After an explosion in Chelsea, NY on Saturday night left 29 people injured, New Yorkers slammed Uber for cashing in on the carnage.
We still know very little about the bombing. However, in the aftermath, Uber have faced criticism for surging their prices during the chaos as many members of the public used the app to flee the scene.
— Danilo Gabrielli (@DaniloGabrielli) September 18, 2016
Following the explosion, Chelsea’s train services were shut down and yet Uber was reportedly charging customers fares up to 1.8 times the standard rate, seemingly to ‘cash in’ on the horrifying ordeal.
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) September 18, 2016
Uber did eventually switch of surge pricing but by this point many scared New Yorkers had been overcharged in their attempts to stay safe and get home after the explosion.
— Sarah Bertolozzi (@SarahBertolozzi) September 18, 2016
— Wally A. (@whatiswally) September 18, 2016
Dear @Uber, why did you surge your prices 200% when people in nyc are trying to get home safe? I paid half my arm to get home last night.
— ❁Jaclyn Sciara❁ (@JaclynSciara) September 18, 2016
Cheers to sketchy #uber driver who refused to let me pay me through the app and charged me $200 to get to Queens after the Chelsea explosion
— Jennifer (@AutumnRomance) September 19, 2016
I hope they find out who’s behind the Chelsea Explosion so they can pay me back for the $60 Uber I just had to take.
— Adel Alizadeh (@Inf_Adel) September 18, 2016
— John Gibbens (@GibbensJohn) September 18, 2016
Although Uber tweeted a message to users saying they had switched off surge in the area directly affected by the explosion, some believed this to be a PR opportunity.
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) September 18, 2016
Others New Yorkers questioned why Uber didn’t extend the courtesy to other areas of the city, and many more called for refunds on their surged fares.
@Uber_NYC great but what abt the rest of NYC?!? Heard its surging on LES. Just GET PEOPLE HOME.
— Amy Sullivan (@amysullivan715) September 18, 2016
@Uber_NYC and the rest of the city? 1.7 surge from the village.
— kate (@kaybes) September 18, 2016
@Uber_NYC refunds should be issued for the surge added amount for those customers who got stuck with it trying to get out of terror zone
— Robert B. (@robert8185) September 18, 2016
I’m no economist, but to cash in on terror – whether or not the company’s intentions were indeed calculated and motivated by greed – seems like a pretty sick version of supply and demand to me.