Uber has become one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways for people in urban areas to get around.
Whether you are going out for a night on the town or saving on vehicle costs, many South Africans rely on Uber.
Uber is very reliable in big cities like Johannesburg where there are a lot of drivers, and its delivery service, Uber Eats, is faster than ordering the food yourself.
This has made it the primary mode of transport for a number of South Africans.
A factor which influences the number of people which use the Uber platform are the promotions available to riders.
Before signing up, customers are usually offered up to R100 off their first ride through various promo codes.
Once they have signed up, riders are then periodically offered various promotions to entice them into using the platform.
In my years using the app, I have been offered a variety of discounts and promotions, ranging from percentage discounts on all rides to deductions off a fixed number of rides.
One promotion allowed me to earn higher percentage discounts depending on how many Uber rides I took each week, and included a measurement system placed on the app.
The most recent promotion SMSs a promo code to me at the beginning of each week, giving me R20 off my next 10 trips that week.
I mostly use the Uber platform on weekends, with the odd ride on an evening during the week.
These rides are typically priced at R40 or less, meaning that with the recurring R20 discount, I end up spending under R20 per trip.
While this is a great deal for me, the distribution of these promo codes does not seem to be equal for all riders.
For example, many of my friends who use Uber on a daily basis do not receive the same weekly promotion, with some receiving different deals and others not receiving any promo codes at all.
This can result in frustration for regular riders.
To determine how Uber distributes its promotion codes and incentives, we asked the company whether it filters riders according to location and activity.
Uber told MyBroadband that the R20-off promotion sent to me forms part of its existing user incentives sent out to riders in South Africa on a weekly basis.
“Uber is constantly evolving and looking for innovative methods of giving our riders more benefits and reward loyal riders when they use the Uber app,” the company told MyBroadband.
The company said that when it creates these incentive-based promotions, it looks at lifetime trips, the frequency of trips, as well as location.
“Certain vouchers and promotions are location-specific,” Uber said. “This is dependent on numerous factors, such as partnerships with venues, festivals and events.”
For example, the company offered all users in Port Elizabeth an Uber Eats voucher code after launching the delivery service in the city.
Certain partnerships are made available nationally too, like the Makro Black 5 Day special.
When asked how riders could increase their potential of “earning” promo codes and discounts, and the company said they should look out for voucher codes.
“We encourage riders to keep an eye out for Uber voucher codes which are sent through weekly via SMS, email, or in-app informing them of the latest voucher codes available for their use, for that specific week,” Uber said.