In a move to expand their business and reach out to more people, transport-giant Uber have come up with a simpler solution to book a cab for your needs — Dial an Uber, a service which lets you book a cab via your browser, without downloading the Uber app.
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Uber faces stiff competition from their rivals Ola Cabs in India and this new format might prove useful to getting more customers as it also works in areas with poor internet connections.
The company had a presence in 29 Indian cities and tested this programme in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur before deciding to roll it out for the rest of the cities.
“We began with introducing ‘Dial an Uber’ – an ‘India first innovation’ in four cities, as a pilot to overcome the challenge of serving under all kinds of networks, especially low or poor connectivity. Buoyed by the overwhelming responses, we are pleased to announce a national roll-out,” said Apurva Dalal, Head of Engineering, Uber India.
How to Book Using Dial service?
Visit the Dial an Uber website and log in using your phone number and email address/Facebook or sign up to their service if you haven’t already.
Next, the website taps into your mobile’s location and starts searching for nearby cabs, while providing you with a rough ride estimate.
If you confirm the ride, you’ll be presented with the driver’s number whom you can call to coordinate pickup.
Only cash payments are supported in this mode, and you’ll have to pay the driver in cash after your trip ends.
It seems like a bad time for the company to introduce a method which accepts merely cash as a mode of payment.
“Dial an Uber offers a convenient choice to customers looking to book a ride and is a testament to our focus on using our technological edge to make mobility reliable and accessible for everyone,” Apurva Dalal added.
As useful as this feature might look, taking into consideration the paucity of cash due to demonetisation, this probably isn’t the best time for a company to bank their hopes on cash-driven sales.
At a time when Ola has upgraded its wallet service, and mobile wallets are registering a high number of new users and an unprecedented number of transactions, it won’t come as a surprise if this service which uses cash as its only option of payment doesn’t grow in popularity.