According to the Pew Research survey, 96 percent of Americans own a cell phone, but only 81 percent of them own a smartphone, according to themedia The Verge. For those who find the smartphone unmanageable, Uber is testing a new way to call a car: a new 1-800 phone number.
The experiment may be new for Uber, but it may be familiar to those who call edified before a call-up service like Uber. This number applies only to people currently residing in Arizona. Uber says Arizonans who can’t access the app can call 1-833-USE-UBER to ask field team members to provide rides. The customer service representative will use the same pricing algorithm as the application to provide up-front prices.
In order to use this feature, customers need to use SMS or text-based mobile phones to receive important messages about their ETA, driver’s license details, and driver’s name. Customers will continue to receive messages before and during travel, and once they are closed, they will receive a receipt.
Uber says it’s designed for older people, although it wants anyone who “likes to talk to support” to benefit. Danielle Sheridan, Uber’s head of U.S. city operations, said in a statement: “We have established 1-833-USE-UBER to extend access to anyone who wishes to use our services with a little extra help. There’s always a lot to do, but this feature brings real-time support to our matching technology, so every day customers get the ride they want. “
Customers can request rides in Arizona, including UberX, Uber Comfort, Uber Black, Black SUV, and Uber Assist and WAV, if any. Although carrier messages and data rates may be used, there is no additional charge for using this service.
To be sure, this new phone number is not suitable for the general audience. Uber still wants most users to use the app to call a car. In other words, it is not used for customer service requests or lost and found inquiries.
This isn’t the first time Uber has allowed contact outside the app. In 2016, Uber retained an emergency phone number for passengers and drivers to contact employees. This number is for non-911-related emergencies only. A few years later, the company began experimenting with VoIP communications services (IP-based voice calling technology). Similar to Skype or FaceTime audio, VoIP uses an Internet connection instead of a cellular service to make calls.