What To Do When Your Uber Charge Is Higher Than Expected

One of the things I love about Uber is knowing the price of the ride when you ask for a car. You can make an informed decision about which type of car to request, see if you are paying extra because of demand, and not be subject to a meter like a taxi.

UPFRONT FARES

We consider a variety of factors that typically affect a fare, including surge, traffic, and tolls. We’re able to use past data to estimate the likely cost.

When you request a ride, you agree to be charged the upfront fare when the trip ends. The price can change but according to Uber, that only happens rarely, under the following conditions:

  1. The destination changes mid-trip.
  2. Extra stops are added.
  3. There are unanticipated delays and route changes above a certain threshold of time and distance (varies by city).

If an upfront fare is not honored, you will either be charged the minimum fare or a fare based on the measured time and distance for your trip, including any base fare, booking fee, surcharges, tolls, and other relevant factors such as a dynamic pricing charge.

I put the part in bold that says if you change your ride information while on it, make extra stops or if the trip takes longer, Uber has the right to charge you a different amount based on the actual ride you were on.

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I always check my Uber receipts when I receive them. It’s easy to do because they usually show up in my email before I can even get from the car into a building. I was quite surprised when the receipt for a ride from our hotel in Las Vegas to the airport was for $43.50.

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The reason for my surprise was because the original price quote for the ride was $22.32.

Photo Nov 05, 10 38 28 PMWhen I looked into this some more, it appeared that our driver took a much longer route to the airport than the Uber app was suggesting to him. He did ask us what time our flight was leaving when he picked us up but we left with plenty of time to spare.

Here’s the shortest route from Google Maps. Distance: 3.8 miles.

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Here’s the route our driver took. Distance: 11.8 miles.

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He might have thought we was doing us a favor and trying to help us avoid the traffic at 8 o’clock on a Monday morning, I’m not sure. It sure did make a big difference in the fare. After receiving this fare, I was shocked. What could I do?

I did some searching and found that drivers might not even know that driving a different route will change the fare the passengers are paying. I’d hope my driver for this ride would know as he’s been driving for over 1.5 years and has over 1500 five star rides.

Fortunately, it’s easy to tell Uber if this happens to you. First thing to do is to open the Uber app. Then you’ll need to pull up the menu by clicking on the three lines on the top left of the screen.

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Tapping the help button will pull up the help menu.

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If the trip you’re reporting is your most recent one, just press “Report an issue with this trip.”

If you need to pick a different trip, press “Trip Issues and Refunds” and select the ride you would like to report.

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Once you have selected the ride in question, tap “Review my fare or fees”

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Uber has really improved their help menu so you have many things to choose from. For my situation, I chose “My driver took a poor route”.

IMG_6846That was it. It submitted my request and said they would get back to me. By the time we landed, I had an email saying that my charge was adjusted to the originally quoted fare. I guess Uber knows what rate they quoted you and the route and can check what route the driver took. Now, I plead with you. Only use this if you feel the driver went a different route unnecessarily. If you had to sit in traffic and Uber charges you a few dollars more, that’s fair. You’d have to do the same if you took a taxi. In my case, this fare was almost double what I was promised and the driver didn’t make any mention that taking the freeway would cost us any more.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is the first time I’ve ever had a problem with an Uber fare matching the quote. However, this goes to show that you should always check the receipt you get after your ride. If there is a honest difference, Uber makes it a painless process to report discrepancies and I’ve found they try to rectify the situation quickly and fairly.

By the way, if you’re a new Uber customer, you can get a free ride (up to $15), using the code q47f4 when you sign up (full disclosure: if you use that referral code, we get a small kickback, as well).

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10 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Uber Charge Is Higher Than Expected”

  1. I’ve had this happen several times. I now take a screen shot showing the fare quote and one showing the route Uber projects just after the ride starts, or while waiting for the car. That guarantees that I’ll remember the fare quote correctly, and that I can send evidence of what I was quoted.

    1. Great tip. I never thought of that because this is the first time it happened to me. It makes sense that Uber would know what they quoted you but having documentation never hurts.

  2. Yes, this happened to me. Driver missed the turnoff and doubled my journey. I haven’t used Uber much and was shocked to see my price had doubled due to the driver’s mistake. I knew he had missed the turnoff off, but he said nothing. I went through the same refund request and got my refund immediately. I wonder how many people wouldn’t bother to report. I would hope drivers are not rorting the system. It has made me sceptical now though.

    1. I didn’t save the email from Uber at the time. The screenshots I took are meant to help others who are in the same situation as I was.

  3. How does this reflect back on the driver? I was very pleased with our driver, but he took a longer route to avoid traffic and ended up costing $20 more😱. Does it give them a bad review? Thanks

    1. From what I understand, UBER expects drivers to follow the directions provided by the app. Any changes from that route could be a negative against them, If you feel the driver took a different route to avoid traffic and save you time, then I wouldn’t complain and just pay the extra money. Personally, I feel a driver should tell you this in advance. What if you have the time and don’t want to pay more?. If the only reason to take a different route is to get a higher fare, then I’d report them and put in a claim to get back the difference.

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