Keen paid $332.06 instead of the regular $37.31 on New Year’s Eve for his 30-minute ride home from a party.
“I had absolutely no idea it was going to cost that much,” he told News.com.au. “One of our friends left a little bit earlier and she paid a 2 or 2.1 multiplier, which all things considered is probably reasonable.”
The company, in response to Keen’s complaint, explained that they charge more due to an absence of available vehicles in the area, in an effort to encourage more drivers to be available.
“To incentivize more drivers to proceed to your location, our app applies a surge rate. This is why a car was made available at the time you requested,“ Uber responded, according to News.com.au. “However, riders cannot accept a trip during this time without accepting this increased trip cost. For example, before requesting a trip the surge rate is displayed and all riders must click ‘I accept higher fare.’”
Keen sent a complaint to Consumers Affairs Western Australia challenging Uber’s surge pricing policy.