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Why you should delete Uber, and what to use instead

Susie Ochs | Nov. 19, 2014
The king of ride-sharing companies just can't be trusted. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to catch a ride.

Frankly, any app that stores your personal data needs to let you delete it--Uber has my credit card, phone number, email address, and stored data on every ride I've ever taken. Not letting me erase that info and walk away is another huge strike against Uber.

What to use instead?
Uber isn't the only ride-sharing app, although it can be hard for consumers and regulators to determine which, if any, has the best behavior. I've had good experiences with Lyft, which works pretty much exactly the same as Uber, and covers 62 cities and counting. The carpool version, Lyft Line, is very affordable, and the drivers have all been friendly. Lyft's reputation as a company isn't completely spotless--for example, it cancelled the Lyft Plus program after convincing drivers to purchase customized Ford Explorers, although the company did offer the drivers assistance including a $10,000 bonus or help selling the car. Disappointingly, Lyft also makes you email support to delete you account.

Sidecar is another option--I haven't tried it personally, but I'm installing it now. (It's always nice to have more than one of these apps on your phone, in case one is offering surge pricing, or just doesn't have cars in your area when you need a ride.) Sidecar's point of pride is that it lets you choose from a list of drivers, sorting them by lowest price, shortest time of arrival, or even what kind of car. It also has a ride-sharing feature to keep costs down. It's currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles plus Long Beach and San Diego, Boston, Washington DC, and Charlotte.

Why not hail a cab?
The reason I was first attracted to ride-sharing over simply taking regular taxi cabs wasn't just the convenience of summoning a car to my exact location--it was also the ease of payment. With a stored credit card, I just hop out, knowing the transaction is completed automatically. This is huge since I almost never carry cash, and the taxi drivers in my area are notoriously reluctant to take a credit card. (They claim the machine is broken, or try to talk you into swinging by an ATM on the way home--honestly!)

Cab-hailing apps like Taxi Magic, NexTaxi, Flywheel, and Mytaxi let you store a credit card in the app so you can pay for your ride. Only they summon legitimate cabs, which are regulated by law. I've tried Flywheel and enjoyed how Uber-like the service was--especially since the cab drivers who use it clearly aren't afraid of technology and won't give me a hard time for not having cash.

What do you think? Is Uber's bad behavior enough to make you walk away?


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