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Uber Mexico City Review
I have made no secret on this blog that I am not a huge fan of taxis in general. In my post about Berlin’s UberTaxi service, I was called out asking why I feel that way. While my opinion comes from numerous bad experiences around the world, I have adjusted my overall view. I don’t like taxis in most situations, however I won’t make blanket statements regarding them anymore.
Of course there are a ton of places around the globe where taxi drivers are known to be absolutely corrupt. Mexico City is definitely one of them. When you exit customs at the airport, there are a ton of “unofficial” taxi drivers who would love to
take your money drive you. You can of course pay for a licensed taxi which seems to be fairly legitimate, however you have to deal with cash. Uber really does seem like a great solution.
Since I have been generally loving both Uber & Lyft lately, I decided that I would take Uber from the airport to our hotel in Mexico City’s historical center. After exiting customs, we headed to one of the exit doors and called a ride. That is sort of where things went wrong.
My Uber Mexico City Ride
My phone has international data, however for some reason it was taking awhile to acquire a signal so I connected to the Boingo WiFi and requested a ride. We then headed outside to meet the driver and the data cut out. The driver arrived shortly thereafter in a BMW 3 Series sedan. At this point I knew it had to be UberBlack instead of the UberX I thought I had requested.
I am fully willing to admit I may have made a mistake, however I have no idea how my phone would have been set to UberBlack. Either way, I was willing to accept it and off we went. At some point during the ride though I picked up internet on my phone and noticed we had deviated significantly from the route Uber had originally shown me.
Instead of heading straight into the city, the driver was taking us around to the north. It also isn’t as if this route was any faster. In fact, he drove us right into a scheduled protest where we sat in traffic for an extra 20 minutes. In total, a ride that the Uber app quoted as taking 18 minutes, lasted for a total of 54 minutes. My final cost was of course much higher than expected as well. It came in at 337 MXN or about $20.
Challenging the Route
I have used Uber a number of times and have never had an issue with the route. As you can see from my receipt, we clearly were taken for a “ride”. Anyway, this was the first time I ever decided to challenge a routing. In the Uber receipt email there is a link to contact them regarding your ride. I simply clicked that link and said I had an issue with the route. I also mentioned the UberX vs. UberBlack issue.
To their credit, Uber responded within a few hours of my ride. Actually, they responded twice. First, I received an adjustment for the route. Uber lowered the price from 337 MXN to 183 MXN. ($20 down to $11). They lowered the price to what it should have been based on the route as originally shown to me. That made perfect sense and I was satisfied.
Then to my surprise, Uber responded again. Suddenly the 183 MXN had been lowered to just 85 MXN or around $5. They had also adjusted for the ride type. I sort of feel bad about this second adjustment and certainly didn’t expect the rate to drop by 75%, but that is the result. I almost feel bad for the driver too, although then I remember that he was the one who decided to take us way off course.
GPS Is a Savior
This situation is a reminder that GPS is a powerful tool. Being in a new city, I had no idea exactly what route we were taking, however the app didn’t lie. Thankfully in my 30+ ridesharing experiences between Uber & Lyft, this is the first time I have ever come across something like this. In fact, just about every time the rate quoted by the app is very accurate. This is still one advantage Uber has over a taxi, even if they can have dishonest drivers as well.
I chose Uber for its simplicity in Mexico City and it ended up turning into a more complicated experience. Still, I am impressed with how they handled things and plan on using them more over the next few days as I get around the city. The truth is there are bad apples everywhere and a company should be judged by how they deal with issues. In this way Uber impressed me.
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