Although this price surge is expected to come every year after New Year’s Eve celebrations die off, Uber’s $25 per mile cost angers most NYC customers either way. In some cases, prices go up by 1000%, making the complaints relatively justified.
But these complaints are also extensively criticized by those that have a more capitalist nature. They advocate the fact that this period has been suffering from price surges annually, and even the Uber company warns its customers about this event, urging the use of their app’s “fare estimate” tool.
But in some cases, access to this tool was denied, with the option of checking how much your ride will cost disappearing from the application. This was extremely disconcerting for those that wanted to see how much they were required to pay, given the fact that fares were suffering from a 5x or 10x multiplier.
Faults in regards to this estimation service are also rumored to have appeared during the 2nd and 3rd of January, with prices showing one price, and the end of the ride showing an exponentially greater one. It’s safe to say that you do not want to encounter an eventual $325 fare cost when the app told you that the cost would be $65.
Customers that encountered problems with the app went on the Uber twitter account page in order to request support, only to be met by generic responses. Eventually, most people opted to take other company’s services, for example, Lyft.
This problem was not only limited to New York City, with residents from Boston and Washington DC encountering the same issues over and over again. Because of the Twitter interaction between customers and Uber, the problems experienced with the estimation tool must have been known before the price surge of the new year.
It is currently unclear if Uber was perfectly aware that the tool was not functioning properly, or if this was actually a planned move in order to be used as a malicious form of covering the fairness of their pricing methods. Because the company currently holds the highest degree of popularity in most cities, as well as benefiting from a current scarcity in this side of the market, price gouging may be a form of intelligent market alteration more than anything else.
Either way, the fact that Uber’s $25 per mile cost angers most NYC customers will not impact the company as a whole in an extreme manner, given the fact that Uber is steadily growing to gigantic sizes across the globe. But if they continue with their price gouging in the same undisclosed manner, while their estimation tool remains in a state of disrepair, the public backlash may reach levels when its impact might make Uber teeter off their current financial tightrope.