Surge Pricing by Uber During Terror Attacks Causes Furor on Social Media
A number of people used Twitter to express discontent over how the ride-hailing company delayed the turning off of surge prices in the affected areas of the capital following the attacks.
People said that Uber should have lowered prices immediately and helped to evacuate people from the area. One called it absolutely disgusting that the prices for Uber surged in London on Saturday. The post called it disrespectful.
Another tweeted that they were a big supporter of Uber however, very disappointed for profiting from the terrorist attack by increasing a ride from £7 to £40.
Seven people died while dozens more were injured across central London after the deadly rampage by three attackers who drove a van into people walking on the London Bridge prior to knife attacks in the Borough market.
Those who witnessed the attack said the attackers were targeting people in restaurants and pubs. They said some people had fought off the knife-wielding attackers by throwing tables and chairs at them, while attempting to save their own lives and those of others.
Reacting negatively to the surge pricing of Uber, people pointed out in previous attacks by terrorists in London that taxi drivers had rallied to give free trips to help evacuate people. One user wrote that black cabs in London were taking people home to safety and often times were not charging.
Uber’s General Manager in London Tom Elvidge said the company would not be charging users for rides in areas near the attack in London.
He said once the company had heard about the attacks it immediately suspended all dynamic prices across the area where the attacks occurred and then shortly thereafter across all of central London.
He added that Uber was working with members of the Metropolitan Police to help get footage from its drivers who had been in the areas of the attacks at the moment they took place.
The surge pricing by Uber sparked a storm of negative tweets including many that called for the ride-hailing service to be boycotted, while others said they already deleted their Uber app.
However, other users on Twitter attempted to justify the surge pricing by Uber saying the company did not increase its prices intentionally as the app automatically enforces surge prices based on supply and demand.