In a case of Uber surge pricing rear its ugly head to one unfortunate Canadian, a rider was charged a whopping 18,518.50 Canadian dollars ($14,400) for a 20-minute ride in rush hour in Toronto. Rider Hisham Salama took an Uber X on December 8 for a ride which would have cost him around $20 after surge prices. However, when he arrived at his destination, the trip charges showed 18,518.50 Canadian dollars as bill, CNET reported.
"Then about 20 minutes (later), when I was with my friend, I thought I should probably check my credit card to make sure everything was OK. It wasn't -- the charge was pending," VICE quoted him as saying. He said that he unsuccessfully tried to contact Uber, but received a call the next day, wherein an Uber representative informed him that the charge was right.
He also received a message from a support rep telling him that "based on the pickup and drop off locations of the trip you took, this fare is correct."
Salama and his friends then took to social media to raise the voice against the issue. Salama was then refunded $150.
Since the refund was a minuscule amount compared to the giant sum he was charged, Salama's friend Emily Kennard tweeted on December 9 that her friend was charged $18,518.50 Canadian dollars for a 20-minute ride through Toronto.
By then, multiple people had reached out to Uber on his behalf. Only after people took to social media did Uber realise its mistake and issues full refund of the ride.
"There was an error, and we have provided a full refund. We sincerely apologise to this rider for his experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred," an Uber spokesperson said. Uber added that the issue "has been resolved".