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.
From Uber’s website:
In most cities, riders are offered an upfront price, based on the estimated length of the trip. Prices may also include:
– A base rate
– Tolls and surcharges
– Surge pricing
– A booking or marketplace fee
– Route based adjustments
– Applicable promotions
– Pool discounts
For this section, I’m paraphrasing Uber’s help site. For the exact wording, please go to Uber.com.
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:
- The destination changes mid-trip.
- Extra stops are added.
- The trip takes much longer than expected.
- Your driver passed through a toll that was not factored into your upfront price.
If an upfront price is not honored, you will either be charged the minimum price or a price based on the measured time and distance for your trip, including any base rate, 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.
I always check my Uber receipts. There are just too many Uber scams out there to not be vigilant. It’s an easy thing to do because I get an email before I can walk from the car into a building.
On a past trip, I was quite surprised when the receipt for a ride from our hotel in Las Vegas to the airport was for $43.50.
The reason for my surprise was because the original price quote for the ride was $22.32.
When I looked into this some more, it appeared that our driver took a much longer route to the airport than the Uber app suggested to him. He did ask when 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.
Here’s the route our driver took. Distance: 11.8 miles.
He might have thought he was doing us a favor and avoiding the traffic at 8 o’clock on a Monday morning, I’m not sure. It know it made a big difference in the fare. After receiving this email, 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’d been driving for 1.5 years and had over 1500 five star rides.
Fortunately, it’s easy to tell Uber if this happens to you. The 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.
Tapping the help button will pull up the help menu. By default, it shows your most recent trip.
Swipe up until you see the menus at the bottom of the page
Press “Trip Issues and Refunds” and select the ride you would like to report.
Once you have selected the ride in question, tap “Review my fare or fees”
Uber has really improved its help menu, so you have several choices. I guess this also shows what things people are complaining about on a regular basis. For my situation, I chose, “My driver took a poor route.”
That was it. It submitted my request, and Uber said they would get back to me. By the time we landed, I had an email saying that my charge was adjusted to the initially quoted fare. Uber knows what rate they quoted you and the route and can check that against the route the driver took.
I plead with you to only use this if you feel the driver unnecessarily took a different route. 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.
This was the first time I’d ever had a problem with an Uber, but it wasn’t the last. This goes to show that you should always check the receipt you get after your ride. If there’s an honest difference, Uber makes it a painless process to report discrepancies, and I’ve found they try to rectify the situation.
If you’re a new Uber customer, you can get a discount, such as $2 off your first three rides (offers vary by location), by 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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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary