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.”



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • After fires and floods, Australia warned about deadly spiders

    World News CTV News
    Australia has already dealt with extreme fires, flooding and hail this year. Now experts are warning people to watch out for deadly funnel-web spiders due to "perfect conditions" for the arachnid to thrive. Source
  • Crown to begin arguing for Meng Wanzhou's extradition in B.C. court

    Canada News CBC News
    Lawyers for Canada's attorney general will make the case Wednesday for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou's extradition to the United States. After two days of listening to defence arguments, the Crown will try to convince a B.C. Source
  • 1 dead, 5 missing after snowmobilers fall through ice on Lac Saint-Jean

    Canada News CBC News
    One man is dead and five others are missing after their snowmobiles went through the ice along Lac Saint-Jean Tuesday night. Emergency services and the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) were called to a channel at the edge of the lake, between the towns of Saint-Henri-de-Taillon and Alma, at 7:30 p.m. Source
  • Cases of new viral respiratory illness rise sharply in China

    World News CBC News
    Chinese health authorities have urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings, after warning on Wednesday that a new viral illness that has infected hundreds and caused at least nine deaths could spread further. Source
  • Saudi embassy dismisses claims that Jeff Bezos' phone was hacked

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES -- The Saudi embassy in Washington on Tuesday dismissed suggestions the kingdom hacked the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as media reports linked the security breach to a WhatsApp message from an account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Source
  • Saudi involved in hacking of Amazon boss Bezos' phone, UN report will say

    World News CBC News
    Two UN officials will report on Wednesday that there is enough evidence suggesting that Saudi Arabia had hacked Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos' phone and both the kingdom and the United States should investigate, a person familiar with the matter said. Source
  • Military must nearly double annual female recruitment to reach target: study

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Canadian Armed Forces needs to nearly double the number of women it has been recruiting in recent years to reach its goal of having women represent one-quarter of all military personnel by 2026, according to an internal study from the Department of National Defence. Source
  • Flights to resume out of St. John's, N.L., as search for missing man suspended

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Commercial flights were set to resume out of St. John's, N.L., this morning, as eastern Newfoundland continues to dig itself out from last week's record-breaking blizzard. Today is the sixth day the provincial capital has been under a state of emergency after a storm dumped more than 76 centimetres of snow on the city. Source
  • Lawyers for Canada's attorney general to argue for extradition of Meng Wanzhou

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Lawyers representing the Canadian attorney general are set to begin arguments today at an extradition hearing for Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. The hearing in Vancouver this week is focusing on the legal test of double criminality, meaning that the allegations against Meng must also be a crime in Canada for her to be extradited to the United States. Source
  • 'You could literally go around the Earth' before symptoms start: Screening for new coronavirus

    Canada News CBC News
    Medical screening at airports, border crossings and health-care institutions takes on new urgency when a viral threat looms. Tuesday's announcement of the first infection in the U.S. — a man who returned to the Seattle area last week after travelling to the outbreak's epicentre in Wuhan, central China — adds to more than 400 people infected with the new coronavirus, which has sickened people in China as well as Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Source