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Uber partners WhatsApp to book rides via the messaging service; here’s how it works

Highlights

  • Uber has introduced Uber WhatsApp chatbot
  • It can be used to conveniently book an Uber ride through WhatsApp
  • It does not require users to have the Uber app installed on the phone

Uber rides can now be booked through a WhatsApp message. The U.S. ride-sharing giant has teamed up with WhatsApp to introduce a WhatsApp chatbot service, which makes it possible to book a ride using the highly popular messaging platform. It means that users will be able to book a ride through WhatsApp without installing the Uber app.

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The Uber WhatsApp chatbot service is now available in Lucknow. The company will be soon expanding to other cities across India. Currently, book an Uber ride via WhatsApp is only available in the English language. Uber said it will be adding support for other Indian languages soon.

Booking a Uber ride via WhatsApp chatbot: here are the steps

Uber WhatApp chatbot

A screengrab of Uber WhatsApp chatbot service

Uber users can book a trip through WhatsApp using simple ways. First, a user needs to add Uber’s business account number to the phone’s contact book. Next, a QR code needs to be scanned to open the Uber WhatsApp chat. This can be also be done by clicking a link. Readers should note that the service is available for new and existing Uber users who registered with only a phone number on Uber.

Here are the steps on how to use the Uber WhatsApp chatbot to book a ride:

  1. Open Uber WhatsApp chat and send a ‘Hi’ message
  2. Enter the verification OTP sent by the chatbot. Users can type 0 to receive the OTP again.
  3. The chatbot will prompt to enter a current location, which can be done through the WhatsApp location sharing feature or by typing like Aminabad, Lucknow
  4. The chatbot will prompt users with precise locations
  5. Next, the user will be asked to enter drop off address by precise location options
  6. The chatbot will try to fetch the ride option. During this time, a user can enter 0 to change details, 1 to confirm, and 9 to cancel
  7. It will provide ride options such as Uber Go, Uber Auto, and Moto with details like fare and ETA. Users can press 1 to process ahead and 9 to cancel
  8. The chatbot will not book the ride and show details like prick up address, drop address, vehicle type, fare, ETA, and payment mode, which is cash.
  9. The next chatbot message will have the driver’s details such as car and license plate number, driver name, and phone number.
  10. The last message by the chatbot reminds users to send a ‘Help’ message for general help or assistance during emergency

Sending the “Help” message will provide an ‘emergency’ option. If the user selects it, he/she will receive an inbound call from Uber’s customer support team. Uber riders will be provided with the accessor to safety line numbers to call the Uber team, if needed, until 30 minutes after the end of the trip. The company said that the drivers on Uber’s platform will see no change in their experience someone books a trip using the WhatsApp chatbot.

The company said trips booked through WhatsApp will provide the same safety features and insurance protections as those that are available while booking a ride through the Uber app. While waiting for a booked trip, a user will be able to speak with the driver anonymously using a masked number.

A video released by Uber shows that it takes around 4 minutes to book an Uber ride using WhatsApp chat. Commenting on the introduction of the Uber WhatsApp chatbot service, Uber India’s Senior Director of Business Development Nandini Maheshwari said, “We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,” said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development at Uber.”

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Anvinraj Valiyathara

Anvinraj has been writing about smartphones and other gadgets for over 10 years, with 10,000+ articles published to date. He owns a POCO X3 Pro and Realme X7 Max 5G. His interests include exploring new places, reading, photography, and church activities. At Pricebaba, he covers breaking news and features.