My Laughable & Terrible Uber Customer Service Experience

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Uber Customer Service Complaint Experience

Uber Customer Service Complaint Experience

In the digital age it has become easier than ever to outsource customer service. All a company needs to do is to write a script and have their agents copy and paste over and over. (Or write the same thing over and over again in different words.) Who cares if the script has nothing to do with the problem that the customer is facing? Copy. Paste.

I run into this quite often when dealing with Amazon Seller Support. Trying to get someone to actually read your issue and respond in a unique way is a hopeless task. Now, it seems that Uber is joining the party. I used to find their customer service to be good, but this past week I learned they are on the copy/paste bandwagon.

It all started when this arrived in my mailbox:

This seems like a generous offer. 50% off up to $10 per ride. And “the discount has already been applied” to my account. That is great, except what if I want to use a different promo I already have? Well, I found out. Last week I headed to Haiti for a mileage run and took Uber to the airport. For that ride I wanted to use a promo I had in my account for a free ride up to $20, but instead only received $10 off because of this promo.

Figuring this was a mistake and that Uber’s stellar customer service team would fix it, I contacted them through the app. I then received the following reply:

In this case, it looks like a different promotion was applied to this trip.
Only one promotion can be applied per trip. If you have more than one promotion on your account, the last promotion added will be the first to be applied.
Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Ok they still aren’t understanding that I didn’t apply that promo. Surely they will fix it. So I write back to clarify what happened. Here is what I received back.

Sorry to hear about what happened, Shawn. I understand how important this is and I want to sort this out for you.

You can add as many promo codes to your account as you’d like, but only one will apply per trip taken.

The last code entered will be the first to apply, so if you’re holding on to a particular code for a specific trip, you should enter it right before you take that trip. Any difference between the promo and fare amount will be charged to your payment method selected. Any balance not used will not roll-over.

Ugh. I DIDN’T APPLY THE PROMO. Ok, maybe I’m not being clear. So I write this short and simple reply.

I didn’t add that 50% off promo to my account. You added it automatically. Please escalate this to a supervisor and get it fixed immediately.

Predictably their response was of no help. In fact, this reply was a bit ironic.

Once a promo code is added to your account, it will automatically apply to the next trip you take. Once a promotion has been applied, it cannot be re-issued.

Earn free rides anytime by inviting friends to sign up. When someone you refer takes a first trip, you’ll receive a free ride.

Earn free rides? You mean like the one I was trying to use when you forced a promo code on my account to give me a lesser discount? Notice there was no mention of a supervisor escalation from them either. I decided to try one more time, simply asking for an escalation.

Thanks for reaching out, Shawn. Happy to explain how promotions work.

Promo codes on your account will automatically apply towards the next trip you take that meets the promotion’s terms. Promotions will apply on a last-in, first-out basis.

Thank you for your understanding.

Thanks for that explanation! I didn’t understand it the first 3 times you guys told me that, but now I do. You are so awesome. Apparently I like pain because I responded angrily thanking him for copying and pasting the same rhetoric. Predictably no supervisor got involved but I did receive this bold lettering and all.

You can add as many promo codes to your account as you’d like, but only one will apply per trip taken.

The last code entered will be the first to apply, so if you’re holding on to a particular code for a specific trip, you should enter it right before you take that trip. Any difference between the promo and fare amount will be charged to your payment method selected. Any balance not used will not roll-over.

I just want to remind you that many promo codes are reserved for new users only, so you can apply a maximum of one new user code to your account before your first trip.

I like this guy’s approach. No, he didn’t help me at all, but he did school me in the ways of new user promo codes. The More You Know. By this point you are saying, “Shawn GIVE UP!” But digital ink is cheap so I wrote one last sleep deprived reply simply asking if the whole thing was a joke.

Is this a joke? Do you understand what a supervisor is? I never applied the promo code, you did. The only promo code that should have been applied to my account was the free ride. You applied a promo that I didn’t ask for and now are overcharging me because of it. And now I have had to email 6 times and each time you reply with a copy/paste job instead of escalating. Please send this to a supervisor.

This was it! Certainly they couldn’t just ignore my sixth plea to have this simple issue fixed. I had confidence that I was turning the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) upside down. I was the one who was going to overcome. Then they replied.

Thanks for writing in, happy to assist.

I apologize for the trouble here.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to make any adjustments to your trip at this time.

The last code entered will be the first to apply. If you’re holding on to a particular code for a specific trip, you should enter it right before you take that trip.

No need to worry, I noticed that you currently have multiple promotions on your account which could be used for future trips. Some of these promotions were automatically added while others were manually added.

I then gave up. I probably should have done that 5 emails ago, but oh well. 🙂

Do you have any horrible customer service stories from Uber or other companies? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. Uber had decent customer service way back in the day. Now it is pretty much worthless. I’ve never received a satisfactory reply over a year now. Thankfully Lyft and Cabify etc provide some decent alternatives sometimes.

  2. It used to be the upfront estimate was the price you were charged, unless something unusual occurred. Now Uber’s “business model” seems to be to always tack on a random amount and then lecture me how “extra stops”, a “longer route”, etc – nothing which is applicable – can raise the fare. Nope, it’s straight out cheating and apparently they’re just hoping you don’t notice. My sister has had the same experience.
    I’ve become very hesitant to use Uber now due to the guaranteed rip-off followed by the aforementioned horrible customer service experience that doesn’t actually address your issue.

    I’m surprised it hasn’t led to a complete boycott.

  3. Just come across this article, Uber actually need to be closed down, i have never experienced a company who are as bad to deal with as Uber, even other big companies like Amazon have better customer service, I kept getting 50% off emails which then they wouldnt let me use, they wouldnt refund me for food that wasnt delivered, i had to go through my bank to get the money back, Uber need to be closed down.

  4. Uber Customer Service is still horrible. Had to change my phone number and jump through multiple hops just to contact their “support”. Then I got this:

    /// Please enter your reply above this line. Replies below this line will not be received. \\\\\\

    The security of your account is important to us. Before we can help make this update, we need to verify your phone number. Please let us know:

    – The phone number currently on your account
    – The phone number you want to start using
    – A screenshot of the new number from your device

    We ask for a screenshot to help verify device ownership.

    The email was in an image block so I could not even reply above the line without forwarding it. I could not do a screen shot so I took a photo of the about phone. Never heard back from them.

    So I sent them a nasty gram saying I would rather go back to using old school taxi cabs than use their service. They I deinstalled their crappy app from my phone. I use Lyft instead. They are slightly better.

  5. Absolutely retarded! Tried to create an account with the app (uber) wouldn’t allow me to add a payment method, error popup. I then look for a phone number and had to download uber driver app to get that number. Called, I had to confirm my identity 9 times as I was redirected to 9 different people. 45 minutes into the call and everyone apparently looked into my account while asking me the same questions. You need to log in on a computer, sure tried that but now my account is temporarily suspended. She said you need documents with drivers licence, I said I’m not a driver I’m a rider. She says make a new account, but soon as I have to enter my phone number to register it recognizes it and redirects me to login screen. Kept me on hold for 15 minutes then hung up. Call back, oh this is Uber Eats. Wtf???!!!!! You have to call this number. Call that number its not in service. Call them back they’re like this is just an advice centre we can’t make any changes on any account. Omfg why do you guys even have jobs! 1.5 hrs later I call a cab instead. Total morons.

  6. On July 25th at 18:19 I was riding in an Uber. The eventual bill was $66.23.

    The driver missed an exit on MA route 90 (toll road). The driver had to go extra miles and time (14 minutes) to return to the correct exit. I was charged for extra Tolls, Miles, Time. I want a refund for that.

    Uber customer service has denied any refunds. That is wrong! I want a refund for the incorrect amount as I am not responsible for the extra Tolls, Miles and time.



  7. I am the Admin on a business account which wasn’t reporting all our employee’s rides. One would think this is simple to fix right? Not with Uber. After supplying a reacted paystub (yes, even though my email is on the account and my name is on the company charge card) I was asked to prove my identity by supplying a paystub. Then I was told the paystub wasn’t enough, that they needed a badge or a letter from Human Resources. Seriously? Again my name and email are both on the account. In that same email where they requested a badge, they unilaterally put our account on hold. This is where I said “Uncle” – we’re closing our account. If I had stock in Uber, I’d sell it and buy Lyft.

  8. Us drivers get the same run around when we have questions about policy. I have spent a week in a back and forth, without the same person replying. I’ve never been so frustrated!

  9. As a driver I keep trying to get them to add the uberxl option to my account for my Honda Pilot. I continually get the same copy and pasted response about it needing to be 4 doors and seat 7….which a pilot does. Previous interaction with them led me into cursing which did get a different response…”Let’s keep communication professional”. I mostly did it in an attempt for it to be flagged by a supervisor which I had requested six times.

  10. I had the same experience as the original post. I opened up 4 different in-app Help inquiries/tickets but they gave me the run around. The difference is that the original promo was a credit I paid for using SamsungPay and when Uber automatically applied another promo, it overrode my credit I paid for; rendering my credit unusable because of the last in, first applied rule. No credit was given or any resemblance of trying to understand the unique situation. On all 4 help inquiries/tickets, they just stopped responding.

  11. I had a horrible experience with an Uber driver. He was aggressive and argumentative. I even recorded him at one stage as I felt unsafe. I contacted Uber but they were not helpful and I just got repeat scripted answers and a phone call from a lady again clearly reading from a script and she wasn’t bothered about my ordeal. Is there a way to take this further externally? A complaint against Uber or someone more senior to speak to? I’m tempted to post screenshots of the Uber feedback and the recording I took on social media.

  12. Uber has the worst customer service ever! I took a Uber Pool which cost me around 15 dollars. After the ride I got my email receipt. When I woke up next day morning and tried to call a Uber, the system told me that I owed them over $200 b/c the fare was adjusted up. Isn’t it ridiculous?

    Then I emailed the customer service, they replied to me saying that the driver reported that I changed the pick-up and drop-off place, which I didn’t make any modification. And they insisted that I should be over charged b/c it reflects driver’s devotion. I was surprised by their ridiculous reply, which shows their 0 understanding of my issue. Fortunantely, I got a representitive who helped me solve the issue. I follow up to thank the rep and tried to express my comments on the driver and the previous rep. However, the other rep and twitter team kept replying the same msg for me saying that the issue was solved.

    I got the feeling that NO ONE can really express their comments and get the question solved. It recalled me of an experience 2 yrs ago, where the customer team also carelessly replied without reading my issue.

    Surprisingly, Lyft’s customer service team is always the best! They care about you and try hard to solve your issue. Will never take Uber ride again after using up my $15 credit every month from Amex Plat. Huge fans for Lyft forever!

  13. I took an uber ride home the other day, after a long day of traveling from Connecticut to California. The first bad sign was the driver had no room in the trunk for our bags, so my spouse and I had to hold 4 large bags on our laps, 2 of which were 40-lb suitcases. But, the topper was the driver ran out of gas about 1 mile from my home. We were forced out of the car at an extremely busy intersection, in the dark. Then had to walk 20 minutes with our 4 bags to get home. I contacted customer service immediately and all they have offered is a $5 credit on a future ride. They state that sometimes you might have to walk a short distance and and that it is not within their standard in this case to offer a refund. I asked if it was within their standard for a driver to pick a rider up with no gas in the car.

    • Sue, when they respond with stupid automated responses just keep the email chain going until they give you a refund. They always talk around the problem with copy paste answers without even reading your full problem. Just keep annoying them ask them how much you get for pain and suffering having to put bags on your lap. Eventually they will give you a refund if you dont give up.

  14. I had a similar experience to Keith. Quoted $56 using UBER Ski from Vail to Eagle-Vail Airport. Driver arrived and loaded up our bags and skis (two of us with two bags and two sets of skis) and then told us that the ride was inappropriate for Uber SKI. He asked to see my phone and cancelled UBER Ski and told me to rebook through Uber XL. He then accepted the Uber Ski request, and I was charged $137 for the same driver, same number of passengers, and same number of bags that UBER quoted $56 dollars using UberSKI. I have now communicated with Uber Customer Service 8 times and provided detailed information. They explained that it was “within the estimate” (not true) and later that it was because of surge pricing. They offered me a $36 dollar credit against future rides. I just contested the charge with AMEX.

  15. I was quoted $16 for a short drive, but I needed the ride, so I booked it. I get the receipt in my email, and they charged me $32! I filed a customer service complaint, and got the same type of service.. “within the estimate…” crap. No, I was quoted $16 and you doubled the charge! 3 emails/responses later, I’m still getting the exact same language from them.

    I guess they just keep repeating their original response in hopes I give up. Nope.. I know it’s only $16, but I have a hard time letting go of being ripped off, so I’m not only going to dispute the charge, but will also be filing a claim with the public utility commission, which regulates Uber in my state. Also going to start using Lyft from now on, at least until they screw me too.

  16. Uhhhhh I am happy to hear this, while unfortunate it is a relief that I’m not the only person who has been going in circles with these people for a year. I am also a driver so as someone mentioned “what if there are serious problems needing immediate attention” and it’s all the same no mtater the problem. I am however assuming that if I used the topic option “I was in an accident” they may have an automatic escalation to real person support; and another is possible a mention of physical violence–had a passenger get physically abusive with another passenger, two were my pick up riders back to back, to be picked up from the same location, so one was fighting to be the first one to be picked up. So when I reported this violent rider, uber actually called me, which at that time when they did not have a phone support line, was pretty surprising to get a call.

    Reaching out to uber via message is a daily battle for me. I even started writing “I beg you to please respond without auto read/write,” PLEASE NO AUTOMATED RESPONSE!” And in the winter “WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF WINTER STORM ADVISORY, please no automated messages.”

    At first I thought they are just sending automated copy paste responses….but when you realised that the responses have nothing to do with my inquiry, there is much more to it…they aren’t even reading the messages. As Uber is simply just a software company, they are also using a software that reads the message, probably using a percentage system, such that the message would have a certain % of key words, maybe 50%, to match a predetermined topic based on the words. Once the system guesses the topic, it then has the auto generated response for that topic. A local uber office clerk tried to discredit my statement when I told her that my message responses are all automated and i told her my theory about auto reading by software. She said the responses are all by real representatives and not sutomated. So I told her: well this means that either these people speak very little English and are ready not understanding what is being written to them, or they have to be simply lazy and just skim the messages for key words, lazy and care zero about their customer support job. What else could it be??? Of course she said nothing in response.

  17. My issue was with a driver. tried a few times to “chat” with their customer service but all I got was scripted answers. With that, I know nothing will be done to help me or help the service.

    My decision was to delete uber app

  18. uber customer service certainly has gotten worse in my experience as well.
    On a trip from San Francisco to the suburbs, an uber diver didn’t end the trip, but drove half the way back to the city, charging me all along.
    When I disputed the charge, including the map that showed the “round trip”, they kept ignoring what I was writing, continuing to claim that the trip was “within the estimate” I received.
    When I threatened to dispute the charge with my credit card company and to come after them for allowing fraud by drivers, they issued a credit for the partial amount in question…
    no supervisor ever touched the issue…
    I’ve run customer service for many years and this is not an individual staff issue, this is directed top-down behavior and a systemic customer service issue!

  19. Thanks for posting this. Uber customer service is horrid. I suspect it is more than just copy and paste by humans. It is possible that bots are searching for key words / phrases in an incoming message and then spit out boiler plate languages. I would tweet Uber or call your credit card company.

  20. Yes! Thank you for posting this over the past two days had the same poor and scripted experience with uber eats. I’m moving to delete my account. Imagine if we had real problems! Let’s not support this kind of junk.

  21. I also felt the same way dealing with the Citi Prestige help desk. After your post about their 100k offer I tried to have it matched. First they replied with a cookie cut reply they don’t have a 100k offer. Then I replied with the link and they came back with same cookie cut saying my card is not eligible. I took a pic of my card and the card on the 100k offer they replied same formats with your account is not eligible. I then said my buddy with same card was able to get matched, yet another cookie reply your account it not eligible. I replied again with same your account is not eligible response reworded. I tried a final time saying its not about my accout it all depends on the Customer service rep asking if they could please explain why my accou tllt is not eligible when I know for a fact other with same card are being matched. Their responce you guessed it your account is not eligible reworded another way without any reason why my account can not be matched.

    Then… I attemped to call the phone rep tells me they are unable to request I’m matched until I reach the $2000 spending limit. Once I reach it call us again and we will ask that I’m matched but can not guarantee it will be matched.
    OMG!! are you kidding me I gave up after that.

  22. bro. what you experienced is NO different than long ago. sounds like u had luck in the past and noticed a “change” in customer service. but they have ALWAYS sucked for me. offshore idiots. ESPECIALLY Uber Eats. I cant tell you how stupid front line first level support is. Its not just copy/paste of script. It literally IQ -100 type of crap. I have been so damn pissed so many damn times with their BS. they dont answer shit. you say ABC and they answer XYZ w/ “thank you for the feedback, we will try to improve for next time. take care for now.” fuk that.

    now, i just go STRAIGHT to twitter and publicly complain all the time. their Twitter is staffed with some smart USA people. I am not 100% sure but their communication skills is very different and they handle shit ASAP like no other. go try twitter. i already know u use twitter CSR a lot, but with Uber its a REQUIREMENT.

    good luck man!

  23. Did you use the 50% off promo for any other rides? You should be able to get them to cave. If you used that promo for other rides… then customer service is not being out of line here. It is standard that Uber only applies the one promo (the last one added to your account) per ride. Generally, if I want to use a particular coupon first I’ll use it and wait to apply a coupon to the account until after I’ve used the first one. If Uber auto applies a coupon and I’d rather use a previous promo, I usually message them to remove the promo they added on so I can use the previous promo.

    ALso not sure the $10 is worth this rant!

  24. That is really nuts…and really a sad state of all of our electronica!
    i think the credit card dispute is a great idea

  25. I agree, disputed with credit card company, obviously the email chain alone is a proof where they applied the code without your knowledge. Probably have gotten a free ride 🙂

  26. Does the promo also over ride your AMEX $15 monthly credits? Above and beyond Ubers mistake of apply 50% off and charging $10. Did the $10 charge apply to AMEX credit or charge your Credit Card?
    Hopefully the AMEX credit is applied as a gift card credit and not as a Promo which your only aloud to use 1.

  27. Shaw, I used to get quick, personal replies that not only quickly fixed issues but gave me ride credits as well. Lately, nope. Uber(corporate) sucks. The drivers are generally good, however.


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