Uber, the on-demand sedan service that hails itself as the taxi alternative, received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau on Thursday — the lowest possible rating given by the consumer bureau that has no government or regulatory control.
The grade is based on approximately 90 customer complaints over the last three years, most of them centering on Uber’s “surge pricing”. During times of peak demand – which vary according to time of day, weather conditions, and number of drivers in service – the fare for Uber can be anywhere from 1.5 times to 10 times the regular cost of the ride.
According to the BBB customers have two major complaints:
- Customers feel misinformed about how they are charged for their rides
- Customers don’t feel like they have adequate customer service when they try to complain about their fares
In Uber’s defense, they say they notify customers about fare increases before they agree to them, especially in regards to surge pricing. When surge pricing is in effect, a customers must acknowledge within the app that they accept the increased fare before their sedan service is dispatched.
Uber started out with only full-size luxury cars for hire, and the “UberBlack” title was adopted. In 2012 the company launched “UberX” program, which made smaller vehicles available to customers. It has also launched “UberXL” which is for larger parties in need of group seating. According to the website, Uber offers:
I have taken Uber quite a bit, and I have seen surge pricing often in New York City during rush hour. In my experience, I have always been able to walk a few blocks towards my destination, and wait for surge pricing to end before submitting my request. I still think that it’s a great service at regular pricing, and luckily haven’t had the need to book at surge pricing. Uber continues to run a fantastic promotion where you can receive a $30 credit for new users on the first ride – click here for enrollment. Have you been burned on surge pricing with Uber?