Man’s Halloween Uber ride ends in frightfully shocking fare

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A Colorado man’s 18 mile cab ride with Uber ended in a frightful fare Halloween night.

KDVR reports, the man was leaving a Halloween party and knew the ride home wouldn’t be cheap because of the length of the trip.

“I was expecting $44, $50, $60, $100 on the outside,” Elliott Asbury said.

But when he arrived at his destination, the final total was $539 dollars.

“[The driver] was shocked, he was embarrassed actually,” Asbury told KDVR. “He gave me his card and he was like, ‘Make phone calls. Get in touch with customer service. This can’t be right.’”

But according to Uber, the total was correct. On busy nights, Uber has “dynamic pricing,” which is also known as “surge pricing.” It multiplies fares as a way to quell demand and attract a greater supply of drivers.

The surge at the time multiplied Asbury’s normal fare more than seven times, but he said he didn’t realize what that would do to his total fare.

Asbury’s huge fare was also due to his inexperience with the app. He mistakenly requested a premium, Black Car instead of a cheaper UberX ride because he didn’t see the options or understand the difference. He also didn’t spot an option to estimate his fare.

Asbury said he has learned his lesson and told KDVR he has some advice for anyone else planning to use Uber during a similar surge.

“Don’t bother man,” Asbury said. “Rent a helicopter.”

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22 comments

    • singlecoilpickup

      No. Nor should they. Not only does Uber warn you before booking a car, it also makes you type in the surge factor before they let you book to make sure you understand it. It’s not Uber’s fault this guy can’t do basic multiplication.

    • Wendy

      It gets automatically deducted from your credit/debit card. You can’t request a ride with out inputting your credit card info first.

  • Stumped

    This is actually quite simple. He used a service and didn’t understand the consequences. This is the rider’s fault. Every time that I have used UBER when demand was high, they provided a warning that the fare was going to be higher. There are options for X, Taxi, or Black Car. The app is quite easy to understand. You can estimate your fare before ordering a ride. At the end of the day, this is another example of someone not wanting to take responsibility for their actions and the media sensationalizing that decision. Screw my generation’s entitlement and shame on the media. UBER was right in this one.

    • Wendy

      I agree. He was probably drunk when he did it. I haven’t used them yet but I played around with the app and it’s simple to use and understand.

  • Bbock

    This is why Uber should be regulated. A Taxi charges you the same amount no matter how busy it gets. Seven times the normal fare?! That’s just robbery.

    • DecoyOctorok

      Keep in mind that he ordered black car service which means he was probably picked up in a Lincoln town car or a Suburban. It’s exponentially more expensive than a regular Uber car.

  • jay

    You have to be responsible. He had the ability to download the app, create a profile, enter credit card, request service, confirm you accept the current surge price. But then act stupid when you get the bill. Be responsible sir and accept accountibility.

  • James Nelson

    If you charge $5.00 for a bottle of water after a hurricane you get arrested for price gouging. So tell me what is the difference why other business’ are allowed to gouge in a time of need?

  • Ricardo

    Why was he so shocked? The app lets us do fare quotes and we have to enter and comfirm any surge rates, taking rides when drunk is no excuse! If you cant control your alcohol whats the difference if you spent too much on a cab ride or strip club? Lol

  • Ann-Marie

    Cannot understand that high pricing, and I know Taxi drivers don’t tell you it could cost more especially when its “surge pricing”.. This should be fought to the end – Court or more. Don’t let them get away with this, after all who knows how many people will never use Uber again. This could cost the Company more than they think.

  • better than that

    Drunk people have no legal ability to give consent or enter a contract. If noticeably drunk, the driver is at fault. Dispute credit card charge and be more careful next time.

  • Michelle Oakes

    Hey….BeMyDD is a much better option. A 26 mile ride will cost you around 100.00….the nice thing, you get two drivers. One to drive your car and one to follow so the driver can leave right after they drop off your car and you.

  • caffeinergetic

    While I don’t blame Uber noe think this guy was being completely smart, we should get MADD or DARE to foot the bill! A ridiculous cab fare is still cheaper than a DUI…and way better than ending your life or someone elses!

  • Sonja Z

    I requested an uberx ride on Halloween and I had never taken it before but decided to because I got an email saying my first ride was free. Because I didn’t understand the surge pricing I asked the driver about it and he said the ride should be about $30. The next day I got emailed a bill for $215 and they didn’t even discount me the $30 that the email promised. I wrote emailed to uber and back for days until they finally refunded the $30 that the email promised me but they are still making me pay the remaining $185 and when I called mastercard to refute it they refused to do anything about it as well. My advice would be to never take uber. It’s not worth it. Just take a taxi because taxis are regulated by law and they have a meter so you always know how much you are getting charged. It’s completely ridiculous that the driver can tell you $30 and you get charged $215.