Ride hailing service Uber, has been criticised for being too slow to turn off its “surge pricing” feature after June 3rd’s deadly terror attacks in London. The app users complained that they were being charged inflated prices on Saturday night.
Uber uses price surge technology, which increases prices when there is a high demand for cars in a certain area. However, while black cabs were offering free rides to those affected to help clear the area as quickly as possible, Uber customers were facing price increases of up to 2.1x the ‘normal’ fare.
In light of this, app users took to social media to complain about the inflated prices, saying that Uber should have reduced prices immediately as people tried to make their way home after the attack.
‘Absolutely disgusting that Uber prices surge in London tonight? How disrespectful to the situation can you be?’ another Twitter user wrote.
‘Big fan of Uber but bitterly disappointed in profiting from a terrorist attack. £7 Knightsbridge to Victoria. Charging £40,’ another said.
On the other hand, Tom Elvidge, the general manager of Uber in London, said the company would not charge users for rides taken from areas near the attack. “As soon as we heard about the incident we immediately suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks and shortly afterward across the whole of central London; just as we did following the attacks in Manchester and Westminster,” he said.
“Our team is also working with the Metropolitan Police to help them get any footage from drivers who were in the area at the time.”
“Our hearts go out to everybody affected by yet another horrific attack on our city. We’d like to thank all the drivers who helped tens of thousands of Londoners get home safely last night.” he added.