Matt Lindsay of Edmonton says he may end up defaulting on his mortgage this year, thanks to an unexpected New Year’s Eve Uber bill.
He used Uber to get home from a wedding. The fare for his 60 km trip would have normally been $125 or so, but because it was New Year’s Eve, Uber’s surge pricing model added an 8.9 price multiplier!
His final bill came to $1,114.71!
Lindsay says he wasn’t stumbling drunk, but had consumed enough to keep him from driving home. He claims that the Uber app didn’t warn him about the price surge (Uber argues that the app does in fact provide at least one warning), and the driver didn’t warn him either.
“That’s their main clientele, intoxicated people. … I understand that I accepted that surge rate. But I didn’t hit a button to accept a $1,100 bill. I could fly to the other side of the world for that price,” he said, calling a service he used to love “unregulated and risky.”
When asked why he didn’t take a taxi, which is regulated, Lindsay said he has been an avid Uber user for many years. He also admits using an illegal service in Edmonton put him in a vulnerable position.
Lindsay emailed Uber to demand a refund and the company replied it had done nothing wrong and that it always pushes a notification screen on the app before it can fulfil a trip request. The company eventually refunded half of the fare.
“There’s been a mistake on both ends and they can’t deny that. I definitely feel there needs to be a cap. There needs to be some sort of regulation or maybe even a flat rate, especially for a long-distance trip,” he said. “A lot of people are saying I look stupid… but that’s not the point of it.”
Do you think he has a point? Should Uber’s fares be regulated by government?