Customers complain at the tech giant’s urge to surge
An Uber user from Leeds has been hit with a £140 charge to make an 11 mile journey between Leeds and Wakefield.
The journey, which took place on Saturday, 29 September occured after Uber's dynamic pricing saw the tech giant’s prices surge by 3 or 4 times the normal rate.
Social media was awash with others complaining about the surge in the Leeds area, including another customer bemoaning having to pay £28 for a £7 fare from Leeds Station.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, a woman was charged £47 for an Uber from Leeds to Horsforth.
Uber's surge, or dynamic pricing has been a source of controversy across the UK. TaxiPoint reported last May that Kim McAllister, from Edinburgh, was left over £100 out of pocket after booking a car for a trip that would ordinarily cost £35.
An Uber spokesperson said at the time: "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.”
However, there is a groundswell of discontent on social media against the company's practice of inflating prices during busy periods.
@NikHampshire1 said on Twitter: "It's a total sham, i was an Uber driver in Australia for 8 months. I'm 15km for the nearest town, cow pastures as far as i could see, yet the app said i was in a busy area."
Another comment made on Twitter came from @catwrightprfam, who said: "That's why i don't use them anymore. @Uber shame on you! A journey from Leeds to Bramley costs between £10 and £18 max, not £28.
When speaking about Uber's licence renewal in London, as well as surge pricing in early September, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA said: "Uber’s extortionate surge pricing is daylight robbery.
"The app capitalises on desperate commuters struck by failing public transport, and is one of the many reasons why the Mayor and TfL should not grant Uber another London licence when its probationary licence expires later this month. ‘Our regulated fares mean black cabbies always treat Londoners fairly, and never charge them more for events out of their control."