I was a bit worried about taking Uber in Europe because of the language barrier. The hardest part about using Uber was at the airport because the driver would call to find out where I’m at. Most drivers did NOT speak English. Not even enough to get by. At one point, the driver had to say “1 minute” and find someone in the airport to talk for him. I’m not complaining at all, I’m just telling you my experience.
Why take Uber and not a taxi?
I feel safe with Uber and I know I’m not going to get ripped off. Everything is tracked with Uber by GPS. At the end of your ride you get an e-mail with your receipt and a map that shows which route your driver took. If for any reason your driver does not take the optimal route, you can reply to that e-mail and someone at Uber will look into the matter.
We did have to take a taxi while in Florence and we had no idea if the taxi driver was taking us the long way. For all we know, the taxi driver could have been ripping us off. Add the language barrier on top of that and you’ll find yourself having a good time if you do want to dispute the route 🙂
Another reason why you should take Uber and not a taxi is the fact that you get to pay with credit card. A lot of cab drivers won’t take credit card (even if the sticker is displayed on their window.) I hate not being able to pay with credit card. I want to earn those miles!
Taxi’s in Europe aren’t like they are in New York City. You can’t just hail a cab driver. You actually have to find a taxi stand and wait for a cab driver to show up. With Uber, the driver will come to you.
Uber “black car” in Rome
Every single black car in Rome was either a Mercedes Benz E-Class or a BMW. I must say, I felt pretty cool getting picked up by my own personal driver in such nice cars! The best thing about it is the price was always between €12 – €18. A taxi would have been similar in price.
When you request your Uber driver, Uber will send you a photo of the driver, the license plate number and the type of car. When the app lets you know your driver is arriving, you can start looking for the car. When I found the driver, I’d often wave to him and say my name. Most drivers will then get out of the car and open the door for you. Not too shabby 🙂
Getting around with Uber
You can type your destination in the Uber app ahead of time. That way the driver will know exactly where you’re going and you won’t have try and communicate with language barrier issues. See how much easier Uber is than taking a taxi?
If for some reason you do have to communicate with your driver and you’re having issues, I HIGHLY recommend downloading the Google Translate app on your smartphone. This app saved our butts a couple of times.
Did we have any issues with Uber while in Europe?
There were 2 instances that we had to get Uber customer service involved.
The 1st incident was in Paris. We instructed the driver to take us to a street for some shopping. While he took us there, he decided to driver around the block twice. We ended up passing the same buildings twice.
As mentioned above, I replied to the e-mail receipt once we got out of the car. I explained to Uber what happened and the map even showed the driver going around the block. Within just a few short hours, Uber replied with an apology and refunded us a few euros.
I honestly don’t get why Uber drivers try to get away with it. We get a map that shows what route they took within minutes after getting out of the car!
The 2nd incident we had with Uber was in Milan, Italy. The driver stated he could not get to us (even though cars were driving by us on the street.) He made us walk 10 minutes to get to him! To add icing on top of the cake, the driver started the ride before we even got to the car. So while he made us walk 10 minutes to get to him, we were being charged.
We were in the car for less than 10 minutes and the charge was €22! I e-mailed Uber after getting the receipt and explained what happened. They agreed with me that the driver should not have made us walk so far and he shouldn’t have started the ride when we’re not even in the car.
These were the only 2 times I rated my Uber drivers with 1 and 2 stars.
Even though we did have 2 issues with Uber, the rest of the rides were perfect! I can’t recall how many times we took Uber, but I would say at least 20 times over the course of 2 weeks. That’s still a high success rate.
I still think Uber is better than trying to find a taxi stand and deal with paying cash. I also didn’t want to have to second guess my taxi driver and wonder if he was taking us the long way and ripping us off. I like that I have the protection of GPS with Uber and I know everything is tracked.
What do you think of using Uber in a foreign country? Did you have any difficulties? Let me know in the comments below!