I actually felt like a carjacker! He eventually opened the door but  there were no markings on the car and he offered no I.D so How was I to know he was even from Uber? You do get warned about rogue taxi drivers! And would you know it, this car was parked right in front of the giant bird cage that I had mentioned, so how could he not even see it! The answer was because he didn't even get out of his car  until we tried to put the pushchair in the boot. This is piss poor customer service from the start.

I climbed in the back with Tilly whilst my friend sat in the front seat.  Little did we know this was actually going to be the cab ride from hell! Do you remember the old computer game crazy taxi? That is exactly what it was like! The driver noticed my friend was squashed in the front, her knees being up at a chest probably gave that away and he told her that she could put the seat back by using a lever, she fumbled for the said lever under the seat but the driver started ranting at her that she was going to break the car!  And all this trauma was before we even left King's Cross! I buckled Tilly in despite wanting to get out of the cab.

We are happy to see that Uber drivers get coffee breaks but did he need to have that coffee break whilst he was driving us around London.  The cabdriver was chatting enough but maybe too chatty he wanted to know the ins and outs of where we come from, what we were doing, why we are in London and where we were going. I began to feel like we were being stalked a bit and wondered if he would end up on my door step! The driver was being very friendly and calling us 'my dear' whilst weaving through the traffic and barely stopping to breathe between conversation.

Look, No hands!
They do say that men can't multitask and yesterdays Uber driver actually prove this theory wrong . You see he could drink a coffee, find out the ins and outs of my life, weave between traffic,  and nearly run pedestrians over. He had no idea where we was going and asked me if the London Aquarium was a hotel or pub -  Believe me at this time I wished it was a pub because vodka was very much needed to calm my nerves. My friend sat in the front seat clutching on to the chair, her knuckles white with sheer terror! At one point she messaged me to look at the driver as he was driving with no hands! OMG this Uber driver was not only putting himself at risk, but also passengers and people on the streets. I wanted to scream at him 'Put your coffee down and hold the steering wheel!' We finally reached our destination and my friend looked ashen white with fear and I'm sure I noticed a few grey hairs too.

We went to the aquarium and had a  fun time but needed to get across London, so we asked how much a black was, thinking it might be safer. We checked the price against the Uber cab and the Uber cab came out cheaper.  Using the app, we booked an Uber  to Harrods, hoping that it wasn't the same driver. This driver was much nicer and more importantly he didn't did not talk, he still weaved in and out of the traffic,  maybe that's just a London thing but he didn't know where he was going and twice we got lost. At one stage we ended up going down a dead-end road  and coming face-to-face with a police man brandishing a gun. After what seemed a life time we reached our destination to find  that Uber had taken a lot more money from my account than the estimated amount! So basically I had paid for all of the dead-ends that the driver had taken us to, I was not impressed! The driver was nice enough but all his mistakes cost me money which I wasn't happy with and how can you get lost when you're following the satnav?

So that was my first and last Uber experience. The app is now been deleted and I will never take my life in my hands again like that.  Not only did the first taxi driver break the law by drinking whilst driving is a bit Taxi. But he never offered any identification and he could've been anybody pretending to be an Uber cab. So anybody looking for this company needs to be aware of the safety issues and needs to double check that it's the cab that they have booked and is not a random chancer trying to pick you up .

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