Cab hailing services in India like Uber, Ola, Meru and others are getting more competitive with time and have found ways to attract and retain customers. Most of the said methods for customer-retention revolve around providing cheaper fares using options like ride sharing, coupon codes or some other methods. However, it seems like Uber is testing a new way of providing cheaper rides, which involves testing a rider’s patience. From what seems like a slip-up, the company’s employee Gregory Jacobs posted a screenshot of a new feature on Twitter revealing an option that allows a person to wait to get a cheaper cab.
As per the image, a pop-up screen shows up while booking a cab and it notifies the user that when prices will be lowered, which in this case is 5 PM. As per the screenshot, the app allowed Jacobs to either ride now for $10.18 or wait four minutes to find a cab and pay $8.15 for the same destination and distance. The app states, “If you’re OK with leaving later, we’ll request your ride for 17:00 for a lower price.” Jacobs later deleted the tweet and switched to a private account, but the tweet can still be viewed here.
As per an Uber spokesperson, the new feature is currently under testing among Uber employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In a statement to Quartz, the spokesperson said, “Affordability is a top reason riders choose shared rides, and we’re internally experimenting with a way to save money in exchange for a later pickup.” We cannot say with certainty whether the new feature will come to India or not, but seeing how the company has been launching new services in the country, there is a possibility.
Speaking of Uber’s services tailored for India, the company recently unveiled a Lite version of its app. The new app is tweaked to work on devices with less powerful hardware, low storage and in areas with patchy connectivity. It can automatically detect a user’s location and for making the location selection procedure faster, the users are presented with key landmarks around their area. Uber calls this feature Guided Pickups and it is aimed for facilitating minimal typing for users. The Uber Lite app also stores commonly selected locations on a user’s device to make requesting subsequent rides easier and more intuitive.