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Uber Saint Petersburg - Traveller Experience

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
709 posts
86 reviews
Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

I must admit that using Uber in Saint Petersburg was an experience that I will not forget.

I used my Uber App to order “Uber X” on 12 September 2017 from Ligovsky Prospekt where I was staying. I wanted to go to the Hermitage at 9:30 AM. The hotel location was accessible and for some reason the driver came 20 minutes late, which literally put me off. Secondly, when he came, he was talking to me in Russian as if it was my fault that he was late. Obviously, he got lost or did not use the Uber location App. From my hotel, the Hermitage was only 4 KMS and it’s a 15 minutes’ drive. He purposely took the long route without using the Uber app and used his own GPS that took him to the wrong route. Then he circled around and around and went somewhere else. By the time I reached the Hermitage, I was 45 minutes late and we drove 8 KMS. Instead of paying 120 Ruble (original quoted fare by Uber), I paid 228 Ruble (revised fare due to the extra time and KMS) via Uber.

The worst part of this trip was his offensive behaviour. For example, on the street, a nice lady was crossing the road and he was asking me if I wanted to have sex with her using his hand/finger gestures. Initially I did not understand what he was talking, later his body language brought out my worst fears! It was obvious to me that he did not have any respect for woman.

At this point in time, I just ignored him. After another 1 KM, another nice lady crossed the street and he again was asking me the same stuff. This time I lost my temper and I asked him to stop. He then took his phone and called his friend about me and was talking about how not interested I was in woman (which I could clearly make out)! For the first time, I felt so unsafe with an Uber Driver.

I came back to my Hotel and I reported him to Uber through an official complaint process.

Uber’s response within the first 2 hours of me reporting him was “Thank you for writing to us. We are sorry about what happened! We received your appeal and will soon consider the situation. If you have any additional information that can help us, please let us know!”.

Uber’s response within 20 hours after me lodging the formal complaint was “Hello ZZZZZ. Thank you so much for taking the time to write in, and for making us aware of this incident. Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear about what sounds like a very upsetting situation! The behaviour you describe sounds far from professional. I can understand how uncomfortable you must have felt. While the drivers using the Uber platform operate as independent transportation providers, we take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously, and take every effort to ensure that any driver using the platform adheres to the highest quality standards. Clearly, your driver was far from meeting these standards. Rest assured I will personally be following up with your driver to take appropriate action internally, and ensure a situation such as this is not repeated again in the future. In the meantime I have refunded your trip and you should see the refund reflected on your statement in 3-5 business days. What gives me confidence in the Uber system and it's safety for riders, which is a obviously primary concern in the private hire industry, is the traceability. While things like this should definitely not happen in the first place, at least in the unlikely event that they do occur, we have the full details of the driver, trip and rider on our systems, so that we can immediately investigate any concerns raised. Again, I am so sorry to hear about this and I hope you are doing ok. I want you to know how much we appreciate your timely and honest feedback, which allows us to keep Uber a respectful and professional place for everyone. If you need help with anything else please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

To other tourists using Uber X in Saint Petersburg, I recommend NOT to use the Uber Driver – Mirzoali or Мирзоали. He drives a white Skoda Rapid. His experience in driving Uber is just 1 month (as of 12 September 2017) after looking into his profile on Uber app. Unfortunately, I cannot remember his car licence plate number.

After this incident, I stopped using Uber X and I used only Uber Black. Yes, it is thrice the price of Uber X but the service provided by Uber Black in Saint Petersburg is EXCEPTIONAL. All cars were a Mercedes-Benz/BMW/Lexus. All drivers were professionally and neatly dressed in black suit’s and were very respectful.

Yes, I did use Uber Black everywhere in Saint Petersburg to travel (short, medium, and long-distance travels) with no issues at all and enjoyed my Uber Black travel in Saint Petersburg!

Likewise, I did not allow my negative experience with Uber X to spoil the rest of my trip in Saint Petersburg :)

15 replies to this topic
New York
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,284 posts
40 reviews
1. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

I am not a great fan of Uber anyway due to their non-transparent pricing. They are indeed just a middleman between driver and passenger but should take proactive action to screen for the likes of Mr. "Mirzoali" who sounds like an immigrant btw and I wonder if he even has a drivers license.

Other companies like Yandex I was told monitor the cars movements in real time and if a driver gets creative with the routing he gets a friendly call from the dispatch.

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
709 posts
86 reviews
2. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

Vladchan -- I don' think that Mr. "Mirzoali" was a Russian, as he did not look like one when compared to other Uber Black drivers.

New York
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,284 posts
40 reviews
3. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

No wonder Yandex.Taxi introduced a Russian language test for drivers

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
709 posts
86 reviews
4. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

Vladchan -- very interesting :) :)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3,819 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

My experience with taxi in foreign cities pre date Uber and tho I use them I opt for public transport

Your experience must have disturbed you which has some effect on the enjoyment of your trip

I recall how taxis can be scurrilous--Tunis. 2006 and as I stepped out of arrivals ""Sir $20 to downtown "

I had pre check world taxi fare and which had it at $5 (public bus $1)

My answer was "Nope bus"-----"Bus not running they said"

Knowing approx where bus stop was I walked but out of corner of eye I saw a driver peel off

Driving past me "$10" but negotiated to $6

This by no means an isolated dealings with taxi persons

Level Contributor
193 posts
1 review
6. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

Why not using metro? 1$ nice stations :) No traffic. In St Pete not so crowded.

Mr. "Mirzoali" sounds Georgian to me or somebody from Caucasus :D

Edited: 20 September 2017, 12:50
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
261 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

>>Mirzoali sounds Georgian<<

Not really. Much more likely someone from Central Asia.

And for the record - no, I do not believe it is a good call to pick your driver based on his or her name or looks - what's important is their rating (in Uber).

Vladivostok, Russia
Level Contributor
1,444 posts
12 reviews
8. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

>Mr. "Mirzoali" sounds Georgian to me or somebody from Caucasus :D

No, it's a Tajik name, so an immigrant for sure. Still, it's not an indication of a quality of his service.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
159 posts
187 reviews
9. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

I used uber in Moscow and it was very convenient. Driver was very good. A little bit english speaking.

KCH
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,147 posts
48 reviews
10. Re: Uber Saint Petersburg – Traveller Experience

I used Yandex taxi and had no problem at all. May be it's luck of the draw and I got lucky. I caught a cab to get from Novodevichy Convent (don't bother until renovation is finished) to Kolomenskoye in Moscow, and to/from Catherine Palace. All arrived within 10 minutes or so. Prices agreed before hand. But couple of the drivers switched payment with cash only during the trip, only one OK with credit card.

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