Following yesterday’s bombing in the Chelsea area of New York, several Uber customers reported that the company’s rates were being increased – surge pricing as the company calls it. Bizarrely these customers were complaining – as were plenty of others – that the company was profiteering off the situation.
This is exactly the business model that Uber uses, so why are you surprised?
Now I realise that this may sound heartless, especially when the customers involved were looking to escape a dangerous situation, but Uber’s offering is quite clear. When demand is low prices are low, offering customers an opportunity to ride economically. When demand is high prices will surge to encourage more Uber drivers onto the street and reduce the waiting time for a ride.
Criticising Uber for doing exactly what it has always said it would do – and it makes no secret of the fact – is wrong.
Either you entirely support Uber’s business model and accept the higher charges if you have to ride at busy times (whatever the cause) or, you reject the model and ride in traditional cabs with their more stable pricing model and uncertainty on availability.
You can’t have your cake and eat it.