Over the past few years, Uber has revolutionized the world of avoiding public transportation by making it easier (and cheaper) than ever to get where you need to go without having to deal with terrible inconveniences like “crowded subways,” “slightly more expensive cabs” or “other people.”
Uber owes a great deal of its success to a number of fairly progressive (and ethically questionable) business tactics, including “surge pricing,” an incredibly simple concept made far more complicated by people who don’t understand the most basic principles of capitalism.
It’s a fairly simple idea: When a lot of people want a ride at the same time, users are charged a premium based on just how much demand there is at the moment. I’d explain more if there were anything more to explain, but it really is that straightforward.
You can argue that the policy amounts to price gouging, but considering the app tells you just how much more you’re going to be charged before you can confirm the (almost exclusively nonessential) ride, it’s an argument you’re going to have a hard time winning.
If you think that’s going to stop stupid people from complaining, you obviously haven’t dealt with stupid people before.
There are plenty of valid complaints you can have when it comes to Uber, but they don’t include any of these.
Uber is obviously the bad guy for making this guy actively confirm that he wanted to pay nine times the normal price for a four minute cab ride.
— Grab a Broom (@grababroom) January 1, 2015
Oh snap. A #IDFWU hashtag? Good luck recovering from that one.
— E.B. (@WeWantEB) January 1, 2015
I remember my first Uber ride.
Last nights Uber ride was charged at 150% usual rate due it being taken “while surge pricing was in effect”. WTF @Uber??
— Sgt Slick (@sgt_slick) July 15, 2013
I’m sure the fact that it was New Year’s Eve had nothing to do with it.
Still can’t believe Uber charged me $65 for a 2 mile ride home. I think I need to report them to the Better Business Bureau.
— jansjay (@jansjay) January 1, 2015
— Ben (@schechter206) January 1, 2015
Speaking of emails, it’s a shame he didn’t read the one Uber sent out saying prices would be higher because of that very holiday.
Dearest taxi alert. Uber charged me £58 for a 6 mile journey last night without warning. Apparently 5.9 the normal rate on NYD. Email sent.
— andy taylor (@andytaylorleeds) January 1, 2015
I wonder how many people die from surge pricing each year.
I can’t believe Uber is charging so much for a ride tonight. They are taking advantage of the situation and promoting drunk driving. — Sophie (@sophiemelgoza) January 1, 2015
I’d argue being too drunk to understand basic math is the real “bad look” here, but that’s just me.
I think uber definitely took advantage of drunk people..which isn’t a good look for such a new company. Imo. — Miss 3rd Ward (@bUnique79) January 1, 2015
Not reading the terms and conditions before clicking “OK” should be illegal too. Actually, maybe not. That would be awful.
It might have something to do with the part where you agree to pay for the fare before you even get in the car.
— I am Joe (@Joey_D_T) November 1, 2014
You say “unfair,” I say “literally how Uber works.”
@Uber_LDN really disappointed in your service,u charged me £94.00 on a journey that u said cost £36.00 normally due to a 2.5 surge !! Unfair
— Nadia Rakani (@fnra) December 18, 2014
Awwwww. How cute. He thinks he knows what “false advertising” is.
— Adam Sindeband (@Adam_Sindeband) November 2, 2014
It really sucks that Uber is literally the only way to get around New York City. Someone should look into that.
Still mad at Uber for trying to charge us $75 for a 5min, one mile drive to Penn Station on New Years. You all should be ashamed.
— Kiara (@_kfergg) January 6, 2015
I assume he’s speaking from experience.
Uber is a rip off! They just take advantage of drunk people…
— Chase Duffy (@Duff_Man24) January 6, 2015
I don’t know the story is here, but something tells me we’re only getting one side.
Last time I used @Uber my driver took advantage of me being intoxicated and drove around my house in circles for 30 min racking up my fare
— Amanda Rojas (@amandaprojas) January 1, 2015
At least this guy admits he got played. That’s really all I’m asking for.
Uber took advantage of how drunk I was pic.twitter.com/vD5podEea8
— Frechette (@Ryanfrench19) December 18, 2014