Wisconsin couple Keith and Audra Tubin will need to pay almost $900 for an Uber fare on Monday. The Tubins used Uber to ride to a music festival last week and found out afterward that they would be needing to pay a tremendous bill. The Tubins believe themselves to have been overcharged, while Uber has responded by saying that the bill matches the expected price per mile, and therefore the Tubins must pay the fare.
Summerfest is a popular event that attracts thousands of people, and considering the nature of the event and how busy it is, many participants travel there by others means than their own vehicles. Uber is one option for transportation, and a service the Tubins have used regularly in the past.
After driving to their first spot, which was priced at around $200, Keith Tubin asked their Uber driver to drive to a couple more places. Multiple destinations with a single Uber driver is a commonly used feature, which has the customer enter in a new address once the first destination is reached. The price is matched according to the set price per miles at a time, which may be subject to change based on time and need. After reaching their final destination, the total accumulation of miles is priced, and the fare price is charged to the bank that owns the customer’s inputted credit card number.
Keith Tubin reports that upon waking up the next morning he faced a fraud alert on his credit card due to a charge of $898. Needless to say, the Tubins were shocked and did not understand how the fare had reached such a high price. Keith Tubin recounts how the initial fare was priced at $215 to an address on 55th Street in Milwaukee, and that they then added a stop on the East Side and two more stops in Brookfield. Keith Tubin firmly stated that the driver never told them how much the journey was going to cost.
Communications through e-mail with Uber reveal that the surge price was 8.6 times the normal cost, which means there was a high demand for Uber drivers at the time, which naturally drives up the price. Uber further states that the upfront price is no longer relevant once the new stops were added. Uber’s ruling of the bill was that after review the fare was in line with their estimates for a journey from the pickup location to the destination at the surge price. The fare has not been adjusted, much to the dismay of the Tubins.
When we think of corporate social responsibility, naturally the burden of responsibility lies on the corporations. There is often a contractual agreement implied that the corporations have taken the necessary steps to ensure that a product or service is safe, properly maintained and that all information regarding the product or service is accurate and represented. More often than not, corporations will take responsibility by paying the relevant legal fees and any refundable depending on context, because it is in their best interest to maintain a positive relationship with their customers. Without customers, businesses are unable to function, and given that customers usually have the power of choice, businesses would go above and beyond to ensure their relationship and reputation with customers is positive.
However, there are occasions when the customer is responsible, and these are times when it is necessary to accept the consequences of the implied social contract. If one fails to read the fine print such as surge prices or how the upfront price changes once stops are added, and this information is readily available for the customer to see, then the passenger is responsible for paying the price even if they do not like it. Customers make a contract with Uber drivers that they will be transported to their destination for a complimentary price, meaning that the Tubins need to pay the bill. If corporations were always responsible for every issue, then corporations would be open to being taken advantage of, resulting in a far greater loss than if they paid compensation.
While the Tubins “could have rented a limo for the whole night and had room for other people” while still saving money, they decided to take an Uber ride to four separate destinations during a high surge price. Now the Tubins need to pay their Uber bill.