Last Updated: 3 May 2017
GoCatch – “Uber without surge pricing”
Surge pricing sucks, and it sucks that you have virtually no control over it whatsoever. Of course, you could always just go back to catching a regular cab, but anyone who’s caught an Uber knows how unattractive a proposition that is.
Meet GoCatch. GoCatch is an Australian based ride-sharing company that prides itself on not having surge pricing. GoCatch can be used to book either a regular taxi, “Taxi Van” or “Ride”. “Ride” is the equivalent of UberX.
I’m going to briefly discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of GoCatch relative to Uber.
- No surge pricing, regardless of time of the day or “demand” – this is obviously the main attraction. This would be a particular advantage for thsoe who often notice they are catching Ubers during times where “fares are higher due to high demand”.
- Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on every booking – earn at a rate of 1QFF/$1. Simply type in your Frequent Flyer number in the
- Support a local Australian business
- A less refined app experience (speaking from an Android’s user point of view)
- [Personal opinion] Somewhat inferior customer service – think of if you were to lose an item during a ride, request a fare review, etc.
- Much lower volume of drivers – this is probably the main disadvantage
- You could be earning Starwood Preferred Guest points with Uber instead of Qantas Frequent Flyer points on GoCatch
- Phone numbers are not “masked” – i.e. driver and passenger can see each other’s real phone numbers, unlike Uber
- No rating system. Only thumbs up/down.
- Currently no referral promotion (e.g. refer a friend, both referrer and referee get $10 credit) which they sometimes run
- Rather than having surge pricing, they operate on an “off-peak” and “peak” fares structure. Peak times roughly correlate to Friday, Saturday nights and the night before a public holiday.
Given that GoCatch are Australian and only operate in Australia, I can only say that it is not surprising that the app experience is less refined. Uber operate globally and have the ability/experience to carry across features from different markets.
GoCatch are a great alternative to Uber. The main advantages are that there is no surge pricing (unlike Uber) and you can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, which should be particularly attractive to Australain users. The main disadvtanges are the volume of drivers is a lot lower and this is likely to lead to increased wait times.
Although the lower volume of drivers can be a bit of a problem, if you often catch Uber during times of surge pricing, you can probably assume there is going to be a reasonable supply of GoCatch drivers somewhere around as well though, because it indicates it’s probably a busy area!