“Do you know the way to San Jose?” ….la…la….la….la….la
A couple weeks ago, we went to San Jose, Calif., for BlogHer with our friend Carrie. It was a typical plane ride with a typical landing at a typical airport until, on our way to grab a cab, Carrie chimed in and said she would take care of it with her Über app.
We looked at each other with a collective “HUH?” expression our faces.
In a matter of seconds she whipped out her phone, clicked the app, and then told us a gray Golf would be picking us up in 4 minutes.
And there it was — a gray car with a friendly young driver.
Über is basically a local person with their own car that acts like a taxi service.
Jen: I was EXTREMELY skeptical and decided (in my mind) that he was going to drive us to the desert and kill us.
Oh well, at least I was with friends!
Roni: I wasn’t as nervous as Jen but I think I was in a state of shock that Carrie clicked a button on her phone and within moments — I’m talking MOMENTS — there was a car pulling up to take us to our hotel.
Jen: We made it to the hotel and had a nice conversation with the driver about what this app was all about. I was convinced that if I talked with him, he would not kill us. Carrie and Roni seemed to be completely relaxed about the whole situation.
Roni: HA! I wasn’t relaxed as I was in awe. I think I asked the driver a constant stream of questions during the 10-minute ride.
How long have you been doing this?
What’s in it for you?
How do you get paid?
Do people normally ask you this many questions?
Jen: She did give him the third degree. The driver was a student at the local university and did this for extra money. He said that he had to have a background check and they track his car while he is driving. I am feeling a little safer. You get charged a flat rate and it is much cheaper than a taxi. The app is hooked up to a PayPal account or a credit card so you don’t even need cash! This is great for me because I never have cash.
The following day, Carrie and I used it again to get to the mall. Again, she clicked the app and a nice college student showed up in about 3 minutes right where we were standing. Technology is an AMAZING thing. By now I was convinced that this is the coolest app ever!
Roni: I only got a chance to use it to and from the airport and I thought it was the best app ever! Über saved us easily $20 and is way more convenient then a typical cab. You can see how far away the car is, how long it will take them to get to you, what your driver will look like and their name. Plus no need for cash as it’s all connected to your PayPal account!
Jen: The best part about this app is that they can pick up up anywhere! It is great if you do not know the city you are traveling in. When Carrie and I were done shopping , we walked out the door and pressed the app. We were literally standing in a parking garage and he found us (now that I think about it, that is pretty creepy). All the cars we used were clean and with very nice drivers.
Roni: They were very nice! And thanks to my 20 questions I learned they all have to pass background checks and that does put me at ease as well.
Jen: Here is the only thing I would say negative. I don’t think I would do this by myself until I get more comfortable with the concept. We used the app four times while we were in the city and never had a bad experience. But alone? I’m not so sure.
Roni: I agree. I’m not there yet either but I can definitely see The Husband and I using it to hit a local bar. I feel like we just discovered an unlimited supply of designated drivers!
So what say you? Is Über Über cool or Über creepy?