Beware of Uber Surge Pricing on Halloween

uber surge pricing

While I’m not at all a frequent Uber user, I’ve heard about their Surge Pricing from many people and even wrote about a $94 2-mile cab ride in NYC during a snow storm last year.

For those of you not sure about Uber surge pricing, here is a quote from my post last year:

According to GothamistSurge 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.

After using Uber for the first time in Atlanta, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. However, after using it again recently I now better understand the value of Uber during certain circumstances. (I’ll be writing a post about my more recent experience with Uber soon.)

Uber NYC sent out an e-mail to remind people that the surge can take affect tonight and included some tips on how to deal with or even avoid the increased prices. (I’m not sure if increased prices are expected all over since this message was from Uber NYC.)

uber surge pricingDue to Halloween, Uber says that “every goblin, mummy and Miley look-alike wants to leave at exactly the same time”. 

To make sure the night goes smoothly and that there are no tricks up Uber’s sleeve, they are alerting customers by e-mail about a potential increase in pricing while also offering up some tips on how to deal with it.

uber surge pricingHere are Uber’s tips:

  • Get a Fare Estimate: When I’ve used or thought of using Uber, I’ve always got a fare estimate in their app. My big problem is not knowing during the ride what the price is as it is ticking higher and higher.
  • Split Your Fare: Sharing the cost of your ride with friends is a great way to bring the cost down. Uber offers the split fare option in their app. Definitely cool to be able to do this within the app but technialy the fare is still the same. Couldn’t you just split the fare with your friend if you took  any cab?
  • Get Alerted When Demand Has Settled: To me this sounds like the single best way to deal with surge pricing. However, how long are you going to wait around for the price to drop before finding another way home? You can select notify me if surge ends to get an alert if it ends within 30 minutes of your ride request.

Are you a frequent user of Uber. If so, let us know what you love most about the service. Have you ever had to deal with Surge Pricing? If so, what did you do?

If you’re new to Uber, you can sign up through my link to earn a free ride (up to $30). Once you take your first ride, I’ll get up to $30 off of a ride too!

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3 thoughts on “Beware of Uber Surge Pricing on Halloween

  1. Search the app store or google play for an Uber meter. The rates are preloaded and the iPhone one knows what surge is in effect. It gives you a real-time tracker of your fare. The apps are by different people for iOS and android, but same gist.

  2. Supply and demand driving real-time automated pricing is the most efficient way to price any product. It provides that the product is essentially always available, at a price commensurate with the prevailing demand.

    The challenge is things can become “expensive” during times of higher demand. The alternative, of course, without surge pricing is that the product becomes unavailable during times of higher demand.

    The State of NY, in its infinite wisdom, has now legislated caps to surge pricing in certain circumstances (severe storm-related) under the guise of “consumer protection.” What they have really done is legislate that Uber cars will not be available under those circumstances. I do not see how I am “protected.”

    I’m baffled how you didn’t “understand” the surge pricing when you booked. It is clearly highlighted before you confirm a booking.

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