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An Uber support experience | kjp

This post was prompted by the automated support feedback email Uber sent me.

I recently opened the Uber app to find it had forgotten my authentication and was prompting me for a password. Unfortunately my Uber credentials were not saved in my password safe, so it was time for me to press “forgot password” and get a reset link via email. This should have me back into Uber in less than 5 minutes… but it turned out to be more like two weeks.

After a few days of trying to reset my password via the website and the app and not receiving any emails I looked for an Uber phone number I could call for support, but I couldn’t find one. I sent @Uber a tweet asking for a phone number. No response. It turns out Uber doesn’t want to deal with people on the phone and got rid of their support number. I Googled, and found others complaining, and an email address support@uber.com that way.

You may wonder, why not just create a new account if I’ve been waiting so long? Uber won’t let you create a new account with the same phone number, for some obvious reasons. So you are at the mercy of their support team when their password reset system fails and you want to use Uber. Even if you could create another account it wouldn’t be prudent to leave unused accounts with credit card and personal details laying around.

As a side note, I do wonder what happens when numbers get recycled by carriers, now that phone numbers have become increasingly tied to our identity online and used for dual factor authentication by many services.

So on Aug 26 at 6:51pm I sent an email, that I thought was pretty clear.

Hi,

I’ve forgotten my password and I’ve tried getting a reset maybe a dozen times in the past few days but still the reset email hasn’t come through. Now I’m signed out for some reason on the app and I can’t log in.

My email address I signed up with is [omitted]@punk.co.nz

I’ve checked spam folders but nothing there either.

Thanks Kris

Aug 27 at 7:49am

Uber gets back to me in just over 12 hours, not bad really.

Happy to help, Kris.

You can reset your Uber account password by entering your email address here.

It’s possible that you signed up with a different email address than you remember, so be sure to try entering each of those addresses to receive a reset password link.

The link will expire after a certain amount of time, so if it’s not working, just fill out the form again and a another email will be sent to you with a new link.

If you need anymore help with this, please let me know.

[M] at Uber

Aug 27 at 9:40am

Okay. Slightly annoying response, I thought I was very clear. Let me try again.

I’ve entered my email address several times and it hasn’t sent me the link.

I am pretty sure [omitted]@punk.co.nz is the email address I signed up with as that is the one shown and saved in the app. But if you don’t think it is it should be easy for you to look and confirm shouldn’t it? If that account exists can you please make sure an email reset link is sent out?

Aug 28 at 7:45am

Apparently no, this is not clear. I’m told to reset the password for a third time.

Hi Kris,

This is [R] stepping in for [M].

I had a look at your account and see that your email address is correctly mentioned in your Uber account. Try to enter the email in the link and you would be able to reset the password.

If you got any error message request you to delete the app and reinstall the app

If you haven’t already deleted the app and reinstalled it directly from uber.com/app, this would be a good first step. This ensures you’re using the latest version available and resolves any known issues.

If you continue to have trouble, please share the details and any troubleshooting steps you’ve already tried so that I can lend a hand and get you riding again.

[R] at Uber

Aug 28 at 9:14am

At this point I’m getting a little annoyed.

As explained multiple times. I have tried the reset password link. It tells me that an email has been sent but no email ever arrives. I do receive test emails from other people to that address fine. So possibly it isn’t even leaving your system. Does this make sense? I don’t want to be told to try the reset link for again.

Here is a picture of your site telling me it has sent the email that doesn’t arrive: [Screenshot omitted for brevity.]

Aug 29 at 1:54am

Hi Kris,

Sorry to hear you’re still having trouble, Kris.

Happy to get this resolved together. You won’t be able to receive the password reset link. Kindly go through the below link.

Remember that the forgot password link may expire if you’ve waited too long, so if it’s not working just go to uber.com/forgot-password again and fill it out again. Make sure you’re typing your email address correctly and to click on the newest link when you get another email.

Let me know if this doesn’t do the trick and I’ll be happy to keep troubleshooting.

[R] at Uber

Aug 29 at 8:12am

Seriously? Now I’m annoyed. I’ve been told three times to reset the password when I’ve clearly explained I’ve done this and that it’s not being sent.

Hi,

It seems you either can’t understand what I am saying or are messing with me. Can you please put me in touch with someone who is technical?

To explain again: for the past week I have been trying to get a reset link emailed to me from Uber using the link you have provided multiple times and through the app itself. Despite now having done it more than a dozen times no email has arrived. And no emails are in my junk folder from uber.

It seems your system is not sending the emails. Or Google Apps is silently dropping be emails. I have asked friends to send test emails to the same address ([omitted]@punk.co.nz) and they have all arrived. So it suggests the problem is with your system not sending them.

It should be easy to verify in the logs that I have made these requests. And see in the logs if the email is actually being generated by the system and leaving your mail server.

Can you put me in touch with someone technical who can help?

Thanks Kris

Aug 29 at 8:14am

Following up with some more screenshots so they can see (again) that I’m not some idiot who can’t find the forgot password link.

Here are two photos showing again that I indeed requested the password. Just as I showed yesterday. Now please put me in touch with someone who can help. [Screenshots omitted for brevity.]

Aug 31

After more than a week of being locked out, and with no update from Uber in two days I decided to try again at guessing my password. After a few tries I had success using an old password algorithm (something I did before fully randomized passwords). I’m not sure how many times you can try before it blocks you, if at all… but pleased to be back in I followed up by doing some testing, changing my address to a few other aliases, some that are variations on the original. Each time I would request a password reset.

On changing the address from the original to something new Uber would immediately send an email requesting I verify the new address (not that it seemed to matter that I did verify it). Then on changing the address from something new to something else, Uber would send both a notification that my address had changed to the previous address, and the email requesting verification to the new address. When I would request password resets the emails would come through immediately. But on changing back to the original email address I would not receive the email requesting verification, and I would not get a password reset email. I never got any notification of account changes to the original address.

Searching the gmail logs I see that nothing is blocked to that address or from Uber, everything is delivered. Unfortunately not having more raw access I don’t know if something under the hood in gmail is potentially dropping this, but it seems suspicious that I receive emails to it from other sources, just not Uber.

Aug 31 at 9:14am

I let Uber know the results of this:

I was able to guess my password and I’ve done a bunch of testing this morning. The results show that if I change my email to anything else I can get the verification email for the change and can then get a password reset link emailed. But if I change it back to [omitted]@punk.co.nz I neither get the verification email nor can get a password reset link email. So it’s something about this address that I think your system is blocking.

Any luck on getting help? I notice there’s a lot of complaints on the Internet from people about this. It’s very frustrating.

Sep 2 at 10:23am

Hi Kris,

Stepping in for [R]. My name is [S] and I’m an Operations Manager at Uber.

The issue is that the email address you are using ([omitted]@punk.co.nz) is not the email address on your account. We do not have that email address in our system. Can you think of another email address you would have used? If so, please copy that email address on this thread and write in providing permission to make changes to your account. Unfortunately we are not able to disclose any account information to anyone but the account holder.

If you don’t recall which email you used, please send me all of the following and I’ll be able to help you out:

The mobile number on your account The first and last name on your account One of the following: A picture of the last four digits of your credit card or payment source that is on the account (please cover up all but the last four digits!) OR a description of your last two Uber trips (i.e. dates, start/stop locations.)

I understand this may seem like a lot but I promise it’s to ensure the privacy of all Uber account holders, including your own information.

Best,

[S] at Uber

Sep 2 at 11:10am

Sigh.

No that’s not the issue. You need to read the thread. It was [omitted]@ before and this was confirmed by your staff. As explained in my last update I changed it as part of the testing that shows when it’s [omitted]@ I don’t receive the message from you. As I asked: Is there someone in technical support who can review this?

Sep 2 at 12:14pm

Hi Kris,

I am your best contact for troubleshooting this issue.

What did you change the email address to?

Best,

[S] at Uber

Sep 2 at 12:27pm

I changed it to [omitted-variation]@punk.co.nz

I’ve just changed it back to [omitted]@punk.co.nz now

Sep 7 at 8:54am

Five days later…

Hi Kris,

I believe I have now rectified the issue. Can you please try the password reset link again and let me know if you still do not receive the email?

LINK.

Thank you,

[S] at Uber

Finally, success

When asked what the cause was the only response Uber would give is that my [omitted]@punk.co.nz address was blocked. Seeing as other people have complained about this I’m wondering what in their mail pipeline is doing this and why it is not a known troubleshooting issue that can be resolved more quickly. If the mail is generated by their system, from Uber, to a customer’s email address, what possible reason would you have to block it unless you don’t trust your own system not to spam people (or something absurd like that).

Appendix bug

When editing my email address in the profile page of the app it comes up with an error that the invite code, prepopulated by Uber, is incorrect. But it successfully saves the email address changes. Given the code was put their by the app it seems that this error shouldn’t exist. And when I delete it and hit save again I still get the same error.

Update

This generated some discussion on Hacker News that may be of interest if you made it this far. Check that out over here.

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