Uber launches phone line booking service for older Australians

Uber launches a new phone-call based booking service that allows Australians to book rides simply by dialing 13-UBER (13 82 37), as part of its commitment to improving access to transportation options for older Australians. 

For older adults who are not as comfortable booking rides via an app, dialing 13 82 37 any day will connect riders with an Uber team member who will assist them with booking a ride on demand or scheduling one for up to 90 days in advance. The phone line is available between 5AM and 8PM local time to Australians in every area that Uber operates, which includes up to 43 cities and towns across the country.

The newly launched 13-UBER service has been developed to enable greater accessibility and support mobility and connection for older Australians. It comes as new research commissioned by Uber found that 9 in 10 (93%) of Australians aged 65+ feel more confident booking a service via a phone call.

Nearly half (43%) of Australians in this age group don’t feel very confident booking services entirely via mobile apps. In fact, 44% do not feel very confident setting up a new mobile application on their phone, thereby restricting their access to many transportation options that solely rely on automated and contactless online bookings.

Dom Taylor, Managing Director of Uber ANZ, said: “We’re excited to be offering our 13-UBER service nationally, to provide older Australians with a little extra assistance, when they want to use our services,”

“We often hear from riders whose family members want to use Uber, but are unfamiliar with how to navigate a smartphone. Now, with 13-UBER, everyone in the family can enjoy the same effortless Uber experience, even without the app.”

The research also revealed that over a third (36%) of Aussie seniors (aged 65+) say that not being able to easily arrange transport is a pain point in their daily life, with more than half (58%) expressing that having access to multiple transportation options encourages them to go out more and be more connected to the community.

“It can feel quite isolating sometimes not having easy access to transport, so it’s great to know that more options are becoming available with an easy booking process,” said Diana, a 77-year old pensioner living at RSL LifeCare Narrabeen, NSW.

Riders making their bookings via 13-UBER can expect the same level of service and safety experienced using the Uber app. Once a trip is confirmed, a text message is sent to the rider with information about the ride, their driver’s name and picture, license plate number and estimated time of arrival, followed by a second text when their driver arrives at the agreed pickup location, ensuring a seamless experience.

Keeping safety as a top priority for every trip, Uber driver-partners in Australia undergo a number of screening processes in accordance with each state’s regulatory framework before being able to drive via the Uber app. Additionally, all trips are GPS tracked the same way as trips booked via the app, ensuring that all riders have access to Uber’s full suite of safety features, regardless of how they choose to book their ride.

How it works:

  1. Dial 13-UBER: Call 13-UBER (13 82 37) from a mobile phone between 5am-8pm local time to talk to one of our team members. If you don’t already have an Uber account, our team will assist you in creating one.
  2. Share your preferences: You can schedule your ride for that moment, or for up to 90 days in advance. Provide the operator with the details of your trip request, including preferred time, pick up and drop off location and your preferred type of ride (UberX, Green, Comfort, XL, Premier, Pet, Max or Assist)
  3. Get trip details: We’ll send you information via text message about your ride, including the estimated fare, your driver’s name and picture, car type, licence plate number, and their estimated time of arrival.
  4. Ride with confidence: You’ll receive a text message when your driver arrives at your pickup location. All trips are GPS tracked and all drivers are safety vetted before access is granted to the Uber platform. Their vehicle must also pass an independent annual inspection to verify that it is safe to drive.

“Our mission is to provide every customer with the opportunity to use Uber, the way they would like to. This is a full circle moment for Uber, with this feature bringing the convenience of live phone support to our matching technology so everyday Australians can book a ride the way they want,” continued Taylor.

Every booking via the 13-UBER service includes a phone booking fee of $3 and can only be made from mobile devices that accept texts. 13-UBER is a ride-requesting service only. Riders who have booked a trip through the app can access customer service help via the uber website on help.uber.com or use the ‘Help Centre’ in the app.