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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
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These two articles aren't related in any way, except on here. First is a recent piece, the second one is from January.


Edinburgh woman vows never to use Uber again after being stung by eye-watering triple fare

https://www.edinburghlive.co.uk/news/ed ... e-16309372

Kim McAllister couldn't believe that she'd been charged £129 for a journey which normally costs less than £35

Image
Image: Edinburgh Live/Kim McAllister

An Edinburgh woman has vowed never to use Uber again after she was hit with an eye-watering surge charge at the weekend.

Kim McAllister booked a car back from an event at Prestonfield House to her home in Colinton, and then on to Fountainbridge in the early hours of Sunday – a journey of around nine miles which normally costs less than £35.

However when she woke in the morning and checked her statement she found that she had actually been charged £129 for the ride.

She admits that she does recall seeing a x3.7 notice on the app when booking the car, but didn't realise its significance at the time.

Kim, who is a journalist and communications consultant, said: "I didn't quite know what that meant, but I didn't think much of it. When it's that time and you are trying to get home, you just see 'seven minutes away' and click on it. It's a journey which normally costs around £35 so I never thought to much of it.

"I didn't realise at the time and it wasn't until I woke up in the morning that I thought 'oh my goodness', look at what we've been charged."

Kim is now warning people of the dangers of falling foul of the same charge she did – and has shared a post on Facebook to try and make as many people aware as possible.

She added: "I got in touch with Uber to ask that they undo it – I even said I'd willing to pay double the fare – but they just said no.

"I shared the post on Facebook to make people aware of what had happened and I do think there should be some sort of extra surge warning if it's such a huge increase. Fair enough if it was Christmas or something, but this was just a random Saturday in May."

When asked if she would consider using Uber again, Kim said: "No. Never. I thought about this and we don't need to. We are in Edinburgh where there are so many other options.

"When I posted on Facebook some people were shocked, and some people reminded me of the other options out there."

Surge pricing is used to adjust the cost of a ride to match driver to rider supply. During times when there is excessive demand, or when there aren't enough divers on the road, fares increase.

A spokesperson for Uber said: "The Uber app uses dynamic pricing to make sure that people can always get a car when they need it. When large numbers of people in a specific area want a ride at the same time and there aren't enough available cars, fares automatically rise to encourage more drivers to go to the busy area.

"Users always see a fare estimate in advance so they have the choice to book a car, share the trip with others or wait until fares go down.”

Have you ever been stung by a significant Uber surge charge? Feel free to let us know on our Facebook or Twitter groups, or by contacting us on news@edinburghlive.co.uk.



This trip looks to be around five or six miles, but the article only says that it took 15 minutes.

Edinburgh Uber driver boasts about £58 fare from Queen Street to Mortonhall

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/ ... -1-4851592

Image
Image: Edinburgh Evening News

An Edinburgh Uber driver boasted about charging a customer £58 for a journey between Queen Street and Mortonhall in a WhatsApp group chat.

The details emerged in a conversation between some of Edinburgh’s Uber drivers on New Year’s Day, when fares go up due to higher demand.

An Uber spokeswoman said that, when large numbers of people in a specific area want a ride at the same time and there aren't enough cars available, fares automatically go up to encourage drivers to go to this area. But this in turn can result in fares eventually going back down as supply and demand is balanced out.

However, in a discussion between Uber drivers in Edinburgh about fares on New Year's Day, one driver said: “My best so far 4.5x XL Queen st to Mortonhall I got £58.”

The next two messages in the group chat, read: “Happy new year to all” and “Hope everyone has had a productive night.”

A screenshot of the conversation was obtained and published by a female taxi driver who runs the local Facebook group Call a Cab a Taxi.

Alongside the message she wrote: “Regulated taxis sitting on ranks while people choose to stand beside them, wait for a car coming for them and happily let them charge them over twice the price the taxi would charge.

“£58 for a journey that’s about 15 minutes long.

“You can’t argue with stupid.”

Another message posted in the WhatsApp group read “Get to Musselburgh” alongside a laughing face emoji, over the prospect of picking up a fare at 4.9 times the flat rate for this journey.

Uber, which allows customers to hail a car using a phone app, arrived in Edinburgh in November 2015, with the company predicting a “huge demand” for the service.

It has led to a surge in the number of private hire cars in the city whose drivers, unlike black cab taxi drivers, do not need to take ‘the Knowledge’ test for the streets of Edinburgh. Instead, Satnav is used to take customers to their destinations.

Speaking to the Evening News, the taxi driver who runs the Facebook group stressed that black cabs have their fares regulated by the council and, although fares are higher on certain days on and around New Year (roughly a fare-and-a-half), the prices are nowhere near as high as those set by Uber.

She added: “I’m all for progress and healthy competition but you will find with drivers in the black cab trade that they see it as their city and want visitors to have a nice experience, not get ripped off.”

An Uber spokeswoman said: "The Uber app uses dynamic pricing to make sure that people can always get a car when they need it.

"When large numbers of people in a specific area want a ride at the same time and there aren't enough available cars, fares automatically rise to encourage more drivers to go to the busy area.

"Users always see a fare estimate in advance so they have the choice to book a car, share the trip with others or wait until fares go down.”

Uber customers are able to see an estimate for every trip and are notified if the fare is higher, which means a higher price should not come as a surprise.


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