As the ongoing hostage situation continues to unfold in Sydney’s central business district, everybody’s favorite bad guy in the taxi business Uber has succeeded in becoming a little badder.
It all had to do with the app-controlled service’s pricing scheme. When folks in downtown Sidney found out there was a madman holed up in their midst, they started looking for quick ways out—wouldn’t you. But in Uber land, as demand for service rises, so does cost, and, according to Mashable, the price for an Uber safe ride out of the city center settled on a $100 minimum.
Secure in their capitalistic righteousness, Uber tweeted this stunning explanation: “We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online & pick up passengers in the area.”
Are they never going to get it?
Taxi user Matthew Leung told Mashable: “I have never, ever seen it at four-times [the normal rate] and I’m a 1% top Uber user. I understand the way the business works — [the] higher the demand, higher the charge — but four-times at $100 minimum is ridiculous. Almost price gouging at its worst.”
Seth Mnookin tweeted: “And I’m now officially done with @Uber, which is price gouging during AU hostage crisis. What sad sorry clowns.”
According to City Lab, Uber finally realized they were a step away from the villagers coming over with pitchforks and torches, so they started offering free rides to anyone in Sydney and then gave refunds to users who felt gouged by the price surge.
They also pointed out that the surge went into effect automatically, but with their record of raped customers and misrepresenting just how much they know their drivers (they hardly do), who was going to listen?