Newsflash: Uber surges their fares during times cabs are in high demand. Like on, say, Halloween night.
If you find yourself too boozy to make it back to the burbs like, say, Brampton, from your big-city Toronto bash, you may be facing an Uber bill that could have equalled a couple nights in a fancy hotel. Like, say, $400. Or even $600!
680 NEWS received a story from a student named Daniel U who took a 50-minute Uber ride from downtown Toronto to Brampton on Halloween night.
“After the night ended, I took an Uber i heard it was very reliable to use and afforable,” he writes.
Not so much in this case, Daniel.
He got a $663 bill.
He says he could have “rented a car for the whole month” for the same price.
That’s probably true.
Instead of paying the Uber bill himself, he has set up a gofundme campaign, asking others to donate.
(Un)surprisingly, the total amount raised sits at zero.
“I would appreciate it if anybody could help me out to pay the outstanding balance I now owe,” Daniel writes.
If you feel compelled to donate, click here.
It didn’t stop with Daniel.
CityNews received a similar tip from a mom about her daughter’s similar fate with an Uber, also on Halloween night.
The girl, also a student, and her friends took an Uber from Toronto’s Madison Avenue Pub (a popular multi-level pub, you can ignore those frosh-week flashbacks you may be experiencing) to their home in Woodbridge.
“When they asked the driver how much it would cost the driver told them not to worry about it,” the mom Nancy Giatti writes.
They were charged $465.25 for the 40-minute drive.
We thought Uber’s policy on price-surging was well known. Apparently not.
“At times of high demand, the number of drivers we can connect you with becomes limited. As a result, prices increase to encourage more drivers to become available,” the policy reads.
You can read the entire policy on Uber’s website.
Susie Heath, a spokesperson from Uber Canada spells it out:
“Our team in Toronto works extremely hard to bring more drivers onto the Uber platform every day to meet the ever-growing demand for Uber in Toronto, however, on busy nights when demand sometimes exceeds supply, our dynamic pricing model automatically kicks in to encourage more drivers to come on the road,” she says in an email.
“For riders, an icon will appear on their screen that indicates when surge pricing is in effect – if they decide they still want a ride, they are shown the surge multiplier and then they must confirm their consent to a ride at a higher price.”
Is there a Halloween costume out there for uninformed Uber users? Or money-hungry Uber drivers? We’re not sure.