NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Uber customers experienced a different kind of hangover this New Year’s Day after realizing how much they spent getting home after their New Year’s celebrations. Due to a high demand for rides on New Year’s Eve, Uber increased fares nearly 10 times the normal rate in some U.S. cities.
People took to social media, sharing the fare increases in their areas.
Insane Uber surge prices last night. 4.9 was mine in DC. 6.9 was my buddy in Philly. pic.twitter.com/WzoQXkcroy
— Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) January 1, 2016
9.9x Uber surge here in Miami Beach right now… highest I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/oX0ZxftfI7
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 1, 2016
But don’t say the company didn’t warn you. Leading up to the big night, Uber posted a “New Year’s Eve Ride Guide” on its website, Twitter, and Facebook pages telling customers to “split your fare with friends to help lower the cost of your trip.”
The company wrote on its website: “Surge Pricing shouldn’t be a surprise. Let’s toast to you running a Fare Estimate in the app before you ride. To avoid the highest fares, head to the festivities early or catch a ride right after midnight.”
Still, customers are outraged at just how much they spent on their rides.
— Ryan G (@T20INC) January 1, 2016
An Uber spokeswoman explained the company’s surge pricing to BuzzFeed News:
“Our goal is to make sure you can always push a button and get a ride within minutes — even on the busiest night of the year – and surge pricing helps ensure that choice is always available,” she said “Riders are repeatedly notified about the pricing directly within the app and asked to confirm and accept increased fares, or can opt for a notification when prices drop.”
According to BuzzFeed, Uber’s records show that most of its riders, 60 percent of U.S. trips from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., didn’t experience surge pricing. But for those who did, “16 percent paid more than three times the company’s normal rates.”