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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sydney Uber customers upset over outrageous fares

Okay, it was New Year's Eve, but still, you can't blame Uber customers for feeling ripped off.  You could have flown to Melbourne cheaper than getting home from the city on New Year's Eve in Sydney.

It's only 16 kilometres from Pyrmont to Manly yet Laura Daniel was charged $368 - almost nine times the normal fare of $52.90.

Another unhappy customer complained to Uber's Facebook page. "OMG never using Uber again, the first time we tried it charged $720 to travel 40 minutes" she claimed.  "Uber!!! Seriously, someone needs to look into this matter asap" she wrote.  "I didn't even get a limo for that price!!! Never using Uber again."

However, Uber said that the surge remains constant once agreed on and you can always get an estimate first before you decide. However, the estimate may not match the actual fare, you need to read the small print at the bottom.

To be fair, on New Year's Eve morning, Uber Australia sent out an email to customers with tips to avoid paying higher prices. 

You'll see a notification screen in your app whenever there is surge pricing. You'll have to accept those higher rates before you can request a ride.  Remember you can always run a Fare Estimate in the app before you request.

Surge prices shouldn't be a surprise.  At times of high demand, prices increase to encourage more drivers to become available.  As soon as there are enough drivers to meet the demand for rides, prices go back to normal.  Supply and demand is monitored by Uber in real time with prices automatically surging when there is an increase in wait time."

I wonder how the disgruntled Sydney cab drivers felt when they heard the news, some of whom paid $300,000 for their taxi licence. It was probably the best Christmas present of all.