How to hail an Uber with a dumb Feature Phone

Ride-hailing in Nairobi is quickly becoming a norm. Players like Little and Bolt (formerly Taxify) are thriving in the market. Uber Chapchap is also doing crazy well, or at least I hope it is. I mean, have you seen just how many Suzuki Altos are in our Nairobi roads? These things are EVERYWHERE.

We live in a digital age and smartphone prevalence is high, and it is only expected to grow in the next few years. This is the very reason these ride hailing platforms are thriving. We recently reviewed the Lite version of Uber’s app for Android that is meant for entry-level smartphones and Android Go devices. But it is easy to ignore the rather large chunk of the population that still doesn’t have access to smartphones.

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Uber Kenya now allows these people to easily hail Uber rides via phone. The service is currently only available in Nairobi and users don’t need to have an Uber account to hail a cab.

How to hail an Uber without a smartphone

Uber has launched a new way to hail their cabs, via a phone call. The phone call is free and available to all service providers in Kenya, here’s how to order an Uber via a phone call:

  • Dial 0800 722 000 on your phone (it should be free)
  • You will be connected to a customer care representative who you will give your identification details to
  • Share your pickup point and destination with the representative
  • The representative will alert you of your expected fare price
  • Once you accept the fare, your trip will be confirmed
  • You will then receive an SMS with the driver’s details (name, phone number and car registration)
  • You will be required to meet the driver at the stated pickup point

It is also important to note that the mode of payment for rides hailed through this method is cash. However, in this M-PESA age, one can agree with the driver on whichever mode of payment is convenient for them.