Why I mostly hate Uber and the (very easy) hack a driver taught me


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I don't have a car. Not only that, but I also don't drive. These two things can be very disadvantageous when you are looking for work (as I learned from my 15 months of unemployment between 2014 and 2015) or you are a person trying to have a life filled with moments of going places. The Johannesburg geography and our poor public transport systems mean that night life can be hella exclusive


Before I even got the Uber app, while I was still looking for work, I got into the habit of telling potential employers in my cover email "No, I don't drive, but if it's that important, there's Uber! Look at my other "amazeballs qualities." Places that weren't offering to pay me a wage that would see me living a semi-decent life also wanted me to have a car (obviously, I would have to innovate so it ran  on water).

Fast Forward to the last couple of months of 2015 and I not only had a shiny new (entry-level) android, but I also had the Uber app and felt a little like I could do whatever -- given it was still early in the month and my bank balance still looked decent. Employment is wonderful when it isn't terrible.

By the time March 2016 came, and I elected to go to Imbawula -- the "storytelling" platform held once a month at Bassline -- I was still a novice but I trusted my abilities around the app. Well, that night, my driver and I couldn't really find each other. And my phone was on its way to death. 

See, my problem has been locating myself within the app.


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I have over six cancelled trips with varying successes on the fee (I've only cancelled one in time to avoid paying the R25 minimum). So, because FOR SOME REASON I never really found a tutorial that told me how best to locate myself, I kept messing up my location. 

Prime example: sometime around June I was invited to a brand event, which I was keen on because there would be photographs of cute black kids and Mafikizolo would perform. And the finger food. Always the finger food. I left work on time and took my usual taxi to town. I got off in Hillbrow because the plan was to Uber to Braam. That day I had to cancel TWO rides because those guys couldn't find me, probably because the addresses were wrong.

Weeks later, heading to an evening event for work, between having a heart-to-heart about the DA in townships and how Orange Farm has been forgotten, the man driving showed me the best way to locate myself on the app! Yes, I'm that weirdo who talks to "Uber Drivers."

How to find your location and address when calling an uber:

1. Forget the pin. It is not there for you. It is not your friend.
2. "Go to pin" sends the car to where the pin is and not somehow brings the pin to your location. Know this. It will protect your wallet.
3. Click on the compass symbol on the map. That is the easiest way to let the satelites know where you are, Evelyn Salt.
4. Double check the location when it inputs. Another time I was in Hillbrow, again going to Braam for a thing, and I mapped myself and got it started. Only, the map picked up the side of the road I was on as a part of another road. The man driving wouldn't listen as I tried to direct him -- literally, he had to turn a corner and I was there but he never came down that far. Crossing the road helped the next guy (after the R25 cancellation fee was gone) find me easily.

If you are familiar with, say, google maps this hack is probably obvious, which I did state at the very top but thanks for reading on!


If you've never used Uber, download the app today and sign up using my code nomalic3ue* and get a portion of your ride free (up to R100 off)!

*Disclosure: if you use my code I'll get the same, but win-win, right? And once you've signed up, you can pay it forward and share your code. 

What do you hate the most about using Uber?

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