Uber rage: Bostonians irate over price surge in snow rides

A screenshot of an Uber Boston transaction. Photo credit: Twitter/@SavvyBostonian
A screenshot of an Uber Boston transaction. Credit: Twitter/@SavvyBostonian

Plenty of Bostonians braved the snow Saturday night only to realize that getting back home in comfort would cost them big time.

Uber Boston’s rates saw a dramatic increase late Saturday into Sunday morning due to “off the charts” demand as the season’s first winter storm dropped 4.2 inches of snow on the city. Some angry Uber Boston users reported paying four times the usual price for a ride home.

Back Bay resident Jessica Gioglio was surprised to be charged $91 for a 3-mile trip.

“This was ultimately a learning experience for me. The road conditions were not good and I’m grateful that my Uber driver got my friend and I home safely,” said Gioglio.

“I knew it was going to be more expensive than usual, but didn’t quite expect my fare to be $91. I’ll continue to use Uber, but will be more cautious about accepting surge pricing fares in the future,” she said.

Twitter user @TheNeonBarbie reached out to the company Sunday, saying she unknowingly racked up a $170 bill on a 7-mile ride and planned to dispute the transaction.

“The fact that you guys think it’s okay to triple the cost of a normal taxi fare because of ‘high demand’ is complete bulls—t,” she tweeted.

The high prices were not unique to Boston; Uber New York customers were also subjected to sky high surges Saturday night. One Uber New York passenger reported being charged nearly eight times more than usual.

The company responded to frustrated customers on Twitter, saying, “The increased fare ensures more drivers on the road during a busy, snowy night! … You have to confirm their rate (showing the fare minimum) prior to requesting the ride. We do this so there are no surprises!”

In an email to Metro, Meghan Verena Joyce, general manager of Uber Boston, explained the reasoning for the price increase.

“The purpose of increased fares during periods of high demand is to increase reliability during the hardest times to get a ride. Increased fares encourage our partners to put more cars on the road and to stay out later during periods of high demand, like the cold, snowy night we had [Saturday] evening. This means that more people are able to get rides, and fewer people get stranded.”

She went on to say, “Prices are always displayed in the app, and at times of increased fares, riders are notified and given the opportunity to accept or decline a ride at the higher rate. After a rider taps Select Pickup Location, she will see a notice of the increased price, and is asked to tap ‘I accept higher fare’ before requesting a ride. When prices reach higher levels, as they did last night, riders are asked to confirm a second time by typing the actual price increase into the app.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Masked men robbed armored car in Mayfair, police…

Two masked men made off with more than $100,000 this morning after an armored car heist in Northeast Philadelphia, police said.

International

Putin fields question from NSA fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Teen in 'Jihad Jane' terror case to be…

A judge on Thursday is set to sentence a high school student who pleaded guilty to helping al Qaeda and working with the woman known as "Jihad Jane."

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

The Word

'Mrs. Doubtfire' sequel in the works

Finally, Hollywood is making your dreams come true - they're making that "Mrs. Doubtfire" sequel you've been clamoring for all these years.

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.