Do angry Uber users have a case against 'surge pricing'?

A couple of Montreal-area women are so upset about the cost of New Year’s Uber rides that they say they are considering legal action.

See Full Article

CTV Edmonton reported Sunday on Matthew Lindsey’s $1,115 charge for a 60-minute ride that covered 63 kilometres. It was the result of a “surge pricing” multiplier of 8.9 times was added to his $125 base fare. (The company has since refunded half of the money.)

Lindsay wasn’t the only one shocked by an Uber charge after a New Year’s celebration.

Catherine Pap wrote on Facebook that her first Uber ride, taken on Jan. 1, cost $97. That was about three times what she expected to pay, and she’s looking for other people who might want to join a possible class action lawsuit.

Cassandra Zakaib said she likes the idea of going after the company. Her New Year’s Day ride in Montreal cost $320, minus a 25 per cent refund she got after complaining.

“I really think that, together, this public outcry should be heard,” Zakaib said.

Veronica Iafrancesco, who said she and a fellow passenger were charged $625 for a 40-kilometre cab ride in Montreal, was also upset by her bill. “We might have well just rented a room or something,” she said.

Although Uber rides often cost less than taxi trips, the company’s “surge” pricing can lead to big bills when drivers are busy.

Surge pricing kicks in when the number of available cars falls below a certain threshold. Once the surge starts, the app warns users that the normal rate will be multiplied by a certain amount.

Users who don’t accept the surge pricing can opt to be notified when “surge” prices end and the fares return to normal.

Not only are users warned in the app, but the company sent out an email on New Year’s Eve reminding them that 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,” the email said.

Uber issued a statement defending its surge pricing, adding it helps ensure “you can always push a button and get a ride within minutes -- even on the busiest night of the year.”

Surge pricing also led to some eye-popping bills over Halloween weekend in Toronto, when four women who were driven from a downtown nightclub to a Toronto suburb faced a $446 charge.

With a report from CTV Montreal



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Toronto man with autism 'traumatized' after police tackle him over toy gun

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto family is demanding an apology from police after a man with autism was tackled by several officers because someone reported seeing him holding a plastic toy gun in a car. Zakiyeh Rezaee told CTV Toronto’s Tracy Tong in an exclusive interview that several officers barged into the home where she lives with her 20-year-old son on Saturday night and jumped on top of him. Source
  • Amid legal wrangling, Georgia election uncertainty lingers

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- After two federal court rulings and a flurry of legal filings over a 24-hour period, uncertainty still hangs over Georgia's midterm elections, including the still undecided race for governor. Unofficial results in one of the nation's hottest midterm contests give Republican Brian Kemp a slim majority. Source
  • Ontario company fined for factory accident that left child dead

    Canada News CTV News
    LINWOOD, Ont. -- Ontario's Ministry of Labour says a steel tubing manufacturer has been fined $150,000 for violations related to a factory accident that left a child dead. The ministry says a worker was at J.M. Source
  • New Royal Family photos released to mark Prince Charles' 70th birthday

    World News CTV News
    Clarence House has released two new photos of Prince Charles with his family to mark his 70th birthday. The photos were taken in September by photographer Chris Jackson in the garden of Clarence House, and feature Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children. Source
  • Pink Legacy diamond sets new world record

    World News CBC News
    Christie's has sold the "Pink Legacy" diamond at auction for more than $65 million including fees, saying it's a new world record price per carat for a pink diamond. The auction house said that renowned jeweller Harry Winston was the buyer. Source
  • Pink diamond sells for more than US$50M, setting world record

    World News CTV News
    GENEVA -- Christie's sold the "Pink Legacy" diamond at auction Tuesday for more than US$50 million including fees, saying it's a new world record price per carat for a pink diamond. Christie's said that renowned jeweler Harry Winston was the buyer. Source
  • Philadelphia Archdiocese offers compensation to child sex abuse victims

    World News CBC News
    Officials from the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia have agreed to pay uncapped compensation offers for victims of child sexual abuse by clergy as part of a claims process that started Tuesday. The Philadelphia archdiocese's program is the first victim compensation fund initiated since a chilling grand jury report was released in August detailing child sexual abuse over seven decades by hundreds of priests in six of Pennsylvania's Catholic dioceses. Source
  • Melania Trump publicly calls for White House aide's firing

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- In an extraordinary move, Melania Trump called publicly Tuesday for the deputy national security adviser to be dismissed. After reports circulated Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump had decided to remove Mira Ricardel from her post at the National Security Council, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, released a statement that said: "It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House. Source
  • Disabled boy has 'forgiven' bullies who walked on him in stream, mother says

    Canada News CTV News
    GLACE BAY, N.S. -- The mother of a Cape Breton teen with cerebral palsy says her son has forgiven a group of students who bullied him last week -- telling him to lie in a shallow stream as other students walked over him. Source
  • Norway says Russia jammed GPS signal during NATO drill

    World News CTV News
    HELSINKI -- The Norwegian Defence Ministry said Tuesday that Russian forces in the Arctic disturbed GPS location signals during a recent large NATO drill in Norway. The ministry said that Norway's Foreign Ministry earlier had raised the issue with Russian authorities. Source