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Uber is getting worse and worse, listeners complain. The company responds…

14 October 2021 9:16 AM
Tags:
Uber
Refilwe Moloto
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Uber sub-Saharan Africa
Frans Hiemstra

Refilwe Moloto interviews Frans Hiemstra, General Manager for Uber sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Listeners have been inundating Moloto with messages of bad experiences they’ve had with Uber

  • Uber implores riders to use its rating system – it promises action

  • The company does vehicle inspections; riders are encouraged to give feedback on the state of the car

  • Uber recently launched a “women-rider preferred” product to encourage more female drivers to join


Is Uber getting worse, like some of our listeners are suggesting? © lightfieldstudios/123rf.com

Uber has become indispensable for an increasing number of people.

At first, it was a novelty with frequent good experiences, says breakfast show host Refilwe Moloto.

However, of late she has taken quite a few questionable rides in unkept vehicles, and she doesn’t feel safe.

Does Uber have a handle on its drivers and their cars?

Moloto interviewed Frans Hiemstra, General Manager for Uber sub-Saharan Africa (scroll up to listen, scroll down for listener comments).

We want to live up to the promise we made in the beginning. It’s sad for me to hear that you’re receiving complaints… I don’t like hearing it’s difficult to get hold of us…

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

If you have a bad experience, you have to use the two-way rating system… We try and keep the feedback loop a little bit anonymous… Discrimination is 100% against our community guidelines… it goes both ways…

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Go is a more affordable product…

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

We run vehicle inspections… if you experience a vehicle that you’re not comfortable with, give feedback… The driver will have to fix his car.

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

We recently launched a women-rider preferred product… We’ve started seeing a lot more female drivers join the platform… If a rider does anything inappropriate… we follow up with the driver… We have a panic button…

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

We do act, but we won’t tell you what we did…

Frans Hiemstra, General Manager - Uber sub-Saharan Africa

The following are comments (we have their names and contact details) from the show on 17 September:

  • 90% of my experiences with Uber is negative. The drivers come across impolite. They can cancel on you, but if they misbehave there is no accountability. Sometimes you can wait an hour for your ride because no one is picking up, them profiling your destination. Then saying, they’re looking for a profitable ride. They do not value our support of their business. - Priscilla, Paarl

  • I live in Mitchell's Plain. Every time I need to use an Uber, the drivers tell me that it is dangerous. Some of them blatantly refuse to take me. I feel increasingly uncomfortable using an Uber. One driver even told me that I am not black enough to live in this country. He was a foreigner. Seriously, this is becoming crazy. - Renee

  • Uber's own policy says children may not ride with them. But teenagers are driven by Uber all the time. No enforcement of Uber's own policy. So, who is responsible when something terrible happens to a child? Uber? Parents? Driver? As a parent, I refused point-blank to let my teenagers Uber, but I was in the minority. Luckily, they can drive now, but Uber is looking the other way and pocketing the cash while kids ride, i.e., profiting from the violation of its own community rules. In addition, if kids are riding illegally, what about insurance?

  • I have waited up to 45 minutes from Montague Gardens and generally they cancel. My account gets debited, and it takes weeks to get a refund when they are cancelled. I use Bolt now and find their service far superior, though many of the drivers are on both platforms. I use my car a lot more now though but find Bolt far more efficient. I have deleted the Uber App. - Steven

  • Uber just got to the airport with my mom going to the Eastern Cape. I drove and had to take the long parking fees because Uber drivers kept on cancelling. It’s so annoying and, yes, 100% the service has declined dramatically along with the quality of the cars.

  • Uber drivers accept trips while still completing existing trips. A five-minute wait remains a five-minute wait for the next 25 to sometimes 30 minutes. When you call the driver for an explanation the drivers don’t accept the call and when you request the driver cancel the trip they won’t. The reply message is simply ‘you cancel’. When the client cancels, it triggers a cancellation fee. This has happened twice in succession. - Greg, Milnerton




14 October 2021 9:16 AM
Tags:
Uber
Refilwe Moloto
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
Uber sub-Saharan Africa
Frans Hiemstra

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