Uber, the popular taxi hailing service has one strategy that has attracted a lot of users on their platform: Free rides. This varies from region to region and when they debuted in Kenya last year on January, they offered a free ride of upto Kshs 1000 on the maiden ride. There is also provision for regular users to offer new users a free ride where you dive into the app, tap on free rides and invite your friends on social media. If a person manages to use your promo code, you too get a free ride and it led, for a brief time, to a deluge of links on our timelines.
The strategy worked and it led to a lot of people signing up for Uber. Since the free rides are billed on Uber, they decided to slash the amount 6 months ago to Kshs 500. It made business sense maybe due to the influx of new users but it was a disappointing move since new customers who got their first free rides were now lower than the initial offer. It seems now Uber has silently reverted back to the initial offer of Kshs 1000.
When you head over to the app and check on “Free Rides”, you can see they went back to the free ride that is worth upto Kshs 100 0 for new customers. We don’t know why the company decided to go back to this offer, but you can speculate it is a move to attract more customers so as to be the leader of the app based taxi hailing industry. This is a brutal industry since the likes of Easy Taxi is planning an exit out of the African market and Uber has to make sure it doesn’t lose potential customers to other platforms.