Critics rage at Uber over surge pricing during London terror attacks
Ride-sharing app Uber is being criticized for charging riders inflated rates during the terror attacks in London on Saturday night.
CNN Money reported that evacuees and riders fleeing the killing “frenzy” in which at least seven people died and scores were injured were charged “surge pricing” — a practice in which the company charges a higher rate because so many people are requesting rides.
“Hey @Uber — you’re really going to surge price x2.1 during a terrorist attack in #London??? Lower than low. #londonbridge #emergency,” tweeted one user during the emergency.
— Amber Clemente (@yankeeamber) June 3, 2017
CNN quoted another user who tweeted, “Big fan of @Uber but bitterly disappointed in profiting from a terrorist attack.”
Uber’s London general manager Tom Elvidge said that riders will be refunded the overages and went on to defend the company’s actions during 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,” Elvidge said.
Police received the first reports of the attack at 10:08 p.m. local time. Surge pricing was suspended 42 minutes later at 10:50.
CNN said that 48 people were injured in the attacks and at least seven are dead. Police pursued and gunned down three suspects.
Uber came under heavy criticism early this year when the company continued to provide services during a taxi strike at New York City’s JFK Airport in protest of President Donald Trump’s ban on some Muslim travelers entering the country. Millions of users deleted the Uber app from their smartphones, but Uber reportedly continued to track their movements and harvest data from their devices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly almost removed Uber from the Apple app store because of Uber’s violations of user privacy.