Update: Megan, the passenger featured in Gothamist's story, informed the site that Uber has since compensated her for 2/3 of the trip, totaling $119.
She said, "Fair for a 2.8x surge I guess. And [Uber] apologized for their lack of response, said it was their fault for that...Crazy that emails, tweets, and negative ratings on the app weren't enough to illicit a response."
Additionally, a spokesperson for Uber reached out to us with the following statement: "Uber ensures a reliable ride, wherever and whenever, and dynamic pricing allows us to remain the reliable choice. Our in-app features ensure dynamic pricing is repeatedly communicated and approved before any trip is confirmed."
Passenger Megan, a food writer and blogger, was picked up by the service at 11PM on December 11 following her company's holiday party on Park Avenue and 26th street. She proceeded to fall asleep in the backseat of the car... and awoke to a frightening $293 bill.
"And as you can clearly see by the attached route image and screen shots, my driver Adnan took it upon himself to blatantly take advantage of the situation and drive back and forth all over Manhattan before taking me to Hoboken! The trip lasted an hour and logged 14.51 MILES—MORE THAN 3 TIMES the distance it should have been!!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my trip summary the next morning. And because Uber just charges the credit card on file, I didn't see the ridiculous bill ($293!) when exiting the car or else I would've said something to the driver right then. I was the only passenger in the car and the only stop was to take me home—what was he doing!?"
A quick glance at the route, which is provided to passengers after each Uber ride commences, shows Megan's driver venturing to the Lincoln tunnel before heading back to the East Side, where he drove around aimlessly for awhile. Nearly 15 miles later, he eventually made his way to her home base in Hoboken. The trek is normally just 4.5 miles long.
"I remember dozing off and waking up and him just saying, 'Yeah, there's a lot of traffic tonight,'" Megan revealed.
She admits that she has not had problems with the service in the past, but is afraid this experience will happen to others.
"I know a lot of people that pass out in cars/cabs and I can imagine drivers sometimes take a longer route to take advantage, but this is the most extreme case I've ever seen," she revealed. "Completely took advantage of a girl riding by herself. Thankfully nothing worse happened!"
Despite several attempts to contact the company about the incident, Megan has yet to receive an apology from Uber.
"If they took care of it or issued an apology/refund, I wouldn't be writing," she said. "This driver was clearly a bad egg. But they still haven't responded? That's beyond unacceptable." (Gothamist)