Trick Or Treat? Woman Gets More Than $500 Via Crowdfunding To Pay Halloween Uber Ride

November 3, 2014  |  

On her birthday, 26-year-old Gabrielle Wathen woke up to find a 20-minute Uber ride she had taken on Halloween actually cost her more than $360. This left Gabby in a tight spot–unable to pay her rent, she says. So she turned to crowdfunding site GoFund.Me where she posted a desperate plea for help. Amazingly, she raised $512 in just 12 hours.

On her GoFund.me site Wathen wrote:

Last night was Halloween. Great time. Today is my 26th birthday. Not so great time. I live in Baltimore and went out with my friends to celebrate my birthday at midnight. When 3 AM rolled around, I suggested we take an Uber hole to avoid drunk driving (#responsibility/#MADD).  I live 22 minutes, tops, from the party I was leaving.

When I awoke this morning, I heard a friend talking about how outrageous Uber rates were the night before (9x original rate). I checked my bank account to, unbeknownst to me, I see a charge for $362. Not only is it my 26th birthday, it is rent day. My rent is $450 and I can no longer pay it today due to this completely outrageous charge.

I have had little to no luck in disputing this transaction.

I waitress at two restaurants and freelance for a City Paper. I worked incredibly hard this week to be able to enjoy my birthday this weekend. This misunderstanding has cost me 80 percent of the funds I have to my name (embarrassingly so) and I spent a good two hours of my birthday crying over it. I feel taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name. $367 for a 20 minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween.  Please donate even just $1 if you think this is utter and complete bullsh*t and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time.

Thanks for the ride, Muhammed.

While Wathen was successful, apparently she didn’t do her homework in regards to Uber holiday pricing. “Since 2012, Uber has made its surge pricing unmistakably clear within the app. In fact, you have to key in the exact amount by which your fare will be multiplied in order to even request an Uber during a surge pricing time. Sure, it might be surgier than you expect. 2.5x looks like a pretty small number, but it takes your $20 charge to $50. So on holidays, when the multiplier is around 7x or 8x in most cities, a 20-minute ride could easily jump to a $300 fare,” reports TechCrunch.

So it looks like people were generous enough to pay for Ms. Wathen’s oversight. Any thoughts on this?

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