How to avoid Uber's surge pricing


#1

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#2

Don’t use Uber? Don’t accept 9x surges from Uber when ordering your cab? Don’t get so drunk you can’t read numbers?

But hey, she crowdfunded way more than her bill anyway, so what the hell!

For fairness:


#3

Getting into cars while drunk enough to be ok with a $400 charge is how you get onto the 6 o’clock news for being DEAD.


#4

Yeah, she totally should have walked home alone, if she was in that condition.

Sarcasm aside, when Uber and Lyft were new, everyone seemed so excited by it, because it was unregulated and they could charge much less than taxi cabs. Now we’re seeing the other side of the coin of the unrestricted free market.


#5

there appears to be no similar app for Android.


#6

Does it really require 8 hashtags?


#7

#hell #yes #! #?


#8

How about, oh I don’t know, call a f’n cab? Oh, too hard to use a phone as a phone? What the hell is wrong with people that they aren’t able to live their lives without using an app for everything?


#9

Let’s blame the victim. /s

Thanks for the head’s up on Uber’s tactic.


#10

I’d like to understand how this works. In a cab you know what the rate you are paying is and you can see the meter counting up. Does Uber have a similar feature? Can you tell the rate before you get in? Or do you get in, thinking this is reasonable, and then find you’ve been charged $362?

I understand there’s apparently an app for that, but doesn’t this sound like ordering a coffee and having someone give it to you then tell you that because of high coffee demand at this hour you own the $100? If there is a way for a customer to know that right now they will be charged a ludicrous fee then it might be more tolerable, but when the fee gets so high that it is clearly out of the bounds of sensible, it feels like this is a scam (shouldn’t extraordinary fees require extraordinary notice?).

That’s a pretty awful story. It’s too bad people feel the need to vilify people who do things they wouldn’t do instead of just walking past.


#11

There ought to be a better price somewhere with possibly a full commercially insured trip coverage as well. The prices and under-insurance issues with ride-sharing corporations are a concern.


#12

I’ve never used Uber or any of the other lift-share services, I don’t even use cabs because they’re totally unreliable and even their normal prices feel extortionate to me (I don’t go out drinking much any more anyway, but even when I did I preferred 10-mile walks home to taxis - privilege showing?), so perhaps I’m not the expert here…

However, this is my understanding:

Since 2012, Uber has made its surge pricing unmistakably clear within the app. In fact, you have to key in the exact amount by which your fare will be multiplied in order to even request an Uber during a surge pricing time.

So, if this is accurate (I don’t know) when she ordered the ride, she had to specifically acknowledge she was paying 9x the normal price, and I guess she knew it was normally a $35-$40 ride home.

I imagine that anyone who knew what they were doing and had an alternative available would not agree to that - which suggests that Uber sometimes exploits the drunk and desperate with extortionate pricing.


#13

I can buy a car for that much.


#14

Well, as I said, I think extraordinary pricing should have an extraordinary warning, but forcing you to key in the multiplier yourself meets that threshold, I think, so good for Uber for at least making sure people know what they are paying.

But, yeah, like you say (desperate/extortionate) when you see a price that high something feels pretty wrong about it. It still has a bad smell to it.


#15

I think it’s funny how things go in cycles. People thought Uber was going to break those pesky taxi boards and regulated taxi industry, and here not even that much down the road Uber is proving the point of why those sorts of things were put in place to begin with. Honestly I’m neither here nor there with regulation. But it’s somewhat amusing to see the unregulated industry prove the necessity of the regulated industry.


#16

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a system of shared cars with the rates clearly posted on the windows and a meter that counts up the exact fare? And the drivers could have background checks, commercial licenses and insurance, the cars could have regular safety checks and be required to serve (and know their way around) the entire city in which they operate.

Oh yeah, we have those. They’re called taxis. Uber and Lyft are an underhanded attempt to deregulate the taxi industry and remove the consumer protections in the name of high profits. Just because it uses an app doesn’t make it progressive - Uber and Lyft are an example of a far-right technolibertarian mindset that will end up hurting the general public by dashing our regulatory structures in favor of “free” market profits.

This drunk young lady isn’t to blame here. Uber shouldn’t be permitted to use this surge pricing model. When you hail a cab (whether it’s on the street, on the phone, or via an app) you should expect the same service at the same regulated prices.


#17

Hear hear!


#18

A friend’s son just out of college was driving for Uber to make some cash. He said that Uber doesn’t like too many drivers in an area ostensibly because it makes it harder for full-time Uber drivers to make a living (but more likely because it reduces surge pricing). He said they forced him to do a full vehicle inspection on a 4 month old new car that he already had inspected. He’s fed up with this.

Corporate greed has kills too many great ideas.


#19

Yes!

No!

Communally owned cars would be better. Just keep a few extras around. The the US there is an impossible amount of bureaucracy to having a neighborhood-owned car.


#20

Just drive drunk. My parents did it, and they seem fine, except for all their friends that died in ravines and head-ons.