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Update January 24, 2016- These alternatives to Uber are doing so well that Uber is now lowering prices to compete. I have not used Uber in many months. Gett is my preferred carrier. Via is a little shady. They will dump you off a far distance from your destination.
November 11, 2015- by Steven E. Greer
Downtown, you will wait a few minutes longer than Uber for a car, but it is worth it. You can go anywhere in Manhattan for $10, and the quality of the cars are the same. I went to 80th street and back for $18. If you are not way Downtown, the cars arrive as fast as Uber.
What is also nice about Gett is that they have real people on the phone who can answer questions, since they are based just in New York. Any problem you have will be addressed promptly. I had a rude driver, for example, and they gave me a $20 coupon.
Gett never has surge pricing, which is another distinction from Uber.
In stark contrast, Uber has no phone support whatsoever. They even make it impossible to find an email address on their website.
An anonymous Uber “person” replied via email, “Thanks for writing in and letting us know about the trouble updating your payment profile. I understand that you would like to speak on the phone about this concern. Though we don’t currently provide phone service – this is something we hope to have soon. I’ll be happy to work with you via email to fully resolve your issue as quickly as possible.”.
The Uber robot then proceeded to cut and paste the instructions from their website, which we already knew.
If you have ever seen the CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, on TV, he is a quintessential arrogant Silicon Valley “disrupter”: a pimple-faced punk who thinks he is smarter than most other people on the planet. He has adopted the zero-customer-service style of most other large Internet companies.
Large investors in Uber, like Peter Thiel, think that the company has an insurmountable first-mover advantage, and that competition will never succeed. That is not true. Small companies, such as Gett or Lyft, will ride the in the wake of Uber, not having to fight the political battles that Uber is fighting for them. Then, they will swoop in and underprice Uber.
If Uber ever goes IPO, it will be a short.