Uber Charged $16,000 To A Customer, And No, She Didn't Take The Car Service Cross-Country
Everyone agrees that living in New York may be expensive, but usually they're talking about apartment rates and Whole Foods' ever-rising prices. A woman named Jaime Hessel's $16,000 Uber charge, however, begs to differ. Either Uber made a serious mistake, or my roommate's traumatized memories of alarmingly high living costs when she went to NYU are more accurate that I could have possibly imagined.Hessel's tragic journey to the Five Figure Uber Charge began with a 35-minute ride on March 28, 2015, Cosmopolitan reports. She called to complain about the $56.40 bill, which she claimed was too high because the driver took a roundabout way to her destination. Uber said it would credit her $15 for the inconvenience, but instead she found a $12,251.49 balance waiting for her when she checked her phone. After she called again to complain, Uber said they would fix it... and apparently their version of fixing it consisted of adding $4,000. In the end, Hessel was stuck with a $16,251.49 bill for a half-hour, 7-mile ride. When reached for comment, an Uber representative told Gothamist "We apologize to this rider for any inconvenience and we have provided them with a full refund," and noted that Hessel's account hasn't received any actual charges.Obviously Hessel is never actually going to have to pay that back, but having a five-digit bill linked to her account is still unnerving. "
I don't care if they don't reimburse me the $56.40 ever," she told Gothamist. "I just want to make sure I don't have a balance with them. That $16,000 balance on my account? That bothers me." Considering it's been almost a month and the balance is still showing up on her account, I'd say she's right to be concerned.
<img alt="" src="http://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lmvz5zhEXv1qd9x6to1_500.gif" class="article-body-image"/>According to Cosmopolitan, the mix-up could be due to the fact that Hessel's card expired three days after the ride, although that doesn't explain why her account still says she owes the cost of a small car. This is far from the only time Uber has shown up in the news for charges above the double digits. Thanks to their surge pricing, rides that normally would cost $45 can turn into bills for hundreds of dollars, which users only find out after they've reached their destination. Here are a few people who were once in the same boat as Hessel:
Gagandeep Bindra, $455
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Last Halloween, Bindra's trip from Durham, NC to Raleigh reportedly cost him $44.25. His return trip, however, took place during a price surge, and he woke up to a $455 bill the next morning. Yikes.
Keith Livingston, $247.50
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Last year, this Houston, TX resident planned to split what normally would have been a $45 ride among his friends. Thanks to the price surge, however, it ended up being closer to $250, which he referred to as "price gouging" on Twitter.
Gabrielle Wathen, $362
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Apparently, Uber does great business on Halloween. Like Bindra, Wathen woke up on her birthday, November 1st, to find that her ride home on Halloween cost her a whopping $362. She quickly managed to turn the situation around however, by creating a GoFundMe entitled "Uber Stole My 26th Birthday," and ended up receiving more than enough donations to pay for the ride.
Everyone In Sydney, Australia
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You may recall that last December, a chocolate cafe in Sydney, Australia was the site of a 16-hour siege, resulting in three deaths. With hundreds of residents desperate to get out of the city, Uber came under fire for maintaining a price surge due to heavy use of the app. Although the company later apologized, many still felt that Uber was using the situation for profiteering.
When you remember that Uber has also been criticized for its lax standards for driver background checks, it really makes you wish you could walk everywhere, doesn't it?
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