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

  • What are Barcelona's 'Las Ramblas,' where terror attack occurred?

    World News CTV News
    BARCELONA, Spain -- The lengthy Las Ramblas promenade where a van plowed into pedestrians Thursday is a tree-lined walkway that starts in a huge plaza and ends near Barcelona's harbour. It's filled with cafes, restaurants, stalls selling everything from souvenirs to flowers, the city's famed opera house and a baroque palace. Source
  • Terror in Spain: At least 12 dead, 80 injured after van jumps sidewalk plowing into pedestrians [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — A white van jumped the sidewalk Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street of the northern Spanish city Thursday afternoon, apparently being helped by police and others. Source
  • July 2017 was hottest on land in recorded history: NOAA

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Earth yet again sizzled with unprecedented heat last month. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday Earth sweated to its second hottest month since recordkeeping began in 1880. At 61.89 degrees (16.63 Celsius), last month was behind July 2016’s all-time record by .09 degrees. Source
  • Immigration board to audit long-term detention process after 'endless circle of mistakes'

    Canada News CBC News
    The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada says it will carry out an independent audit of the process used to reassess the long-term detention of permanent residents and foreigners after two recent court decisions raised concerns that the rules may not always be applied fairly. Source
  • Websites aim to exile white nationalists in wake of violence

    World News CBC News
    Silicon Valley joined a swelling backlash against white nationalist groups in the U.S. on Wednesday as more technology companies denied their services in response to weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va. Social media networks Twitter and LinkedIn, music service Spotify and security firm Cloudflare were among the companies cutting off services to hate groups or removing material they said spread hate. Source
  • Natalee Holloway's remains finally found?

    World News Toronto Sun
    It was the trip of a lifetime. Natalee Holloway — a pretty 18-year-old from Alabama — and pals from her high school descended on the Caribbean island of Aruba for sun and fun. And then the blond vanished off the face of the earth, her disappearance mired in police corruption and political influence. Source
  • Security threat leads Florida to cancel prison visitations

    World News CTV News
    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Prison officials in Florida cited a security threat in cancelling visitation at most of its 148 facilities. In a statement released Wednesday, prison officials said the cancellation is in response to "credible intelligence indicating that small groups of inmates at several institutions may attempt to disrupt operations and impact safety and security. Source
  • Emotional mother-and-child reunion as young former captive arrives in Winnipeg

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A woman in Winnipeg tightly embraced her 12-year-old son for the first time in three years early Thursday morning when the child was reunited with his family after his liberation from Iraqi militants. Cheers went up from a large crowd on hand when Emad Mishko Tamo arrived at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, just weeks after he was freed from captivity. Source
  • Stonewall Jackson kin: Take down Confederate monuments

    World News CTV News
    A great-great-grandson of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson said Thursday that the monument to the legendary Confederate general and others in Virginia's capital city were constructed as symbols of white supremacy and should be taken down. Meanwhile, a descendant of Jefferson Davis said he supports moving the statues to appropriate settings, such as museums. Source
  • Canadians in Spain told to avoid Barcelona tourist area after terror attack [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Canadians in Spain are being urged to avoid the Las Ramblas area in Barcelona, where a van has plowed through a crowd in the popular tourist area near the city centre. Global Affairs Canada is also urging Canadians in Spain to let their “loved ones know you are safe. Source