​Resourceful Woman Crowdsources Ridiculous $362 Halloween Uber Fare

Illustration for article titled ​Resourceful Woman Crowdsources Ridiculous $362 Halloween Uber Fare

A young woman got the surprise of her life when she woke up on November 1, her birthday, to find an Uber charge of $362 dollars on her card for a 20-minute ride because her fare fell victim to Uber's 9x surge pricing. Just in time for rent day.

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In a GoFundMe campaign titled "Uber Stole My 26th Birthday," Gabrielle Wathen, currently juggling three jobs, explains that despite normally using Lyft, she decided to Uber a ride home at 3am after celebrating her birthday. The ride was only 20-22 minutes, but:

When I awoke this morning, I heard a friend talking about how outrageous Uber rates were the night before (9x original rate). I checked my bank account when, unbeknowst to me, I see a charge for $362. Not only is it my 26th birthday, it is rent day. My rent is $450 and I can no longer pay it today due to this completely outrageous charge.

This misunderstanding has cost me 80% of the funds I have to my name (embarrassingly so) and I spent a good two hours of my birthday crying over it.

I feel taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name. $367 for a 20 minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween. Please donate even just $1 if you think this is utter and complete bullshit and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time.

Thanks for the ride, Muhammed.

So far she has raised $593 of her $362 goal, so I'm guessing she made rent and was able to have a nice birthday treat. Smart lady. Fuck Uber.

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Image via Go Fund Me.

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DISCUSSION

markshrayber
Mark Shrayber

Good for her using social media to get help, but I have never not been warned about surge pricing when using Uber or Lyft. On Halloween in San Francisco, both Lyft and Uber wee charging 3.5 their normal rate and so I just skipped it and went to Reno instead of karaoke. (A two-night stay in a luxury suite with a whirlpool cost less than this woman's ride.)

One can say a lot about Uber's predatory policies (how are you going to tell me surge pricing is in effect when there are ten cars milling about my quet residential neighborhood, Uber?) and their drivers (the story about the customer getting kidnapped was horrifying), but claiming that they never warned you of the fact that they're going to take you for all you've got isn't true or part of their business plan. They know someone will click yes (and you really have to acknowledge that you accept. It's not an easy swipe or tap), so why hide it?

Also, a couple of weeks ago I ordered an Uber to take me to work and a Lincoln town car came to pick me up and that was both awesome and embarrassing. I tried to tell the guy I did not order a town car but he said it was fine and I was charged the regular price. So sometimes Uber isn't all bad.