Uber admits to surge pricing at Global Citizen fest, offers full refunds

People flock to FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday for the Global Citizen Festival. Afterwards, late at night, many were left stranded when taxis were not available, Uber apps failed to work and the taxi fares surged.
People flock to FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday for the Global Citizen Festival. Afterwards, late at night, many were left stranded when taxis were not available, Uber apps failed to work and the taxi fares surged.
Image: TimesLIVE

Uber SA has admitted to implementing surge pricing at the Global Citizen Festival at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday, despite pledges by the festival and Uber that this would not happen.

On Twitter, concert-goers said they were charged up to R1,200 for a trip after the festival.

Uber has placed the blame on network coverage issues and "mismanaged event traffic flow".

In a statement, the company said it introduced "dynamic pricing" on the night to ensure that there were more driver-partners in the area to cater for the high demand after the festival. Dynamic pricing is a feature that "encourages" driver-partners to come onto the app.

"We are aware that some riders were charged more than usual for rides taken from the Global Citizen concert last night, and we apologise for this," said Uber.

The company has pledged to reimburse customers.

"We understand that we went back on our promise to apply standard rates for this event, which is why we will be refunding, in full, all riders who were affected by this.

"This will not affect the drivers, who will retain their full earnings for all trips they completed.”

Witnesses described how they were left stranded outside the venue after Uber increased the prices. While waiting for alternative transport, waves of violent crime hit festival-goers.

Police have insisted that they were present, although many people have taken to social media to claim there were no police officers in sight.


X