I've had great email support from Uber in New York. That said, a few years ago a lost iPhone turned into several phantom SUV rides in and out of New Jersey. An email to Uber revealed a policy against reversing such transactions.
"Okay," I thought, "chargeback it is." But it is not that simple - the chargeback prompted an account suspension. The issue was resolved a few months later, but still leaves a stink in the mouth whenever I start to recommend the service.
It never is that simple. As best I can tell, a chargeback should be considered to be the ultimate burning of bridges with that company.
So... Don't recommend the service? Much more powerful than a recommendation with caveats.
Thanks for reaching out and so sorry for the delay here. We take customer support very seriously and the fact that it took a few days to get a response is definitely not cool or the standard. I'm working with my support team to make sure that emails like yours don't slip through the cracks again like this.
As for your trip and adjustment, the driver accidentally ended the trip prematurely and our operations team went in to adjust the fare to the amount that our estimator shows for this route (you can see a full breakdown for the charges below). However, it looks like there was a bug here that duplicated the adjustment (creating an additional $83 charge), which resulted in the $166 adjustment. Our engineers have already started looking into this to see exactly what went wrong.
I understand this is a big inconvenience and you shouldn't have to pay for this hassle, so I have refunded this trip in full (card receipt attached) -- you should see the refund back on your card in the next few business days. Additionally, for the delay in our response, I have added a $50 credit to your account. It looks like you ride in San Francisco most often, so this should get you a few rides on us. I promise this is not the norm and hope you can give us another shot!
Please reach out if there is anything else I can do.
==== Price Breakdown =====
32.5 miles x $2.55/mile
4:30 minutes x $0.50/minute
Community Manager - LA
Twitter - @Uber_LA
About 6 months ago, I noticed I was unable to log in to my account. Resetting the password did nothing, so I sent an email to the local support address. Almost two weeks later, I finally get the following reply:
I looked into this situation and it appears that this
device has been used on 25 different Uber accounts, which
is a major red flag for us. We will not be reactivating
I sent an email explaining the issue, and they eventually emailed me back saying they would "check in with their engineering team and circle back soon." In May. My subsequent emails have been ignored. There is, as far as I can tell, no way to escalate the issue.
I used to really like Uber, but they sure did their best to keep me from using it.
"Returns the unique device ID, for example, the IMEI for GSM and the MEID or ESN for CDMA phones. Return null if device ID is not available."
If it's returning a non unique string, it's breaking that contract, and it's the firewall app's fault, not Uber's.
I can see why you might want to permanently ban them, though. Blaming you for a bug in their software.
If that firewall app is making those methods return anything other than null or a truly unique ID, then they are not a compatible android device, and someone using such a device is not in any position to complain when apps behave incorrectly.
It's worth mentioning that it's not required for the return value of those methods to be the IMEI, but it is required to be either unique or null.
1. There's a problem. Generally it's a pretty big deviation from normal service involving a non-trivial loss, like paying an order of magnitude more for a cab than is necessary.
2. The customer tries to notify the company, normally just to recover the loss.
3. If it's a start up, there probably is limited or isn't any customer service. Larger companies will generally put people through a large, automated, slow, and probably ineffective process with tickets and machine answering systems. The issue isn't resolved either way.
4. Next up is a tweet. Some complaint about the issue @somecompany. A lot of companies large and small have embraced Twitter as a psuedo-support channel.
5. If the subsequent tweets get ignored, some will take to writing a blog post about the situation and lack of support.
6. If the blogger has any connections or visibility, aggregators or media might pick it up and republish it. Brief infamy ensues.
Reminds me of when that woman's AirBnB place got demolished. I'm not sure why Uber doesn't have killer support with $300 million to spend (maybe they do and this is an outlier), but I think the lesson for the start up community. People expect customer service, and customer service needs to be easier and faster than complaining publicly to a large number of people.
Uber really should provide some sort of cost breakdown on your previous rides. (They provide quotes, but not itemized receipts.) But at least you can get a sense for how much they charge on their website.
Lyft, hilariously, doesn't tell you how much they charge! At all! What on Earth is their thinking behind that? Is it miles? Minutes? Am I charged based on my Klout score? It's a total mystery to me.
I hate taking cabs, but at least their pricing is 100% transparent.
The gist of it is that some independent taxi drivers will legally post prices about 20x the going rate. Of course nobody who both knows what they're doing and reads the price will take such a taxi. But the business model / scam is to snag just a handful of clueless rides each day, especially targeting tourists arriving at Stockholm Airport. Then rack up huge profits on a small number of rides. It helps that tourists arriving at the Stockholm airport typically: 1) don't know what the going rate for taxi service is; 2) don't have an intuitive conception of what prices in Swedish Kronor mean; and 3) don't know how to quickly locate and read the posted prices.
If the initial cost to start a taxi was low enough (i.e. medallions were used to vet the driver and not to protect existing taxi companies ), competition might arrive at transparent pricing anyway. Especially with e-hailing where you can be more selective about the cab you choose.
There's even a trip cost estimator in the app that you can use by telling it your destination.
When the trip is over, you get an email receipt with the total time and distance with the charges listed, as well as a map with the route drawn.
I'm not sure how you can get more transparent than that. What else are you looking for?
Every taxi I've ever ridden in clearly lays out the initial charge, how much distance is included, how much additional distance is charged, how much idle time is charged, and any additional fees.
I've also had drivers in SF smoke, refuse to give me a ride, and try to charge me extra fees, all of which are, AFAIK, against the law.
Fortunately, the law protects you again in this case. In NYC (and SF too, I believe), if the credit card machine doesn't work, and the cab driver doesn't tell you before you start the ride, you don't have to pay a dime.
They've probably still saved me money over the long run vs. hotels, but honestly, I prefer to just call up previous hosts and offer them money outside AirBnb now and other similar options since I know AirBnb won't back me up when they screw up. The same option is available with cars as well. You can take Uber or Super Shuttle or whatever the first few times, but the drivers will usually give you a card so you can just call them direct and get a better rate.
I gave a 1 star review and explained what happened. Without further action on my part, the local Uber rep refunded the difference between the actual care and what it should have been had there not been the whole detour. Very thoughtfully proactive.
The next day we had an email response, refunding our money, requesting more information, and offering to talk on the phone. A little more discussion and we were told the driver had been terminated and got another heartfelt apology. It was great.
It was my first uber experience and while it hasn't quite been my last, they certainly aren't my favorite choice.
I don't have the email archive available but I seem to recall them taking almost a week to get back to me. I imagine that the crash caused them quite a customer service backlog though. At the end of the day, for leaving me in sub freezing temeratures they gave me a $50 credit.
Give them a week to sort it out. Don't immediately chargeback, but call the credit card company and tell them about the irregularity. That way, you give Uber some room to sort it out, you don't have to worry about the charge in the process, and you established the timeline in case things do get hairy.
24 hrs is plenty... they should have a phone # at minimum. Chargebacks, etc are how to get action.
While responding to an email in less than 24 hours is ideal, many smaller businesses don't have a 24 hour per day customer service center and can't always respond to an email in that time frame. Some businesses say 48 hours - 72 hours on their contact page and I think that's pretty reasonable for anything that's not an emergency.
† It's not hard to send automatic emails if there are no supporters in the office for a few days or if the queue is too long.
All because he couldn't wait a business day for a response (the ride was Sunday around noon, Monday was a holiday, a Tweet reply came Tuesday).
90% of excellent customer service is simple communication. Even if it takes a week, if I get a call every two days letting me know what's going on and where they are with the credit or charge back, it shows the company cares and I'm not so quick with the chargeback call to my CC company.
It's 2013, companies shouldn't have a hard time communicating. With so many direct and indirect channels to get a hold of people, this should be easy.
It seemed to take longer than I expected, and sure enough when I got the Uber receipt, it was plain as day: We literally drove right by the Downtown Berkeley station north a ways to the North Berkeley station. It was galling to see it presented on their trip map. I don't blame the guy for not knowing the area that well I guess, I just didn't want to pay for it. They gave me a $20 credit to my account which was just a few bucks less than the entire ride that night. All in all I was pleased. The response took a bit more than 24 hours.
I was incredibly impressed by the response time and helpfulness of both the driver whose name escapes and the Chicago community team/Nicole.
I had a problem where I rode in an Uber and the GPS tweaked out, causing the distance to be 2x what it should have been. I responded to the email, and they refunded me for the difference that was overcharged within a day.
It seems rather drastic to totally drop the service and do a chargeback after 3 days, though. Obviously something has slipped through the cracks.
Uber is a super slick system, but I'd bet money there's still people behind the scenes scrambling to keep the gears spinning.
That's the power of the chargeback, though. They might not have a customer service number but they've got a number the credit card company knows how to call. To avoid this situation in the future, an obvious solution presents itself...
Disclosure: I'm a developer at Whisk.
As far as i'm concerned you're not a company that takes business seriously if i can't call you.
And this is echoed by many people i know, even though we prefer most of our communication to be online.
It's fine to deny phone support by default and demand usage of online tools. However if you don't provide a phone number for emergencies and cases where you fucked up, you don't take business seriously.
Doesn't mean i think you shouldn't do business. Simply means i won't trust you with anything remotely important.
The "serious problem phone support only" thing is a nice, MBAish compromise idea that won't work well. Everyone thinks their problems are serious. The way to make this work is to provide a phone support number AND to make the web- and app-based support tools work so well customers won't feel a need to call it very often.
That said, assuming you intended to say the same thing i did:
While Github are by and large nice people who found a good way to help people and make money with it, they do not take their business seriously.
In the past my experience has been that in cases which involve systemic issues with their entire design, or bugs exhibited on their website but involving third-party software (i.e. hard problems) their responses have been:
* workarounds instead of even considering an investigation into change
(even when they cause problems for OS projects due to no action of
said project whatsoever)
* invitations to fix the third-party software they chose
* flat out refusal to even look at bugs in their website because they
don't support older browsers (see Opera 12 vs. 15+)
There's a lot of aspects of Github I think you could use as an example (and you do) but the existence of a kegerator or alcohol in the office isn't really a good one.
Out of sheer curiosity, can you show me examples of hackathons held that don't directly contribute to a company's bottom line?
More importantly though: You're making the mistake of thinking that me saying "they don't take business seriously" means "they're bad at making money". This is not the case, and github is exceptionally good at making money, which is why they don't actually need to take business seriously.
I'm still pretty stunned you weren't able to get in touch with them.
Without me having to reach out, figured out the details, then they apologized and provided a refund.
Asking your bank for a cheque: Again, irrelevant.
Kobo support: Well that's incredibly poor. Any support request that takes >24-48 hours is shoddy and unacceptable. It may be okay for you to 'be patient' and accept sub-par service but it doesn't mean everyone should.