I used Uber during my recent trip to Manila and LOVED it! I loved the convenience of requesting Uber cars from my phone, riding in quality cars, enjoying great service, but best of all, not having to negotiate fares and exchange cash with the driver! While most of my trips were seamless, there were a few little things I learnt over the week.
Notify your credit card company before you head overseas
I failed to do this and one seemingly normal shoe purchase blocked my credit card. Unfortunately, it was also the same credit card linked to my Uber account! Once blocked, I could not request Uber cars (because of an outstanding payment) and had to wait for Uber Support to manually resolve it for me. Though the issue was fixed within an hour, I was left Uber-less and had to find other transport options. Long story short, notify your credit card company before you travel and save yourself the risk of being stranded!
Request Uber cars when you have a strong data signal or wifi
Manila has some very patchy data signals, even in Makati where I was staying! I quickly learnt the best way to request a car was to do it when I had a strong data signal or when connected to wifi. Once an Uber had picked up my request, I took a screenshot of the driver and car details in case my data signal were to drop out before pickup!
Pay attention to surge rates
Surge rates can apply during peak times to get more Uber cars on the road. The fare is basically multiplied by a certain rate (the highest I saw was 2x). When surge rates apply to one car type, it is worth estimating fares on other car types without surge rates (even more expensive types). You might just be lucky and end up riding in a more luxurious car for a cheaper or similar price.
Double-check pickup and dropoff pins
Double-check your pickup and dropoff pins on the map before requesting your car. I was caught out a few times entering the name of buildings, assuming they had the correct address. Luckily, my Uber drivers were happy enough to drive me to the correct locations.