Readers know that I’m a big fan of Uber, the on-demand car service.
You download an app to your phone, request a pickup with the press of a button. You watch your vehicle on a map as it drives to you and shows you how many minutes away the car is. You can stay inside at home or at a restaurant until it shows up. Your payment details are on file, so when the trip is over you just get out and you’re emailed a receipt.
There are several options in different markets — like black cars, UberX which is individuals with their own cars that drive you, and in some cities even UberTaxi where you’re just requesting a cab through the app.
For several months they have offered first-time users a free ride up to $30 in value if they’re referred by an existing user. Uber doesn’t advertise on TV, at least I’ve never seen it, they’ve built their business on referrals.
Last night I landed at around 11:30pm and fired up the Uber app and got a message that the referral offer is going to decrease:
In the past here’s how it’s worked when Uber changes offers:
- New users get the signup bonus in effect at the time they opened their account. So if you sign up by November 23, you should receive the $30 first ride credit even if you use it after that time.
- The person refeerring the new member gets the credit in effect at the time the new member takes their first ride.
- So if a new member signs up before November 23, they get a $30 first ride credit if they use it in say December or January. While the person who referred them should get $20.
For why I think Uber is so revolutionary (although after 2.5 years it’s easy to take for granted), see Why Taxis Suck and What You Can Do About It.