December 15, 2014 1:00 pm -

Uber uses “surge pricing” that increases fares as demands go up.  Now the company is backtracking, offering free rides and refunds as a result of bad publicity after the Sydney siege.


[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Technology news website Mashable reported that Uber was briefly charging customers a minimum fare of 100 Australian dollars ($82) and four times the usual per-mile rate to leave the city center. Uber said on its smartphone app that the rates had been increased because “Demand is off the charts!” according to Mashable.

But Uber, which offers a service based on hailing taxis from its app, quickly backtracked after an outcry on social media.

The company explained that it had used automatic “surge pricing” to encourage more drivers to get online and pick up passengers.

It wrote Monday on its Sydney blog that it was in the process of refunding people who had already paid the excessive fares and was giving free rides to others wanting to leave.

“We are all concerned with the events happening in Sydney,” Uber wrote on the blog, adding that its thoughts were with those affected by the crisis and the New South Wales police force.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

9 responses to Uber Charged $100 Minimum During Sydney Standoff

  1. Anomaly 100 December 15th, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    This is what they told me this morning, then I asked why they did the same thing during Superstorm Sandy. (they haven’t answered that one yet).

    • CHOCOL8MILK December 15th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      The sad truth is that if this did not get the attention it has (coupled with the outcry on social media), Uber would be quietly enjoying the surge in profits.

      • Anomaly 100 December 15th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        On Twitter, Conservatives are tweeting me in defense of Uber. One even tried to link it to — wait for it — Obamacare. There’s a special kind of stupid in the Twitterverse today.

        • tiredoftea December 15th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

          What, no Ayn Rand linkage? It’s the perfect example of her nonsense philosophy.

        • Budda December 15th, 2014 at 2:32 pm

          I guess my question is if Uber is high(due to ‘surge pricing” why not take a regular cab?

          • raincheck December 16th, 2014 at 5:48 am

            Perhaps it had something to do with the “waiting time?” Maybe they didn’t realize there was such a huge spike in price.
            Or maybe the thinking was, GET ME THE “F” OUT OF HERE!”

    • tiredoftea December 15th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      The official rationale is to encourage drivers to be out meeting the demand. Pure market pricing. And it’s done on New Year’s eve and most Saturday nights.

    • raincheck December 16th, 2014 at 5:41 am

      Some people have learned, there is a profit to be made off of the misery of others.
      For example: “Your on your way to Tahoe for some fun, suddenly the snow gets a little thicker than expected, you find yourself stuck in the snow… you can always find a “Good Samaritan” that will pull you out…. for a mere $100.00

    • rg9rts December 17th, 2014 at 4:34 am

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $illy