Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How riders are able to get out of surge pricing

Surge pricing annoys the majority of clients who rely on Uber to get around. These riders forget the current cost of trips are much cheaper than fare prices a few years ago. It is common for riders to complain about price multipliers because their trip cost significantly rises above basic fares.

Uber clients once paid extremely high prices to get rides during busy times: morning commute, evening commute, bar closing times on weekend nights and when it rains. With several fare cuts, riders mostly request bargain rides. Surge pricing can correct these low fare prices, restoring driver earnings back to normal. However, riders are gaming the Uber system to avoid surge pricing.

When ride demand increases, surge pricing activates to entice drivers. Multiplying the cost of fares can/will allow drivers to earn higher fares per mile, per minute. Fortunately, surge pricing may help Uber drivers reclaim their past earnings. As a countermeasure to combat surge pricing, riders are using several unique tactics to avoid higher cost fares.

What actions are Uber clients taking to eliminate surge pricing? The following techniques are employed by riders to influence surge pricing:
  • Order ride using destination address. Non-surged region. Contact driver about this wrong address. Request driver to another pickup address.
  • Drop pin in the water. No surge pricing. Contact driver to pick rider up at right address. 
  • Request ride to wrong address. Contact driver about this wrong address before 5 minutes. Client informs driver they will cancel ride and reorder again. Surge pricing passes by. Rider secures same driver with no surge. 
  • Request. Cancel. Request. Cancel. Request. Secure same driver who is now closer with no surge pricing, or at cheaper ride multiples. 
  • Cancel to pay $5 fee. Surge pricing passes. Reorder ride at no surge. 

Skilled Uber drivers are fully aware of riders who are gaming the Uber platform. As independent contractors, Uber drivers can choose to accept, reject and/or cancel rides. These drivers must be careful not to cancel too many rides since repeating this action at a higher frequency may result in future warnings and/or possible deactivation. Beware of sneaky riders using the methods above to eliminate surge pricing.