Be careful when using ride sharing mobile apps such as Uber. Know your numerals for license plates.
Last year in Nepal, a random man picked me up on his motorbike. I mistook him for an employee of the passenger bike service, tootle. Tootle is another one of those ride sharing mobile apps. it operates similarly to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar however the main difference is it’s just a bike service and does not offer attributes such as upgrades, uber eats and surge pricing.
How Did This Ride Sharing Mobile App Risk Happen?
I was requesting a tootle to take me to my friend’s house on the opposite side of the city. When using tootle, the driver calls you to clarify your location. At the time, the driver rang and stated he would arrive in five minutes to my destination.
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Pitch black outside, at 7pm I was waiting at the side of the main road of the street watching vast amounts of traffic go by. Then, a man pulled over to the side of the main road where I was and nodded at me (to me looked like a nod to say “I’m your ride, hop on”). So, as I normally do with tootle, I climbed onto the back of the bike.
I knew something was up when he wasn’t riding the usual route I normally go towards my friend’s house. So, I got my maps out on google to validate my thoughts.
Deceptively, I began asking questions that only a tootle driver would know such as “where is my destination?”
Not knowing any English the man was saying “huh?” Instantly, I started shaking his shoulders so he would pull over to the side of the road.
There, I got off and walked away. As I was about to call my boyfriend to explain the situation and that’s when I noticed I had 2 missed calls off my actual tootle driver.
I don’t live in fear thinking about what could have happened if I remained on that bike. Since
Now I have this new knowledge, it has immediately changed everything and has helped me a great deal. I’ve never encountered a situation like that since.
Advice Using Ride Sharing Mobile Apps
What I would advise, is that anyone who wants to use ride sharing mobile apps in a foreign country is to make sure you understand their basic number system.
English is not always enough to get you through situations and having that additional knowledge may save you from a situation like the one I experienced! I hope you learned from this ride sharing mobile app risk.