'Surge pricing' shocks Uber customers on Georgia-Florida weekend

by: Catherine Varnum Updated:


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Special pricing for the car-service Uber is shocking local customers.

The Georgia-Florida game brought tens of thousands of people downtown this weekend, including David Deviese. But instead of driving his own car, he called for a ride from Uber. He has done that before.

"A quick 20-minute ride. It's usually $3-40," said Deviese.

But this time he got sticker shock.

"It ended up costing $295," said Deviese. That was only for a 17-mile trip. You could fly 1,000 miles from Jacksonville to Dallas this month, for about the same price.

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He wasn't the only upset customer. Brooke sent Action News her receipt from the Georgia-Florida weekend. It was $256 for a 26-mile trip. The difference in the cost is from surge pricing. The higher the demand, the higher the prices.

Action News tweeted the company asking for an explanation. They told us in part, "dynamic pricing allows us to remain the reliable choice, even on the busiest nights of the year." They also maintain the cost is repeatedly communicated to customers.
Better Business Bureau President Tom Stephens the practice is completely legal.

"It's all right to charge that as long as they disclose what's going on," said Stephens. 

Right now the city is fighting with Uber about whether they can legally operate locally. They are not registered. But City Council has introduced legislation to require them to do that and prove they have liability insurance and their cars inspected.

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