Drunk man accidentally takes $1600 Uber ride from West Virginia to New Jersey

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/02/drunk-man-accidentally-takes.html


Let’s hope the party was fun.



What’s the driver’s take on a $1600 ride?


I’ll tell you the driver’s take:

Thank God for the rain which has helped wash away the garbage and trash off the sidewalks. I’m workin’ long hours now, six in the afternoon to six in the morning. Sometimes even eight in the morning, six days a week. Sometimes seven days a week. It’s a long hustle but it keeps me real busy. I can take in three, three fifty a week. Sometimes even more when I do it off the meter. All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don’t care. Don’t make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won’t even take spooks. Don’t make no difference to me.


Compared to a DUI, he got off cheap.


The worst part wasn’t the cost of the ride, it was waking up in New Jersey.


I’m concerned about the tip. How many people would “forget” the $400 tip?


What i’m curious about is can the financial exchange be seen as legal? The passenger was in an impaired state, one could argue that Uber took advantage of his drunkenness and the passenger shouldn’t be on the hook for it if it was a mistake.

I did a little bit of digging and the answer is: Maybe.

Ambiguous answer is not helpful :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not sure how to research this.


Found this


Again the answer seems to be “maybe” and how much effort one wants to put into fighting it.


Its going to get worse with self driving cars like lets have the car drive the baby over to…Darwin

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Whether the ride was incurred by drunken error or not, I dont think you tip on a fare that large.

The driver’s making a decent amount of money for the day, much more than he would had he driven a random assortment of smaller fares.

If anything, I’m surprised the rider didnt try to negotiate a clawback: $800-$1000 for the trip. As someone who negotiated a contract non compos mentis, he has been taken advantage of, and would seem to have a chance at a valid legal argument.


You use legal arguments to negotiate the fare as you step out of a cab? And decide cabbies earn enough, and don’t need any tips? What’s the word for that again, I think it starts with, “Christ, what an…?”

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Presumably, if you’re ever mugged: You’ll hand over your wallet. The gentleman will cough politely. Then, you will reach into your back pocket and give him your reserve $20.

Not at all. Some people live on tips. Some people can find a clever reason not to tip. You lost me with the part about the duck, sorry.

You could do worse, like waking up in New Jersey… naked.

Unless the app you use to summon an Uber has a sobriety test and I just checked, it doesn’t, I’d say Uber is not at fault in the slightest. They did what a presumed rational adult requested.

I don’t see it as being anyone’s problem but the drunken sot who got himself into such a state of his own volition.

if I use an online ordering system how could it possibly be the company’s problem on the other end since there is no direct interaction and it’s not the driver/delivery person’s job to play “Are you sure you want to go to X” or “Do you really need fourteen extra cheesy pizzas?”

A moment’s planning by our partygoer would have saved him a fortune. "Hmm, I will probably drink myself unconscious again (I really doubt it was his first rodeo) so I had better arrange some things in advance so I don’t wind up featured in online amusement blogs.

But the ignorant sometimes learn best when they put their finger on the hot stove that it is indeed hot.

Mind you, I am not a lawyer and I am in no doubt there will be at least one willing to take up the cudgels on behalf of this “poor victim”. There always is if the money is big enough.

Best way I can think to address it would be to enhance credit card card transaction protocols with something like a statement of intent along the lines of “at the completion of the service this card will be charged 1600 dollars for an Uber ride”.

This would enable clients to tell their bank in advance how much they are willing to pay for certain services, within a period of time, like maximum spend on pizza in one hour is 200 dollars, and so on.


Sure, if the baby likes giant balls of twine :smiley:

I seem to remember that in Massachusetts you can’t enter into a contract while drunk. When i was much younger, I accidentally bought $300 worth of magazine subscriptions from a telemarketer on an otherwise beautiful spring afternoon. I only found out about it a month later when Rolling Stone, Good Housekeeping, and a few other completely random periodicals showed up in the mail. I then checked my statement and sure enough, there was a charge (which happened to eat up my entire balance on a brand new card.) Thinking I was totally screwed, I talked to my mom about it, and her advice was to call the bastards back and file a fraud claim on the basis that I was taken advantage of while intoxicated. Sure enough, I did just that, and had the charge refunded without much fuss. At any rate, RS and Good Housekeeping kept showing up to my mom’s house for another three or four years, and no one paid a dime for them.

Advance planning of that sort is not generally the strong suit of people who drink themselves unconscious in my experience.

Yeah thats why working this way enables you to plan before you get drunk. My bank statement now has a category column for transactions like “Pizza Hut” -> “Takeaway Food” and so on. Maybe accounts should come with default transaction limits for different categories like Luxury car: 100000 dollars, 10 ohm resistor: 5 cents, which the client can customize if they choose.