It was back in August of 2014 that Uber, Uber Eats the inter and intra city transportation game-changer launched its operation in the city of Ahmedabad.
Know Everything about UBER
Started in the March 2009, San Francisco, California, United States by the dynamic duo, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber entered the Indian market through the city of Bangalore in the year 2009. A mammoth in the transportation sector, Uber is the leading company for cab services across the globe valued at over 76 billion US dollars. Converted to Indian rupees, it is a WHOPPING 5 Lakh crores!!
Since then, it has gone on to cover almost 30 cities in India and strong footed itself as a feisty competitor for the Indian born Ola cab services.
What basically is Uber?
In the simplest terms, it is a transportation company that helps its customers reach their favoured destinations (within a city mostly) by calling a cab or auto (in some cities) by just tapping a few buttons on your mobile phone.
The company provides these services through its drivers which anyone with a valid driver’s license and a car can become. The company despite running an operation this massive in size, does not own any of the cars that come to pick you up.
The only thing it does is help the drivers meet the passengers through its app and online interface. Most of the companies based on the internet, especially in the e-commerce sector follow a similar model of providing the seller and the consumer with an online interface.
So let’s get into it.
How do you Go about Booking an Uber?
Uber being a taxi providing service runs completely through its online platform. So the most basic requirement would be a smartphone.
For Android owners, the Uber app is available on Playstore.
For Apple iPhone users, the app is available on Appstore.
To mobile phones of services like Microsoft and others, you can check out your respective online App markets.
Once you have downloaded the application, go ahead and tap on it to open and run the app.
The Uber app provides many services like ride scheduling which essentially means booking a taxi for later. You also get to pick from different types of vehicles available like an auto, sedan, Uber mini, Uber micro and more.
Let us now learn about booking an Uber
As you open the application in your mobile phone, it will ask you to register if you are a first time user and login if you have registered before. During registration you would be taken through a series of steps including providing your phone number, permitting UBER to view your location and more.
As shown below, you need to add your mobile number to the places shown and wait for the confirmation code they would send via text.
Now you would be told to type in a few common addresses like home, office etc.
Basically, the first location they would detect is your current location through the location access that you agreed for. Based on this you would get started. Now if you are at home itself, you can just set your current location as home and you are good to go. Same goes for office etc.
Once you are done with these, you would most probably be at the UBER app home screen which looks something like the photo shown below.
Now, your location should be turned ON and the permission to access it should be with UBER app. As soon as you reach the main screen, the app would detect your location and put it in the address bar so now you have a fixed arrival point.
Let’s talk about ride scheduling now.
After this, you get to fill out the “where to” bar. In this, you type in the location of your destination. The UBER map is linked with the Google maps to view location history on Google maps and hence almost every location on the planet is stored in it and can be accessed. So you don’t have to worry about your location being there. It almost 100% is.
As soon as you select the location that you want to go to, the UBER app though it’s A I technology, figures out the time it would take you to board a cab. Which basically means how far away the nearest cabs are.
Once the computation for the same is over, you would be assigned a driver.
Different types of services
Before that you would be able to select between the different types of cars available for you nearby and based on that you would get a cab. For example, the screen would show options like Uber Auto, Uber Mini, Uber Go and other options.
As you click on any one of these, you would be able to see how near are they individually and based on that and any other factors you might want to consider, you would be able to select whichever mode of transportation suits your needs the best.
Along with the distance, you would also be shown the estimated fare of your ride for the different options available for you.
What is amazing about this is, the fare is estimated so meticulously using its AI and Machine learning algorithms taking into account everything from traffic to toll booths if any, that if you do not detour from your path, the fare would come out EXACTLY as that estimated earlier.
Choose between different payment options
In the same screen, you are also allowed to choose between different payment options like PayTM, Cash, Debit Card, Credit card and more.
You can change these details for every trip based on your preferences and conditions. Also you can set one preference in case you prefer cash always or something like that.
It is an amazing feature for PayTM users though as when you link your PayTM account to the UBER app, you can pay a directly through your account and not even have to check whether the money has been deducted or not.
Essentially, you give them permission to deduct money when you link the account and once you have reached your destination and the driver has swiped on his mobile to “reached destination”, only then would they deduct the money from your account and you wouldn’t even have to look at your mobile.
After you ride is over, you also get to give your feedback on the ride and any compliments or complaints that you might have for the driver.
All of your complaints are anonymous.
There is however the task where you have to rate your driver’s services on a scale of one to five stars. This rating is mandatory. Not just that. You yourself have a rating which is given by the different drivers you travel with.
Do keep in mind though, the higher your ratings, the better your chances of finding a cab. Same goes for the drivers. The drivers with the better ratings get the rides first so you can rest assured that the person coming over to drive you to your location is safe and well mannered.
One of the newest features of the application allows you to pair up with other people and you get to reach your destination is a FAR lesser prize. All the other features apply and remain exactly the same, the only added advantage being the astoundingly low price.
Typically, in Uber Pool, you are paired with people travelling on almost same routes and in some cases when that option is not feasible for the company, you get paired up with slight travellers with different routes and destinations. However, they do show you the estimated time of arrival just as they do in the normal Uber Go or mini etc.
Based on that you can see if spending probably 20-30 minutes extra is worth the money that you are going to save by booking an UBER POOL.
Most of the major attractions like the railway station or airport have several terminals and entrances. The Uber maps are so precise that before even getting into the cab you can select which airport gate you want to be dropped off at and the same goes for pick-ups as well.
Let’s Talk about Ride Scheduling Now
Ride scheduling has many advantages and covers a variety of problems like
- Had time to book a ride before but right now you need to focus on the work at hand but also reach the destination at the right time. Should have booked a cab earlier right? There you go.
- Gotta leave for the station early in the morning but not sure if any cabs would be available then? Don’t you worry, don’t you worry child!
So basically how ride scheduling works is, you can click on the button that looks like a car and clock symbol mushed together and you would get started.
You can schedule a cab anywhere between 30 minutes before to 30 days before.
Once you select the date, you get a time frame of 10 minutes. This is the time frame in which your driver would be available at the location of your choosing. When that time does come, the driver would be at your place at the beginning of the 10 minutes and would stay there until the time frame is up. In case this happens and you are unable to board the ride, it would be cancelled and you would be charged a nominal fee in order to cover the driver’s expenses for his time and travel.
You can also book a cab for a friend. Anyone from your contact list can have a cab pick him up, all expenses paid by you!
All you have to do is select the topmost button in the app titled “For Me” and change it to someone else. You would now be asked to select a contact from your phone for whom you want to book the cab.
So in case you are booking a cab for your parents as they are coming to visit you and since you are unable to pick them up from the airport but also don’t want them to come in the tedious and risky auto-rickshaws, just book them a cab all expenses paid.
You can also use this option to help a friend in disarray who somehow got stranded somewhere with no internet connection and no money. You also receive live information of the whereabouts of the person and the cab along with map. This is a highly valued feature as it guarantees absolute security since you know the location of the cab.
Your friend’s number is also shared with UBER and he or she would get a text message once the cab is booked, once the driver has arrived and also once the destination has been reached.
Not just that. You can also book a cab for yourself from a different location than what you currently are in.
That was all about UBER the cab service. Uber also however has ventured in the food delivery sector competing with the likes of Swiggy and Zomato with its all new venture uber EATS.
It is the latest venture in the food delivery sector and by far with its extraordinary discounts and such has been heavily regarded as one of the cheapest platforms to buy food online.
Being new to this industry, it is trying to acquire a large clientele just like they did when the cab service first rolled out with the ₹5/km charge or how Jio went about giving free internet and eventually becoming the largest telecom provider in India in the span of 6 months.
Let us look at how to use the Uber Eats app and some of its salient features.
I will weed through the common drivel of the app but before we begin, here is something more about the app and the places it is currently operational in.
Eat what you like, where you like, when you like. Find the local flavours you crave, all at the tap of a button.
Browse local restaurants and fast food favourites for inspiration. Or get just what you’re looking for by searching for a specific restaurant, dish or cuisine. Pizza. Burritos. Burgers. Sushi. If you’re hungry for it, try Uber Eats.
When you’re ready to place your order, you’ll see your delivery address, estimated delivery time and the total price including tax and booking fee. Tap to seamlessly pay with your Uber account, or add a credit card. Track your order in real-time as it heads your way.
Availability of Uber Eats
Uber Eats is currently available in cities and metro areas including Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Auckland, Austin, Baltimore, Bogota, Brisbane, Brussels, Cape Town, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, Nashville, New Delhi, New Orleans, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw and Washington DC.
That is not all though. In India, it is pretty much available in all the cities that it has an active cab service set up. So over 30 cities in India alone.
In case your city doesn’t have Uber Eats yet, you would receive the following message on your Phone as you start using the app.
Uber Eats helps you find food delivery around the world too. So if you are from any of the following countries, you are all set for Food. Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, India, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and more.
Talking about the UI of the app and how to order food, it is pretty simple.
After registering your account using your mobile number (Your uber and uber eats account is the same one and can be used on one single mobile number.), you get to the main screen with all your restaurants and more near your location.
I will mention again, it is highly important that the location permission be given to the apps. Be it Uber or UberEATS.
The service also has a website that you can use to do the same things you would do with an app.
Now. Once you are in the app, you can search for your favourite restaurants using the search bar and if any of them are delivering to your location, you would be able to order from them.
Below each restaurant, you can find a different number of “ ₹ ”symbols which essentially denotes the cheapness of the restaurant. Basically, 3 or more such symbols, like “ ₹ ₹ ₹ ” or “ ₹ ₹ ₹ ₹ ” means the restaurant is edging on the expensive side (which again is always subjective to every individual).
Along with the ₹ symbol however, you also have the cuisine which simply shows what type pf food is served in the restaurant or what the restaurant is known or has the highest ratings in.
This particular example reads Fast Food which is what is served most in this restaurant and alongside it also reads Sandwich, For which the restaurant is known.
Below it in minutes, you would be able to see the average delivery time for the food to your location from the moment you order the food.
Like the cab drivers, the restaurants also have a 5 star marking system which shows how good the restaurant is and how many customers are satisfied with the food. In general consensus, it is wise to avoid any restaurants below a 4.0 rating. The delivery person also has a similar rating system which you get to give once the order is delivered along with a feedback form that you can fill.
In case the restaurant has a coupon code that you can apply to redeem a huge discount like 60% in the above example.
Now, once you have selected the restaurant and the food from its menu, you would be taken to the payment screen where you would be shown your final payable amount along with a clear cut explanation of the underlying costs like delivery, packaging, tax etc.
As your Uber and Uber Eats account are one and the same, your PayTM account is also synced for both. You can directly pay from that or any other form of internet payment. Cash is also allowed.
So are credit or debit cards, PayPal, and other forms of payment.
Cancelling your food due to a range of different circumstances can always happen and in those cases, you might or might not get a refund based on certain criteria.
If the food delivery is cancelled before the restaurant has accepted the order, you wouldn’t be charged anything however, if the restaurant has accepted the order, cancelling would not give you any money back. If you have selected cash on delivery, you would have to pay the app the next time you order food.
The funny thing is, since the apps Uber and Uber EATS are related, you wouldn’t be able to use either until you iron out your debts to either one of them which is kind of a bummer.
In some cases, it might happen hat due to heavy rains the food delivery guy was not able to do so or some other emergency occurred and the restaurant had to cancel your order. In those cases, your money would be refunded back to your account within 2 – 4 business days (days except Saturday and Sunday).
That was all about the Uber services and everything you would need to know about UBER.
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