Some Uber clients felt ripped off on New Year’s Eve when the surge charging raised up to eight times.
It is well known that Uber uses ‘surge hours’ policies when its drivers are allowed to increase their fees during peak hours. They also apply on holidays and every time when it is a shortage of taxis and drivers.
But on the New Year’s Eve the fees were simply astonishing for Uber users all over the world. The social media blew out immediately with everybody announcing their friends not to use the service unless they can afford to pay the unusual high fees.
As a response to clients’ critique an Uber representative said that surge prices are not unusual as they appear when the demand is higher than the offer with many people in need of transportation and they are an incentive for drivers to get on the streets and serve the customers when they need it the most.
But on the New Year’s Eve the surge pricing left may in shock. One client from Tulsa, Oklahoma, paid over $200 for a ride that otherwise would have been $44.
Uber has posted a statement saying that the surge fees are giving people the chance of pushing a button and getting a ride even in busy night as the New Year but customers need to be ready to pay for it.
The company claims that their users are notified when a surge price applies and they are asked to confirm the notice and accept the fares. Otherwise, they can opt to receive a notification when the prices drop down to normal.
Customer Andrew Wiens says that he usually chooses to get a notification when the pricing is over so he waits until he can afford to get a ride.
Americans are not the only ones who were shocked by the unusual high fares. Skye Shanahan from Sydney, Australia, has used Uber for the first time to get back home on the New Year’s night. When she got home and looked on the bill she discovered that she paid $800 AU for a journay that would have normally cost $100.
In New Zealand Uber was warning its Facebook fans to check the price before accepting the ride and consider splitting with their friends.
Roger Heale, the director of the Taxi Federation of New Zealand declared himself shocked by the increase of 800 percent. According to him, this is one of the benefits of choosing a taxi – the fares remain constant.
Image source: flickr/Alper Çuğun