Uber under fire again for fare price hike

Uber under fire again for fare price hike

Uber have found themselves under fire for their surge pricing scheme, this time for hiking their prices on New Year's Eve.

The driver service are known to up their prices during busy times, but after one Sydney passenger paid nearly eight-times standard pricing for a ride home, outrage has broken out online.

Skye Shanahan says she was excited to use Uber for the first time after a night out in Sydney on New Year's Eve.

"We thought OK, everyone raves about how cheap Uber is."

Instead she started 2016 with more than just a sore head, kicking off the New Year with an Uber bill of close to $800 NZ for a 40 minute journey, which usually costs $100

"I got home, looked on my phone and my credit card. Instantly $720 had been taken off my credit card and I thought wow this just doesn't seem right," she says.

It's not the first time Uber has been criticized for the model. The company calls it "dynamic pricing", as it multiplies normal fares during periods of peak use.

Uber says it encourages more of its drivers to take to the roads and meet the higher demand, but In Ms Shanahan's case she says that isn't good enough.

A customer using Uber is required to accept they will pay the higher fare before the booking is confirmed, but there's no quote for the actual amount.

It wasn't just a problem in Australia either.

"Uber New Zealand advised users on Facebook to check the price before getting in the car, and consider splitting the fare with friend."

The executive director of the New Zealand Taxi Federation, Roger Heale, says he's shocked by the 800 percent increase.

"I think the ease of the app and after a few drinks; it's exactly the kind of thing people are going to fall prey to."

Mr Heale says the benefit of taking a taxi is the fares will always remain consistent.

I think they might find their night was a little more expensive than they bargained for, but that's their model and you have to accept that if they're singing up for it."

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