Uber launched officially in Accra, Ghana yesterday 9th June 2016. As part of the launch event they are giving away four days of free rides. This starts midday of Thursday 9th till midnight Sunday 12th June.
These are the terms of the promotion;
•You must download the Uber application & enter the promo code MoveGHANA in order to receive the free rides
•Free rides are available from Thursday, 9 June at 12:00 until Sunday, 12 June at midnight
•Users are limited to a total of 6 free rides & each trip is limited to a maximum of GHS 20
•Note that free rides are only valid for trips that start & end in the Accra coverage area
— US Embassy Ghana (@USEmbassyGhana) June 9, 2016
I’ve decided to take each day’s ride, test the service and tell you how each ride turned out. This is going to be a very honest review and hope it helps you when you decide to use the service.
If you ever used Easy Taxi, this is going to be somewhat very familiar. However the differences include the type of vehicles (Uber uses luxury cars, a pricing system and different types of payment options).
Uber as we know it has options for individuals, transport service operators, etc to sign up to the program. Currently it looks like the people signed up to the program are transport service operators who of course have luxury cars. I’m yet to know of someone who signed up to be part of the service as a driver, that might happen or not?
Earlier during midday, when I checked I could see a lot of Uber cars on the map but when I was ready to request sometime around 5:30 pm they weren’t there (I guess this is going to happen based off on your location and timing). Also I could find the names of most places during search at midday. This however wasn’t the case when it came to requesting a ride; I will say the only way around this is using the pin ? to select your final destination street, but this isn’t an option maybe for now. Pin works for selecting current position if GPS isn’t very helpful or no location name.
So I placed the request, it was accepted and I had to wait 7 minutes for my driver to arrive. There wasn’t the option to choose from a drivers list, I guess because only one person was available and close. This timing didn’t include the fact that this was during rush hour and there was a lot of traffic heading towards the Airport area. I waited where I did the request just outside my office because 7 minutes didn’t seem like a lot. The clouds gathered and it started raining and I mean heavily so I run back in and took shelter at the security post 35 meters away from where I made the request.
38 minutes passed before I saw a sedan come and stop where I was pinned to have made the request. So if you make a request especially using pin ? expect the driver to find his way just there and if you move away from the spot they have an option to call you. You also have an option in the app to call or message the driver (didn’t see this option earlier, but was hopeful the driver will show up, and I was trying to avoid the cancellation fee ?).
Unfortunately because I couldn’t see the name of my exact destination and couldn’t use the pin ? on the map for destination I chose Accra, but we resolved this and driver was willing to take me to my destination. He however had to speak to someone at the office about some challenges and after all was said and done voila! we were on our way (it was raining I was in an Uber and definitely getting home somehow safe and soon).
The car details were exactly what was in the driver details. So I knew what to expect. The ride was as expected; flashy car, decent driver and a display of professionalism. When we arrived at my destination I had opted for the card payment so even if there was a supposed payment, that was sorted out. If you choose cash or mobile money option, you’ll see the payable fare on your app and his’ and you’ll have to make the payment at this point.
So it’s pretty straight forward. Will I be using the uber when the promotion offer is over, yeah surely. There are certain times and places I’ll like a class service, great cool ride and executive feel for less than the usual taxi cost.
How will Uber be different from using a normal taxi? How will they thrive in the Ghanaian economy as a company? How will they operate differently from Easy Taxi so as to excel? This and many more questions are on the lips of many Ghanaians.
Have you tried the Uber experience yet? Do you have a question? Let’s talk about this in the comments.
Are you feeling the Buzz and want to give it a go?
I’m giving you a 1st free ride on the Uber app (up to GH₵15).
Use promo code —> uberMCGH <— to sign up and enjoy the ride! Try it and tell us what you think.
Looking forward to the next ride and will definitely fill you in.