Uber has been generally well received by travelers, who appreciate the service’s on-call availability and generally competitive pricing.
But the shared-car service has also generated more than its fair share of controversy and scrutiny for its business practices, including its so-called surge pricing (exorbitant price increases during peak demand periods), questionable business ethics, and lack of screening of drivers’ backgrounds for safety and criminal flags.
There are many Uber stories, some of them dark, some amusing, others cautionary. The latest incorporates elements of all three.
According to a Fox Sports report, Mississippi resident Joseph Martin was in Atlanta on New Year’s eve to watch his alma mater, Ole Miss, play TCU in the Peach Bowl. It was a full day of non-stop drinking, which Martin and his fellow football fans planned to cap off with an after party. Long story short, the party’s address was miscommunicated to the Uber driver, and the passengers dozed off. When Martin was roused from sleep by his cellphone, 90 minutes into the drive, he realized they had crossed the Georgia border into Alabama, and were headed for an address in the wrong state. By the time they’d reversed course and returned to the hotel, the meter reading was a shocker.
Due to a combination of the surge pricing in effect on New Year’s eve and the length of the trip, Martin’s bill for the ride was a jaw-dropping $908.
It would be easy to turn the incident into an anti-Uber rant. But, the financial hit notwithstanding, Martin took full responsibility for the address mix-up and said that he will definitely use Uber again. But maybe not on New Year’s eve.
Reader Reality Check
Do you use Uber when you travel? Have you been dinged by the company’s surge pricing?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.