Uber was advertising that they were offering free rides during SXSW in Austin, TX. I signed up for the service and read the fine print: UberX rides are free, LUX rides have a minimum fare of $75. Easy enough to understand.
I went to request an UberX ride on the evening of Saturday, March 9, and received a message that all cars were currently unavailable but to keep trying. I continued to request the service repeatedly (at least 10 times over and over again) until I was told a car was on its way. My friend and I had been just about ready to give up and just take our own car and pay for valet.
The ride was great once the driver was actually able to find us and I tipped the driver $10 because I thought it was a free ride (Uber says on their site that you don't have to tip the drivers). When we were ready to head back home, I opened up their iPhone app to request another ride and had a receipt for $86! I contacted support and was told that I had ordered the LUX service, not UberX.
Never once while I was requesting my service over and over again through their iPhone app did the messaging change to tell me I was requesting a car ride that had a $75 minimum. I would not have continued with the request if anything had said I was agreeing to a $75 charge. That's ridiculous!
I've been on the Facebook page as well, and see that I am not the only person who has had this same issue with Uber's "free" SXSW rides. It seems they are pulling a bait & switch. They are luring in customers with the fake promise of a free ride and then switching it to the paid service without their consent!
I want a full refund of my $86. They only offered me a $20 refund or $40 credit toward my next ride, but I will not be using them again. Only a full refund will make up for this scam! Do not use Uber if they claim the ride is free!