I’ll start by admitting it; I am one of those people who would probably request for an Uber but would only start getting ready when the vehicle is meters away.
Most Uber customers fall under this category as well and it is no wonder the taxi service company decided to come up with a stricter rule to
punish curtail such an occurrence.
If you look at the bigger perspective, in Uber’s defence, the drivers are the ones suffering this, technically speaking.
When you request for an Uber, it takes about 10-15 minutes (depending on how available they are) for the vehicle to get to your pickup location after which, they wait a little longer before the pick-up.
The time spent waiting, Uber believes, could have been used to sort out another rider. Time, they say, is money and a lot of that is (mostly) wasted on ‘untimeliness’ on the rider’s part.
Uber then had an epiphany moment that it hoped would definitely solve the problem. But the issue is, this solution only favours the driver and Uber.
The solution? The two-minute rule.
Basically, once you request for an Uber and it arrives, after two minutes, the driver begins the trip and the billing starts.
This is to encourage riders to be readily available before the Uber arrives at their pickup location.
In simpler words, as a rider you are expected to be waiting by the ‘road’ for your Uber, which is, more or less, similar to going out to hail a regular taxi.
In its attempt to save up some money or help make more for the driver, Uber is basically saying, ‘if you aren’t ready for your Uber, you pay for the wait time’.
Does this help the riders? Maybe, maybe not.
It could aid the Uber user to be more aware of time and at the same time, could easily chase the rider away, simply because, part of the essence of the taxi service has been stripped away – which is the luxury of having a chauffeur wait for one’s arrival.
Another school of thought argues that since the rider doesn’t get a discount for the lateness on the Uber driver’s part, why charge the same rider for keeping the driver waiting for over two minutes?
And if the rider has to wait by the road for Uber, he/she might as well call a readily available taxi.
Uber may or may not have a lot to lose with these new strict rules but the company is inadvertently making it easy for its potential competitors who would probably offer longer ‘wait time’.
Ada Igboanugo is the immediate past editor of The September Standard, as well as a fashion and lifestyle expert.
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