Use Uber on New Year's Eve at your own risk -- to your wallet. At least the mobile-app car service is warning customers in advance about skyrocketing rates.
Car-service Uber apparently is making a New Year’s resolution — avoid the outcry over surge pricing that marked New Year’s Eve a year ago, and inform customers in advance about skyrocketing fares this time around.
San Francisco-based Uber has been emailing customers and blogging about the fact that New Year’s Eve will be “a crazy night and Ubers are going to be pricey…”
In fact, Uber, which specializes in mobile apps for ordering a ride, will even be conducting a live chat on December 31 to handle questions about surge pricing.
The company claims that it’s necessary to boost fares on New Year’s Eve to maximize the availability of cars during peak demand, and that rates will “automatically decrease when there are enough cars on the road.”
Uber warns its customers that surge pricing on New Year’s Eve will hike fares 2x (100% increases) compared with normal fares on average, and in some instances it could cost a $100 minimum — “before time and mileage charges!”
Uber notes that users of its iPhone app will be able to obtain a fare estimate before requesting a pickup; all customers must accept a fare multiplier before making a booking, and there will be a “sobriety test” when surge “multiples get really high…”
Uber was obviously subject to so much bad press about surge pricing last year that it doesn’t want another hangover on New Year’s 2013.