I blogged a few weeks back about this new taxi service that just launched in Durban called Uber, having lived in this city all my life I never found it necessary to use a taxi before. Why? Well besides the fact our mini bus taxi's are coffins on wheels, I always was privileged to have access to a car. However last week I was faced with a dilemma, I was invited as a guest speaker for Durban Digital Day and wasn't to sure on the parking conditions at the venue so I thought this was an ideal opportunity to test the Uber Service.
Having opted for a Blackberry I didn't have access to an app as it is only available to download on iTunes and Android but using the mobi site was quick and easy. Immediately after logging on, the site picked up my location and notified me where the nearest Uber car was and how long it would take to get to me. I then did a quote on the average cost of my journey to my destination. Once I was happy with the estimated price I requested a pick up, the website displayed info on the car that was coming, the name of the driver along with his cell phone number and car registration as well as how long it would take to get to my location.
The car arrived in the time stated (give or take a few minutes because of traffic) and I was notified by sms, the driver was waiting to greet me and opened the door for me to jump in, it was pretty cool and made me feel important as I never had that done for me before! After telling him where I'd like to go, he input the address in his GPS and we were off. The car I was travelling in was a Toyota Fortuner, so there was ample space for me to stretch out and relax, it felt like I was being chauffeur driven. Cold bottle water was provided for me and I was asked if the aircon temperature was to my liking, heck he even asked what radio station I'd like to listen to!
Not having to drive gave me the time to do other things like catch up on emails, reading the news, checking twitter and chatting on the various messenger services on my phone. The driver was very professional in everything that was done, he even checked if all was okay at various parts of the journey. What I also liked is that he asked if he could take routes that avoided traffic congested areas so I could get to the destination on time, no it wasn't a ploy to take a longer route as here in Durban places aren't too far and you do get charged per minute you spend the vehicle.
Once we arrived, again my driver got out to open the door for me and with the large queues waiting to enter Durban Digital Day I felt like a rockstar being dropped off at the entrance. The driver asked if I enjoyed my experience and thanked me for using Uber, before he could even drive off an sms came through stating the cost for the trip and an email was sent with the full invoice. I was really impressed with the overall service and to see the cost of the ride being so cheap it was definitely a service I would recommend to others, a major plus was the cashless transaction and me not having to do anything apart from jump in and out.
Base price: R17
Rate per KM: R6.80
Rate per min: R2.10
Now since Uber is new to Durban, ,they're offering people who sign up using my promotional code "BucketUber" a 2 x R200 credit voucher for your first two trips! The code is available to the first 2000 people and expires at the end of December so download the app or visit the website to sign up now!