Is This Possibly The Biggest Uber Failure Ever?

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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.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.07.23 AMThe 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:
Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.31.59 AM

Bottom Line:
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?

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  1. I’ve been burned ($87 for getting 6 people 1.3 miles), but I knew it was 4X surge and was willing to pay. It was new years eve and raining.

  2. @Ben How did you get burned if you knew there was a 4x surge and you agreed to it? It’s people like you that agree to things and then later complain as if you were somehow screwed over that are the problem.

  3. last couple times in NYC surge pricing around midnight. One time I did use it and it was cheaper to use black car rather than uberX lmao. still more than I would like to pay thou.

  4. the surge price is very common in NYC, whenever it rains, it goes crazy. it’s kinda annoying. But I think a bigger problem of Uber is the customer service. Maybe you never had problems with them but they are awful. They are not honest. Low ethic standards. The agents are not trained, they tend to be a bit, how should I say it, ignorant of the core problem? Anyway, I do like the idea, but I don’t like their corporate culture, so I have been using other companies.

  5. @ken – thank you for your perspective, and I agree with you … you get to vote with your dollars. And by all means, if Uber is not treating you well, then it’s time to go elsewhere. I just hate the taxi cab culture … I feel like they overcharge, claim that their credit card machines are always broken, and most annoying to me – cabs are often in poor shape and don’t smell that good! So for me, for now, Uber is working. What have you been using – Lyft?

  6. Heaven forbid you call Uber from a suburban train station. The drivers know you’re only going a short distance back to your home and always blow me off.

  7. @Ben…Burned by the surge? Supply and demand, mate. Were it not for higher pricing, do you think they would have had a car available standing by on a rainy New Year’s Eve? C’mon.

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