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While I haven’t used Uber and know their prices tend to be higher than taxis or traditional car services, I was shocked by an article that Kim sent me a couple of days back.
The article from Gothamist, Uber’s Snow Storm Surge Pricing Gouged New Yorkers Big Time is pretty unbelievable. I think my jaw dropped a few times while reading it.
Last Saturday, NYC was hit with some pretty crappy weather. We had some snow during the day and icy rain at night. Due to the poor weather, Uber put in place an extremely pricey feature called Surge Pricing.
According to the article:
Surge pricing goes into effect when demand for a car reaches exceptional levels, with examples including Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and yes, Icy Wet Snow Day From Super Hell. The idea is that prices are raised in real time in accordance with “supply health,” rising and, eventually, falling as cars become available.
The article also states that Uber is overly transparent about its policy of raising prices on high-demand days.
Since I am not an Uber user, it was hard to judge if this policy was actually so wrong. It sure sounds like Uber takes advantage when they can. However, if the customers knows the price being charged in advance, I can’t really see what there is to complain about.
Here is an image of one example from Gothamist:
And here are a couple of Tweets that Gothamist posted:
The second tweet shown is what really surprised me. If Uber quoted a custmer $64 then how could they be charged $277!
If anybody has experience using Uber, please weigh in on the matter. Does Uber disclose the full fare before your trip begins or do they just give you a starting price or estimate?
Check out Gothamist’s full article to find out more about the NYC Surge Pricing issue HERE.