Edmonton man receives partial refund for $1,100 Uber bill

An Edmonton man who was charged more than $1,100 for an Uber ride on New Year’s Eve has been refunded half his bill.

See Full Article

Matthew Lindsey used the ride-sharing app after celebrating a wedding Thursday night with a group of friends. His driver made three separate stops to drop passengers off, travelling 63 kilometres over 60 minutes in total.

Lindsay said had taken comparable trips before.

“We use Uber all the time, so it was the first choice for me,” he told CTV Edmonton. “I’ve actually taken a similar route at peak time before and it cost me about $77.”

His New Year’s trip cost a base fare of $125 – but the 8.9 “surge” multiplier caused the price to balloon to $1,114.71.

Uber’s “surge” pricing is a supply-and-demand approach that kicks in during the company’s busiest hours. When a high number of people request rides, the availability of Uber drivers becomes limited.

“As a result, prices increase to encourage more drivers to become available,” Uber’s website explains.

Before hailing a ride, users are shown the “surge” multiplier, explaining their drive will cost significantly more than usual due to the high demand. They’re also given the option to be notified when “surge” prices end and the fare returns to normal.

If riders choose to pay extra, they’re also forced to type in the exact multiplier they’re agreeing to pay as a sign of acknowledgment.

After his story aired on CTV Edmonton Saturday, Lindsay said Uber called him and offered to refund half his fare.

Others, too, were incensed by Uber bills totalling hundreds of dollars. Two Montreal passengers were charged $625 for a 40-kilometre trek.

“We might have well just rented a room or something at that point,” passenger Veronica Iafrancesco told CTV Montreal.

“I feel like I was robbed,” said Cassandra Zakaib, another Montreal rider who was charged $320 on New Year’s Eve.

Uber did, however, attempt to warn users in advance that New Year’s Eve prices would be higher than usual.

“To avoid the highest fares, catch a ride just after midnight or have your app notify you when Surge Pricing drops,” one email, sent by Uber Thursday morning, said. It also recommended using their price estimating tool before riding and splitting the fare with friends.

Still, users like Lindsay are unhappy it’s even possible to spend $1,000 on a car ride.

“They just haven't acknowledged the fact that this is an unfathomable price. It’s a ridiculous, outrageous price.”


Latest Canada & World News

  • Mexican police find meth hidden in cheese

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Mexican prosecutors said Monday that they had found a tunnel in the border city of Tijuana that led toward or into the United States. The attorney general's office did not say whether the tunnel actually reached U.S. Source
  • Former Uruguay president Jorge Batlle dead at 88

    World News CBC News
    Former President Jorge Batlle, an extroverted and irreverent politician who was a force in Uruguayan politics for half a century and led it during one of its worst economic recessions, died on Monday. He was 88. Source
  • Ottawa police pull over higher rate of Middle Eastern and black drivers: report

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa Police are pulling over Middle Eastern and black drivers -- especially young men -- far more often than other groups relative to their population in the city, according to a report analyzing traffic stops over a two year period. Source
  • NAACP demanding federal probe after noose put on African American student

    World News CTV News
    WIGGINS, Miss. -- The president of the Mississippi NAACP is demanding a federal investigation after the parents of a black high school student said four white students put a noose around their son's neck at school. Source
  • Grade 8 student tells federal minister he teaches indigenous language course

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA - A Grade 8 student stunned a gathering of national aboriginal leaders and the federal indigenous affairs minister Monday by saying he volunteered to become his school's indigenous language teacher after one too many berry-picking field trips. Source
  • Suspect in killings, carjackings and cop shootings on the run in Oklahoma

    World News CTV News
    OKLAHOMA CITY - Authorities are hunting for a man suspected of killing his aunt and uncle, shooting two police officers, stealing a patrol car and carjacking other vehicles in a violent rampage in the Oklahoma City area, all while apparently taunting law enforcement via social media. Source
  • 'Stop wearing them in public': Man's yoga pants comment draws protesters to his house

    World News CBC News
    A male reader who sent a letter to a small Rhode Island newspaper criticizing women who wear yoga pants in public found that snug-fitting pants were the least of his problems as hundreds of people picketed his home and thousands rebuked him on social media. Source
  • Mediation between UBC, former student about handling of sexual assault reports fails

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - A former University of British Columbia student who filed a human rights complaint over the school's handling of sexual assault reports says mediation ended unsuccessfully after 90 minutes on Monday. Glynnis Kirchmeier says she cannot disclose what happened during the early settlement meeting due to a confidentiality agreement, but she is pushing ahead with her case. Source
  • Quebec City minor hockey coach facing 2 child-luring charges

    Canada News CBC News
    A Quebec City minor hockey coach is facing two charges of child-luring after making several "requests of a sexual nature" online, according to police. Kevin Pinard-Bédard, 25, was arrested last Thursday following a police investigation. He appeared in court via video. Source
  • Lights twinkle in Ont. town for boy who made Christmas come early

    Canada News CTV News
    The small town of St. George, Ont. will switch on their Christmas lights in October once again -- a sombre tribute to a seven-year-old boy whose dying wish to celebrate one last holiday season touched millions around the world one year ago. Source