After using Addison Lee for the past year, I finally gave Uber a try, and I must say…I absolutely loved it! Uber is a car for hire service and is managed through a smartphone mobile app. You basically just fire up the app, identify your location (using your phone’s GPS), specify where you want to go, and then book your driver. It even gives you car options, such as a standard, executive, or luxury car for your journey. The app also provides you with your journey’s estimated total fare and when you can expect your pickup.
It’s no wonder this service has gone viral and is now available in just about every major city across the globe. Since moving to the UK, I think I have only used a black cab service twice. Reason being, 1.) They tend to be very rude, 2.) They are probably the most costly 3.) They often refuse to accept credit cards, 4.) they refuse to take you (usually because they feel the distance is too short or in the opposite direction they want to head, and 5.) you may have to wait a while before you find one (outside of zone 1 in London, cabs are very scarce in my opinion).
So, this is the primary reason I have used Addison Lee for the past year. But lately, for some unknown reason, Addison Lee has been lacking drivers. I have called a few times and they simply stated they are fully booked and they cannot take my request for pickup. Basically saying, try calling back in an hour. That doesn’t really work when you need a lift home from the airport. The thing is, they usually do have drivers available, they just hold them for their booking clients.
This is what happened to me yesterday when I was returning home from a trip. I forgot what my booking account number was and I didn’t have access to it on my phone. So rather than calling someone to get ahold of it, I decided to try out Uber. I loaded up the app, there was an Uber driver available immediately, booked him, and I received a call immediately. He instructed me to head up to the departures floor and within 5 minutes, I was on my way home in a very nice car. I was even offered water and a charger for my phone. In the past, when booking through Addison Lee, I would usually have to wait at least 20-25 minutes for a driver to show up, and then have to call him several times to tell him how to find the meeting point at arrivals (not sure why these drivers never seem to get this.)
As for my Uber experience, I arrived home, safe and sound, AND at a fare that was more than HALF of what I would typically pay for Addison Lee’s service for the same journey. So needless to say, as long as an Uber car is available, no more black cabs or Addison Lee for me.
If you want to give it a try yourself, sign up on Uber’s site by using this link and get a free sign-on bonus of 10 pounds (or 10 dollars in the US): http://www.uber.com/invite/0i7l6