by: Justin Westbrook
Matt Lindsay became another victim of Uber surge pricing on New Year’s Eve after getting his inebriated self and his drunk friends home safely, only to receive an email 20 minutes later confirming an Uber charge for a whopping $1,114.71 Canadian.
It is as-of-yet unreported how quickly Matt sobered up, but I’d wager it was about the same time he got the email.
CBC News reports that the Edmonton, Alberta Uber driver picked up Lindsay and his party after a night of New Years celebrations. The driver reminded the group of the New Years holiday surge pricing at a rate of 8.9 times the standard fare, which Lindsay drunkenly obliged to — claiming he expected it to only be a little more than what he usually pays and accepting that he failed to calculate the trip beforehand. It wasn’t until, after all of his friends’ stops, he got home and received the confirmation for payment of over $1,000.00 that Lindsay realized his mistake.
Lindsay is claiming he was wronged for not being notified during the trip of the spiking price, claiming he would have preferred to stop sooner to avoid the ridiculous amount. He is claiming he was vulnerable due to his drunkenness and taken advantage of, and now wants Uber to institute a surge pricing cap to ensure no one else makes a similar mistake.
Quoted by CBC, Matt claims:
“I made a mistake,” he said. “The issue is there was a mistake on the other end as well and Uber needs to own up to that and correct that mistake.”
In Uber’s defense, a New Years Eve guide was sent out to Uber app users ten days prior, and an Uber spokesperson told CBC that the app requires customers to acknowledge and confirm increased fares.
Lindsay confirmed that Uber offered to reduce his charge by half, but there is no comment on whether or not he accepted it.
It’s easy to see how surge pricing charges can get out of hand on a night like New Years (or anytime everyone is drunk), but customers still should hold some level of responsibility. On the other end, ridiculous fares are only going to continue to be a problem for Uber’s customer satisfaction, and a surge-pricing cap, capacity cap, or distance cap could help prevent from preposterous charges moving forward.
And hey, Matt — I hope you asked all your buddies to chip in. Don’t let them get away with that, either.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or @WestbrookTweets.