Is A $362 Charge For A 20-Minute Uber Ride Ever Acceptable?

gofunduberOn the one hand, paying almost $400 for a 20-minute ride home sounds a bit absurd, even on Halloween. But if you know ahead of time that a car service’s rates have rocketed and accept the ride anyway, can you justify complaining about the price later?

That’s the situation one Baltimore woman says she found herself in upon waking on Saturday morning after celebrating her birthday out the night before, Halloween, reports Buzzfeed News. Apparently Uber prices had been at a surge rate of 9X the usual price when she hired a car, dinging her bank account for $362 to cover the approximately 20-minute ride.

As she reportedly wrote in the description of a GoFundMe campaign that has since been removed, titled “Uber Stole My 26th Birthday”:

When I awoke this morning, I heard a friend talking about how outrageous Uber rates were the night before (9x original rate). I checked my bank account when, unbeknowst to me, I see a charge for $362. Not only is it my 26th birthday, it is rent day. My rent is $450 and I can no longer pay it today due to this completely outrageous charge.

She says the “misunderstanding” equates to about 80% of the funds she has right now, and that she feels “taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name.”

The waitress reportedly added that “$367 for a 20 minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween,” before asking folks to donate “if you think this is utter and complete bullshit and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time.”

From there, she reportedly managed to raise almost $600, before the campaign was taken down.

But there are those who might say hey, it’s her fault — after all, no one made her take an Uber, and just because she didn’t remember the surge rate the next morning, that’s not Uber’s responsibility. However on the other side, 9X the normal rate seems a tad bit excessive.

To that end, an Uber Maryland spokeswoman told Buzzfeed News that the woman chose Uber Black, which is the higher-end offering, and she would’ve had to type in the surge rate to confirm she was accepting it, adding:

Uber ensures a safe, reliable ride, wherever and whenever, and dynamic pricing allows us to remain the reliable choice, even on the busiest nights of the year. Our in-app features ensure dynamic pricing is repeatedly communicated and approved before any trip is confirmed.

We reached out to GoFundMe to see if the woman removed the listing herself, or if it was taken down by the site. It seems she must have removed it herself, as a spokeswoman tells Consumerist:

On GoFundMe, campaign organizers have full control over their accounts, and are able to remove their own campaigns whenever they choose. GoFundMe did not remove the campaign in question.

In the meantime, what do you think?

A 26-Year-Old Woman Crowdfunded Her $362 Halloween Uber Ride [Buzzfeed News]

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