Thursday, June 25, 2015


That’s how I can best sum up my first experience with Uber. Completely underwhelmed.

I downloaded the app several weeks ago but kept forgetting to set it up. I was going to use it to go home from a late game the week of my birthday. But hadn’t set up my account. I finally did that last week.

The game Tuesday night went late because of the rain delay (an over two hour delay and the game was long too). I thought I can get home using Uber. I’m all set to go because I’ve got the account set up. Mark showed me a little of how it worked. I thought it can’t be that hard.

The game ended around 12:15. I headed out. A couple weeks back when I walked to Union Station after a game I had a conversation with a Capital Hill policeman on the grounds of the Supreme Court. We talked about the game (one the Nats happened to loose). He’d mentioned he used Uber. But he always walked a little ways away from the park then called for his ride.

I thought that was a good idea and decided to do the same.

And that was the start of my adventure.

I walked a few blocks from the park. Looked at the app. It still showed me at the park. I figure maybe I’m not far enough away for it to get my exact location. I walk a little further. The same result.

I find the main menu (not as easy as it should be) and look at the instructions on how to get a ride. It says it uses Wi-fi and GPS to find you location. I thought well maybe that’s not on. I open settings and find the Uber app. It says it used my location when the app is on. So it should be able to figure out where I am.

I close the app and open it again. I figure that might make it work correctly. No such luck. I decide to walk to Capitol South. I turn my phone completely off. I figure maybe that will clear everything out and it will work. I get to Capitol South. Turn the phone back on. And the app still says I’m at the park. Well actually it says I’m on M Street a few blocks from the park.

I read more instructions. You can enter the address where you are at and then call for a car. I try that but I some how can’t get that to work. I’m a little pissed at this point and decide to get to Union Station where I can get a cab home.

I get to Union Station and look at the Uber app again. I’m not at the park anymore. I’m at the Russel Senate office building. Not!

I duck into Union Station to use the restroom. When I get back out I head for the taxi station. And there is this huge long line of people waiting for a cab. A train had obviously come into the station. I’m just a little exasperated by this time. I look at the Uber app again. I’m actually at Union Station. I’m trying to figure out when a car might be near the Station. And time when a car will be there change likes every ten seconds or so. Six minutes. No 14 minutes. No 20 minutes. No 16 minutes. And it changes and changes and changes.

I have a desire to throw the phone on to the ground but I don’t. I walk to First and Mass Ave and start looking for a cab. In a few minutes I’m able to flag one down. Ten minutes later I’m home. It’s now well past one but at least I’m home.

I’m sure I wasn’t using Uber the way it was suppose to. But it seems to me it should be much easier to use. When I don’t have to be anywhere specifically at a specific time. When it’s not the middle of the night. I’ll try Uber again and see if I get a better results.

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