Uber Gets A Surge Of Bad Press
With Uber as the official rideshare provider of Summerfest, the festival’s website touts that the company “provides affordable and reliable rides within minutes across Milwaukee and 500+ other cities worldwide.” Affordable is up for debate after a couple was charged nearly $900 for a ride home from the event.
Keith and Audra Tubin were shocked to get a charge on their credit card for $898.58 June 29 after attending Summerfest the day before and using Uber for transportation home.
Keith said the couple was initially told it would cost $214 to get to an address on 55th street in Milwaukee, according to WISN-TV. They asked the driver if they could make a few stops before heading home – one on the east side and two in the neighboring city of Brookfield, Wis. (approximately 13 miles away).
WISN reports that a representative for Uber explained via email that the bill was so high because surge pricing that night was 8.6 times the normal cost. Also, the initial quoted price was irrelevant once the couple requested the stops.
Uber initially refused to negotiate on the price, stating via email: “We have reviewed the trip. The fare you were charged is within our estimate for a trip from your pickup location to destination. As a result, the fare was not adjusted.”
Uber reached out to WISN Monday afternoon to say it had reviewed Kevin Tubin’s complaints and it will only charge the couple the original quoted price of $214, prompting WISN to update its initial report.
Since news about the Tubins’ big bill initially broke, the story received a ton of coverage, including a write-up from England’s Daily Mail.
Summerfest continues July 4-9 with performances from artists including The Chainsmokers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Dierks Bentley, Future, Big Sean, and Migos. Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival plays the last day, including Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell.
Uber is offering new users a free ride (up to $15) using the code Summerfest2017 through 11:59 p.m. on July 9. Special Uber Zones at the festival site have been designated for pickups and drop-offs.