I had a meeting in Redmond today at 10am, about 35 minutes drive from my house, so I got in an Uber about 9:05. The driver recognised our hosue: he’d driven my wife there a few weeks ago and tried to volunteer his son to do some gardening for us. We had a good chat, but he drove me in the wrong direction for twenty minutes and so I ended up arriving late for my meeting. There were 30 people at the meeting, but 35 of them were on video conference, which raises the question of why I had to be in a car for an hour.
Then I had to get an Uber back to the office. I ordered one, and waited, and according to the map it was waiting at the junction, about 50 yards away. I waited for the driver to pull in. And waited. And waited.
I called him – no response – and messaged him, and eventually walked up to the junction to find his car was either invisible or just not there. So then I tried to cancel, at which point Uber told me there would be a $5 fee to compensate the driver for driving 18 minutes to reach me. No mention of me being compensated for 18 minutes of waiting for an imaginary driver, but thankfully they then refunded the cancellation fee. It still left me annoyed that they’d charged it in the first place.
Eventually, a Lyft driver gave me a ride back to the office, a grumpy, South African Lyft driver (most of my drivers seem to be expatriate divorcees of American women, but that’s a small sample, I admit) and then I sat at my desk for the rest of the day, swearing to have no more travel in my life. Or at least not to have somebody else drive me somewhere.