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May 04

Uber private-hire first-timer shocked when fare is FOUR times what she normally pays

Nicole Owen and her invoice

The Manchester Evening News reports that Nicole Owens, from Worsley, was left furious by the whopping £67 charge – which even included a £15 discount – but has now got a full refund thanks to the MEN

A party of young women from Salford were charged almost SEVENTY pounds for a minicab from Manchester to Tyldesley by controversial firm Uber.

Nicole Owens, 25, from Boothstown, Worsley, said her and three other friends had been partying in trendy Northern Quarter bar Hula till about 3.30am on Bank Holiday Monday morning when they wanted to get a car home.

They eventually got an Uber minicab – but were left shocked at the final bill – which even included a £15 DISCOUNT.

Now only after the M.E.N. took on her case have Uber agreed to a full refund.

The group were taken back to Ellenbrook, then Boothstown, then Tyldesley, and then back to Worsley village.

Nicole said: “We couldn’t get a taxi at all.

“There were none about, so my friend said I should download the Uber app because they have a promotion on where you get £15 off your first order so we thought it would end up costing £20 at most.”

Nursery nurse Nicole said that she installed the app and set up an account.

She added: “It asked for my card details and I put all my details in and the promotion code to get my £15 off.”

Without the £15 promotional discount the fare would have been £82.49.

A breakdown of the charges is clearly shown on the receipt, and states that the normal price for the ride would have been £30.55, but the ‘surge’ was charged at £51.94, bringing the price to £82.49 before the £15 discount.

Under-fire

The app-based taxi service has come under fire before for its ‘surge’ charges that mean the busier it gets, the more it will cost.

And according to Nicole the taxi arrived within 60 seconds, suggesting to her that the firm wasn’t busy.

Nicole said: “Friends had told me they could be expensive.

“I understood that they have a surge charge which means they can charge more when they’re in high demand, but I never thought it would be 80 pounds. I couldn’t believe it when I got the notification when I got in.”

Nicole said that she was not offered an opportunity to reject the surge charge. She said: “It didn’t give us a price at all. We didn’t accept anything about a high demand.”

But a spokesman told the M.E.N. that the new pricing model is ‘very clear’ for customers and that they are asked to confirm the pricing multiplier in the app two times before they book a trip.

However they offered a full refund to Nicole after the M.E.N. contacted them.

A spokesman for Uber told the M.E.N.: “The pricing is made very clear to the user when they book: Open the app, the uberX option will be marked with a thunderbolt to represent that dynamic pricing is in effect.

“Once you select the uberX option, there is a confirmation screen that notifies the user that the pricing is at 2.7 x the normal rate, users have to confirm with an “I accept” button.

“Following this, the rider is required to manually type in the numbers 2 and 7 to re-confirm that they understand.

“We understand that for new riders, this pricing model is different so our policy is to adjust the trip to the normal fare for the first time.”

source: Manchester Evening News

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