Uber is no baby-sitter, thanks to its latest feature

By Andrea Peterson

Uber says the feature was developed in response to feedback from users who "frequently requested" an easy way to pay for rides taken by family and friends. Photo / Bloomberg
Uber says the feature was developed in response to feedback from users who "frequently requested" an easy way to pay for rides taken by family and friends. Photo / Bloomberg

Uber just announced "Family Profiles," a new feature that will let up to 10 riders share the same payment information. But don't get too excited parents -- it won't help you unload your tweens on unsuspecting Uber drivers, despite what some reports have suggested.

There's no requirement that Family Profile users actually be related -- and Uber touts it as a "great way to help loved ones, friends or co-workers get where they want to go while you foot the bill."

But to be added to a Family Profile, riders need to have their own separate Uber accounts -- and per the company's Terms of Service, you have to be 18 to create an account. So the feature isn't a workaround to get your below-legal-age kid set up with the app.

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However, the company does suggest a few scenarios where it might be useful for family members -- like parents who want to foot the Uber bill for a kid away at college, or adult children wanting to help elderly parents "maintain their independence."

The Family Profiles feature is only launching in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix for now. It works by letting a user create a Family Profile and invite contacts to join it. Once they've accepted the invitation, the other members of the group can select the Family Profile as their default pay option in their own Uber accounts via the app.

The rides will then be billed to the payment card selected by the person who set up the Family Profile and that organizer "will receive a receipt for every ride" paid for via the Family Profile feature, the company said in the blog post announcing the feature. That means the organizer of a Family Profile will have a pretty detailed record of when a trip occurred and where the rider was picked up and dropped off when others use it to pay for trips.

Uber says the feature was developed in response to feedback from users who "frequently requested" an easy way to pay for rides taken by family and friends.

- Washington Post

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