Uber in Malaysia in one word: AHOTMESS

So, after being in a countries with virtually no traffic rules and a tuk tuks galore, I was excited to land in Malaysia knowing that Uber just rolled out here in October.

I am a huge fan of Uber.  And while the relationship is sometimes a love-hate, like during 2.5-4x surge pricing, it is still a solid service that really sticks it to rude taxi drivers who pretty much suck at life.

After failing to get three taxi apps here to work (I tried them more out of curiosity), I went ahead and called an Uber.  I was out in the burbs so didnt expect an 10 minute arrival time and was not shocked to see that the nearest driver was 28 minutes away.  So, I make a request…Black Car is the only price point they offer….

I get the “your driver is on the way” text and oh, but the way, he is  driving a Camry.  Uh, but you are charging black car rates….for a Camry (that for the record turned out to be gray).  Uh, ok.

Three minutes later, I get a call from the driver who launched into a long speech about who he was, how long he had been driving, and how he was on the way and his GPS…blah blah blah….

I eventually cut him off since it was an international call and I had no interest in hearing more of his resume.  Anyway, as soon as he hung up, I get the “Your Uber is arriving text”.  No way!  I trudged downstairs out into the Malaysian humidity and waited a few minutes before looking at the GPS tracking to see the car had not moved since I first ordered it.  Sigh.

30 minutes later, the driver arrives…happy as ever and continuning to share with me his accomplishments as a driver.  To be fair, he was super  nice and professional and the Camry was clean.  Awesome.  15 minutes later, I reach my destination just before a huge down pour.  Life win.

After I was done, had failed miserably at crossing streets and making it somewhere safe to walk without getting hit by moving vehicles, I decided I would give Uber another try.  Being close to KLCC, I figured a good number of drivers should have been in the area.  I was right!  Nearest driver was 5 minutes away.  I refreshed just to make sure! Yep, still five minutes.  As soon as I hit request driver now, suddenly the closest driver was 38 minutes away! W.T.F. It was pouring rain and there were sketcky men galore around and your arrival time is off by over half an hour? Unacceptable.  The driver, after a few calls found me and we were on our way to sit in traffic for 30 minutes before making it to the next locale….which luckily was a place with beer.

Phew. Out of the rain, beer in hand, another interesting Uber experience under my belt.  Oh, one moment, I have a Whatsapp message.  Oh, who is it from….my Uber driver.  He wanted to know how my dinner was going.  As sweet and thoughtful as it may be, I must admit, it was a little odd.  He asked me what I had decided on and whether I was heading back soon as he was conveniently in the area.  #justalittlecreepy

After having had a creepy cab experience, I wasn’t so inclined to take this guy up on his offer to take me home.  I waited a bit, had another beer, a horrid cheese plate, and decided to try one more time.

“Your Uber will arrive in 2 minutes”

Not only did I not believe the Uber would arrive in two minutes, but I was also super sketched to see that the driver had been assigned to me again….and turns out, he was just sitting at the bar next door, presumbably the whole time.

I made it home safely after shelling out about 3 times what I would have pain in a taxi, and now I have a random person who whatsapps me on occasion to “see how my night is” or “if I am going to be later”.

Yes, it is just launching…but there are some pretty glaring kinks here, Uber.  Hopefully by the next time I return, things will be smoother.  But, for now….a thumb and a half down.


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