There are expensive Uber rides (thanks, surge pricing), and then there is the fare Hisham Salama of Toronto was charged Friday night.
Salama went to visit a friend in the hospital — about a 20 minute drive. When he got his receipt on the app, however, he found that drive cost him $18,518, or more than $900 per minute on the road.
How did Uber initially respond?
Salama did what anyone in his position would have done (besides pass out in shock). He contacted Uber support to get a solution to what was surely a mistake.
Here’s the response he received from Uber:
I double checked your trip, and it looks like the destination of drop off wasn’t the destination initially entered in the app when the trip was requested.
The upfront fares are based on the exact pickup and drop off locations that you input, so when that trip is changed, our system switches to charging based on the time and distance of the actual trip instead, using the rates that apply to the vehicle option you selected, I can confirm that based on the pickup and drop off locations of the trip you took, this fare is correct.
Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.”
To recap, a man was charged nearly $20,000 for a 20-minute trip, and an Uber employee looked at that and somehow said “Yep, looks right to me!”
How did it get resolved?
Because of this embarrassing failure by Uber customer support, Salama had to take to social media to get some help with the situation.
@Uber @Uber_Support what turned out to be an honest mistake is now turning into the biggest blunder of 2017. I’m no… https://t.co/FSaRJeqXbN— Hish Salama (@Hish Salama)1512822171.0
In the end, he got a refund for the original fare, and a $150 credit to his account.
Salama told Vice News that the manager he spoke to said the first support representative “was confused with the trip and issue.”
As bad as it gets?
For reference on just how ridiculous Salama’s fare was, some of the highest fares come during New Year’s Eve.
One user recorded a fare of $1,114.71 for a ride of relatively short distance that took an hour because of traffic. The surge pricing on that ride was x8.9. Still not even close to Salama's hospital trip.
(H/T Vice News)