Uber Singapore is giving free rides again this Thursday (23 Oct 2014). The last free promotion was on 8 Oct 2014 and I think it’s somewhat successful 1. While it’s good to have free ride, it’s not OK when you don’t have enough taxi on the road. It doesn’t matter how many taxies they added, it’s a simple supply/demand issue here. I suspect a huge number of people who get the free rides are only using the app when it’s free and stop using the app afterward. The “real” users who use Uber regularly will not be able to book a taxi when they need, guess what they’ll do next? They’re not gonna keep trying for a free taxi, they’re gonna use other apps, be it GrabTaxi or call the taxi company directly. It will leave a bad taste in their mouth with this move from Uber.
I understand it’s important for Uber to attract as many new users/drivers quickly 2, but this promotion is hostile to many regular customers who rely on them to get around.
P/S: to anyone who asks, I will attempt to use Uber this Thursday because who doesn’t love free stuff. I just won’t bother to use it at peak hours, I know I won’t be able to book a taxi during peak and that’s ok (for me). May the odds be ever in your favor.