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Man charged $1,100 for Uber ride from southeast Edmonton to St. Albert on NYE
Published Saturday, January 2, 2016 4:53PM MST
Last Updated Saturday, January 2, 2016 6:20PM MST
An Edmonton man is speaking out after being charged more than $1,100 for a 60-minute ride home on New Year’s Eve using the ride-sharing app Uber.
“We use Uber all the time, so it was the first choice for me,” said Matthew Lindsay. “I’ve taken a similar route at peak time before and it cost me about $77.”
Lindsay and a group of friends were celebrating a wedding at the Southwood Community League in Mill Woods.
The driver headed to Summerside first to drop off friends. Lindsay was then dropped off in the Castle Downs neighbourhood, before the Uber driver continued on to drop off two more people in St. Albert.
“It was a long trip. A total of 63 kilometres.”
Lindsay didn’t realize how much had been charged to his account until after he had been dropped off.
“A 60 minute ride for a thousand dollars,” he said. “I could fly across the world for this price. Instead, I went from one end of the city to another.”
The normal fare for the ride was $125, which was multiplied by 8.9.
“It's a long trip, that's an understandable rate. But once you tack on 8.9 times it definitely surges right up there.”
In an emailed statement, an Uber spokesperson told CTV News that ‘surge pricing’ is put in place during busy times and is used as an incentive for drivers to offer rides.
“They just haven't acknowledged the fact that this is an unfathomable price. It’s a ridiculous, outrageous price.”
Lindsay said he’s speaking out to warn other Uber riders.
“Definitely do your research. Make sure that you get the estimate, and know what you're getting into.”
One tech expert said Uber has come under fire for surge pricing before but ultimately it’s up to the consumer to understand the agreement.
“They seem to be taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable, during times of crisis, during times of extreme weather, “said Carmi Levy a technology analyst. “Like any other consumer product, it is buyer beware.”
With files from CTV’s Kelsey Nichols