Tech Magazine

Now you can actually call an Uber

We’re now taking all jingle submissions for Uber’s new phone number. 

The expression “calling an Uber” just got real with the ride-hailing app’s new phone number to book a ride. 

Starting Thursday, anyone in Arizona can call 1-833-USE-UBER (that’s 1-833-873-8237) to book an UberX, Comfort, Black, SUV, and Assist or WAV rides in some cities for people who need assistance or who use a wheelchair. 

The number is supposed to help those without a smartphone or who don’t or can’t use the Uber app, for whatever reason. 

“Using the Uber app can be overwhelming,” Danielle Sheridan, the head of U.S. city operations, said in a phone call, especially, “someone without as much product fluency.” So, it’ll mostly be older customers without much tech savvy, but Uber is letting anyone use the call service, even if you have the Uber app (and use it often). For people with bad connectivity or who can’t access the app, it could also come in handy. As part of the pilot, everyone gets five Uber phone calls per day.

If you want to call an Uber you call the number (did you memorize it yet?) from a cellphone that can get texts. A live human will pick up. You give your credit card information along with pickup and drop-off info. The support person will give an upfront price estimate. If it’s your first time ever using Uber you’ll have to confirm a verification code and agree to terms of service. 

Then you’re sent text messages with all the pertinent Uber information (license plate number, driver name, ETA, and such) without ever opening the Uber app. 

Once the car arrives and you get to your destination, you can call back for support issues (like if you left something in the car.) If you’re an Uber app user you won’t be able to call the line for access to customer support. Uber is one step ahead and knows people will try to get in touch any way possible.  

Almost everything is the same as the traditional Uber app experience, except for tipping. For now, if you want your driver to get tipped, bring cash. Sheridan said Uber plans to build out a phone-friendly way to add a tip, but for now it doesn’t exist. While this is only available in Arizona for now, if all goes well during the pilot the number could roll out to additional states and cities. 

It’s free to use the number, just like the app is free, but watch out for text rates. 

1-833-USE-UBER — is it as stuck in your head as the 1-877-KARS-4-KIDS jingle yet?