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

  • Police response to Texas school shooting remains unclear

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas -- Santa Fe High School had conducted active shooter drills, armed police officers patrolled the hallways and students went through a scare in February after a false report of a campus gunman. But in the aftermath of the deadliest public school shooting in Texas history, early witness accounts and recordings from emergency dispatch describe a 30-minute nightmare as the real thing unfolded last week, even as authorities continued to keep details close Sunday. Source
  • Several Atlantic fisheries closed due to presence of two right whales

    Canada News CTV News
    MONCTON, N.B. -- Federal authorities are closing several fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence because of the presence of North Atlantic right whales. In a statement posted on Twitter, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says two of the severely endangered animals have been spotted off the coast of New Brunswick. Source
  • Ontario New Democrats forced to admit to annual $1.4-billion costing error

    Canada News CTV News
    PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- Ontario's New Democrats, often accused of fiscal incompetence, made a $1.4-billion annual costing mistake in their election platform, the party's leader was forced to admit on Sunday. The miscounting of a $700-million annual reserve fund as revenue rather than as an expense will affect deficit projections for several years, Leader Andrea Horwath conceded. Source
  • Victims of alleged LSD brainwashing experiments in Montreal plan to file lawsuit

    Canada News CTV News
    Survivors and families of those who allegedly underwent brainwashing experiments at McGill University in Montreal are planning a class-action lawsuit against the Quebec and federal governments because of what they claim had been done to them decades ago. Source
  • Kayakers take Kinder Morgan protest offshore in U.S.

    Canada News CBC News
    More than 200 kilometres south of where the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is slated to end, environmental groups in the U.S. took to the water in Seattle on Sunday to add their voices to ongoing opposition to the project. Source
  • Sask. couple swept away by B.C. mountain landslide can't believe they're alive

    Canada News CBC News
    Saskatchewan couple Sheri Niemegeers and Gabe Rosescu do not remember much after the wall of mud and trees came hurtling down a steep mountain pass toward their vehicle. But, according to Rosescu's sister Andrea, they both recall the split second when they realized they were in the path of a landslide. Source
  • Cyclists near Seattle tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

    World News CTV News
    SEATTLE - The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle. They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. Source
  • 'I could have ID'd him': Woman says Dominican resort didn't investigate claim that she was raped by staffer

    Canada News CBC News
    A Toronto-area woman says she is going public to warn travellers, after a security guard at a Dominican Republic resort raped her and the hotel "did nothing" to investigate — an occurrence she believes is all too common. Source
  • Canadian vacationers stranded in Cuba following plane crash

    Canada News CTV News
    In the wake of a horrific plane crash in Cuba that claimed the lives of 110 people, dozens of Canadians are now stranded in the country, wondering when they will be able to fly home. Source
  • Police video shows harrowing escapes from California fires

    World News CTV News
    SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Chaotic police body-camera footage from last year's deadly wildfires in Northern California's wine country shows officers running door-to-door urging people to flee and rescuing elderly residents of a retirement community as flames bear down, according to a newspaper report Sunday. Source