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Uber is testing out a new 1-800 number for people who don’t use apps (theverge.com)
19 points by jaredwiener 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments

I had an issue that when I was visiting America I downloaded Uber. They required that they verified my phone number but I didn't have a US phone number so I couldn't use their app. I ended up downloading Lyft and everything ended up fine.

I'm surprised that they went through so much effort to get my phone number but will now allow people to call them from presumably any phone.

Interesting, but no mention of a big problem with such apps, lack of privacy. If this allowed some anonymity I'd be interested.

That's probably not going to happen. What are they going to do, let you call without giving a name and then pay in cash? How would they get their cut? Might as well just take a cab if you're going to do that.

> What are they going to do, let you call without giving a name and then pay in cash?

I mean, this is how it works when you call a plumber, electrician or whomever when they’re a part of a bigger org.

Even taxis pay a monthly “radio fee” to get fares that are sent from people that call in. They could also not pay and just pickup street fares.

In that scenario routing the driver is still happening on Uber's end. They can probably get a pretty good idea of whether the ride took place, even if the driver is actively trying to cheat (probably by canceling the ride on their end).

It could be great if we'd start seeing major apps starting to support also alternative channels to interface with them. It can really help the transition to fewer smartphone users and the Digital Detox movement. I do not own a smartphone and such endeavors can really make my (and others) life easier.

Like how people used to arrange a taxi \ cab to chauffeur them somewhere? Seems regressive.

It was a simple (to implement) system that worked for decades. Not everyone wants to run uber spyware on their phones.

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