Natalia Lusinski
June 25, 2016 11:11 am
Carl Court/Getty Images

You probably hear stories of people ordering an Uber only to see that their ride cost way more than they’d anticipated. Maybe it’s happened to you, too. Now, with Uber’s latest changes to its app, pricing will be much clearer, so you’ll no longer be shocked at what your ride actually cost you (like this woman whose ride on Halloween was $500). You also won’t have to do on-the-spot math when you see surge prices appear, like your ride being or 4.6x higher at certain times of day and night. It’s about time Uber makes this change, right?! Let’s all hail to the Uber gods!

So, instead of surge pricing and the infamous, cringe-worthy lightning bolt saying a fare is 5.5 times higher, for instance, customers will be shown a fixed fee.

Uber started rolling out upfront fares in April for regular uberX trips in six US cities — San Diego, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, and parts of New Jersey — as well as five cities in India  (where Uber had to suspend surge pricing).

Hence, many customers have already been able to test this new pricing system out, though there’s no ETA on when it’ll hit other cities — though it could start in other markets within the next few months, reported The Verge. In the meantime, we need to patiently wait.

“I’ve been in the situation myself, where I’ve held off using an Uber during a surge,” said Jim Clark, research director at Econsultancy. “We are sensitive to price — as a nation we do like a bargain and that’s one of the reasons they’ll be making this change.”

But Clark sees another side to Uber’s latest change. “There is the argument that it becomes quicker and easier to see the price. But I think that’s an argument only Uber might make rather than anybody else…But it’s important to give users a choice of whether to wait — being given all the information is the spirit of the sharing economy. At the very least they could give users the option to switch the surge information on or off.”

So, that begs the question: Without a surge pricing icon, how will customers know if they’re getting a surge price? A line of text reading “increased demand” will appear under the fare when fares are higher, according to The Verge.

But I guess the bottom line is: If you need a ride, you need a ride. Yes, you can keep refreshing the app and hope the “increased demand” goes away. Or, you can just accept the fare on your screen which, let’s be real, is way better than trying to do sudden math and get a surprising final fare once your ride is complete.

Advertisement