QUAD CITIES, IOWA (KWQC) — Darren Low, an Uber driver, says one customer’s bill was $173.58. That was from Moline to Colona, Illinois, about a 15 mile drive.
“Immediately at midnight, it clicked into 2 percent of the normal price and at some stages, I actually saw an Uber surcharge of 8.9 percent,” said Low. He says the surge pricing often lowers his ratings because passengers think he sets the price, but he doesn’t. The app controls the fares.
Surge pricing is not something the company is hiding. On their New Year’s Eve Ride Guide on the Uber website, it says, “Surge pricing shouldn’t be a surprise.”
“When it’s a surge fare like that, the actual rider has to agree that they are going to accept the surge fare,” said Low. Prices are based on supply and demand of drivers at the time.
“The problem I have with that is people are drunk and they just want to get home,” said Low. Thursday night for New Year’s celebrations and Friday for the Rose Bowl game, bars were and will be packed. Low wants passengers to realize ahead of time, the Uber bill may get expensive.
He said, “What you are paying for is the convenience because you’re going to get that ride within 10 to 15 minutes because a cab can still take hours.”
Plus, he says a hefty Uber bill is always better than the consequences of drinking and driving.