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Uber Is Rolling Out Its Comfort Service in New Zealand

The ridesharing service is rolling out a feature that lets customers choose their level of conversation.
By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2019
By Sarah Ward
September 02, 2019

For some, friendly banter with whoever happens to be behind a car's wheel is a regular part of booking a ride. For others, the obligatory bout of awkward conversation with the driver is the most dreaded part of the trip. Or, maybe you're just having a bad day and don't feel like chatting. Perhaps you're usually happy to talk away, but you're stressed, have too much on your mind, and have emails to check while you're getting from point A to point B.

Whether you like a good chinwag with your driver or prefer riding in silence, Uber has introduced a new feature that lets customers choose their level of conversation. It's called Uber Comfort, and it gives riders three options — 'quiet preferred', 'happy to chat' and 'no preference' — when booking a trip.

The ridesharing service's premium offering also promises newer mid-size cars, extended wait times, minimum legroom requirements so riders can stretch out, and the ability to request a specific temperature for the car in advance. Drivers need to maintain a rating of 4.85 or higher to be eligible for Uber Comfort.

For folks who'd like to get across town without natter, Uber Comfort will roll out in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from Thursday, 5 September as part of a three-month trial. It's certainly a sign of the times that ordering a conversation (or lack thereof) can now be done at the touch of a button, rather than in person. That said, pre-selecting the Uber Comfort mode will stop the dreaded, always uncomfortable "I don't feel like chatting," convo before the uncomfortable silence, as well as awkward small talk.

Published on September 02, 2019 by Sarah Ward


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