Mark Rofe, a 26-year-old, Kingston University graduate started using Uber back in 2014, like many of us he loved the service and then a year or so later started to play with the ‘refer a friend scheme’ on the app.
This enables you to earn £10 for every friend that joins via your unique app link/code and in return the person signing up gets £10 off their first trip, this is similar to the story of the guy who earned £60,000 from referring new drivers to the Uber system.
I thought nothing of it until I saw someone I follow on Twitter asking if anyone had a code for a free ride. Unfortunately, I was late to respond and had missed my chance for a referral. But I had a light bulb moment where I thought to myself, if this person had asked for a code on Twitter then chances are other people were too.
Rather than manually searching for tweets to respond to, I thought I could just get a bot built that would find relevant tweets and automatically respond to users with my code.
So, I went to upwork.com and posted an ad to have my first Twitter bot created. It was made in python by a Kazakstan student studying in Prague and it cost me $20 in total (actual cost was $70, but I had a $50 coupon code).
The bot works by searching for tweets that had used keywords…. “anyone have uber code –my” (plus other variants) to respond to …. targeted and relevant tweets.
I hosted what I believe to be the first bot to auto respond to Uber code tweets on digital ocean [a service for hosting apps] for $5 a month, and let it do its thing. In just over a year I have generated between 100 and 150 Uber referrals, approximately 2/3 Uber rides per week at a value of between £1,000 to £1,500 (if only it were actual cash).
Is it breaking the T&Cs of Uber?
At the moment no, you’re effectively just sharing your refer link on social media (what they want anyway).
Mark goes on to say:
Uber let’s you share your code on social media which is pretty much what I’ve done (admittedly in a way that they probably didn’t expect to happen), so as far as I am concerned I haven’t broken any rules. I just happened to be sharing my code at the precise time that people needed one which has obviously meant that it’s worked well.
As far as I’m concerned everyone wins: The user was already looking for an Uber code and was mostly likely going to find one eventually, I was just able to provide them with my code almost instantly, and Uber got a new customer.
Ways to improve this?
Consider trying this with other referral schemes, for instance, Uber will pay $100 for every new driver that joins the system.
You can read more about this on Rofe.co.uk