Report: #1503460

Complaint Review: Uber (San Francisco-Market Street Home Office) - San Francisco CA

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  • Reported By: Victor — Los Angeles United States
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  • Uber (San Francisco-Market Street Home Office) Market Street San Francisco, CA United States

Uber (San Francisco-Market Street Home Office) Bait and Switch tactics used to arbitrarily overcharge without disclosure and with deception. San Francisco CA

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To whom it may concern,

This below narrative details an electronic facsimile of the dispute form authorizing the dispute with my credit card issuer.  Back up screen shots with before and after transaction receipts and the included screen shots of the dialog between myself and customer support at Uber are available upon request.  Of primary importance is the fact that a classic “bait-and-switch” tactic is widely utilized by Uber (open source media postings) by telling and showing the consumer one quoted price, the consumer agreeing to that price and selecting that option with that price, and then without prior warning nor notice, the price that is billed to the card is quadrupled.  Here’s the purchase process breakdown used by Uber:

  1. Once the user, I for example, fist selects the pickup and destination locations, they are prompted to select the ride type.
  2. Next step, the ride type, “Economy” level was selected, and the price was shown of approximately $46.00 from the billing address / residence to LAX airport. 
  3. At this point, this is where the user books their trip and consummates the transaction at the agreed upon price.  A button appears next to the amount, in this case the $46.00 amount, which is selected and eventually / supposedly billed.  There was NO visibility into additional charges especially the “surge pricing” referenced in the chat.
  4. This Economy option was selected, and no further notice was received other than the driver eta and ultimately the receipt.  The receipt was received as seen in the documents with the breakdown and the surprise “surge pricing”.

This transaction was disputed with the merchant Uber and the following items I found to be disconcerting, were discovered:

(1) It is also important to note that Uber does not allow inbound calls for any customer service matter outside of the emergency line which deals with assaults or other emergencies as probably mandated by law.  All other inquiries are regulated to creating an online ticket and a follow-up chat session.  This lack of customer service access allows for Uber to control the pace and keep the consumer filing a dispute at a disadvantage. 

(2)  Uber has a problem referencing and accessing billing records (but they have the ability to charge consumers at will for whatever they deem appropriate).  The representative who answered the emergency line was able to tell me and reference the ride taken and stated the $169.00 may have been assessed for a “cleaning fee” (as if a passenger damaged the drivers car).  The next examples reference the chat sessions and are also attached.  Back and forth discourse ensued to just find the ride.  The claim filed with Uber does not auto populate with the ride taken and charged so it makes it difficult for the customer to address the dispute with the chat representative.  This inability for Uber to match the invoice / receipt to the claim / dispute, to the ride in their system, lasted for about 2/3’rds of the attached files and screen shots. 

(3)  Classic bait and switch tactics are employed by Uber.  Once the ride was ‘located’, they explained in the chat that “surge pricing” was being employed which is why Uber added an additional approximately $120.00 onto the invoice, as shown as a multiple of the base fare “x4”.  Why not x6 or x8?  Once its charged to the payee’s account, any individual has limited recourse or requires immense effort to challenge Uber.  Uber knew I was booking the ride at the time of usage between 2 AM and 3 AM and could have documented the fare to include and disclose the surge-price BEFORE PURCHASE but chose not to.  The user / consumer, I first find out the ultimate price from a BofA alert when they ultimately charged the card while already at my destination, LAX Airport.  In the chat, they stated “push notifications” are sent and I should have them enabled.  I did not receive any notification about the surge pricing but did receive the “push” notifications about the eta of the driver and the driver having arrived.  Other riders experiencing this problem on certain push notifications upon their drivers arrival noticed additional billing verbiage, but the detail of the surge pricing was buried.  And even if it was properly called out to those riders before entering the Uber, their ride had already arrived and to cancel because of this surprise notification would probably result in missing their flight.  Had I or any reasonable person saw this obscene amount at the appropriate time of purchase, I or anyone would have chosen an alternative mode of transportation.  Since they have their / your money, they don’t need to address customer concerns about displaying one price but charging another. 

(4)  Evidence showing dubious and misleading business practices was provided.  While still on travel for this trip and after discovery of Uber’s conduct, I had my spouse enter the Uber App and recreate my rideshare request on the Uber server.  Steps (A) through (D) as stated above were selected exactly as I had except the ride wasn’t purchased or the request wasn’t completed.  A representative example of the last screen I saw prior to purchase was captured (page 19).  While the time of day of the request / order is obviously different in this example, this recreates what I or any user would only see in that situation prior to purchase.  It is abundantly clear that a user of this service would only expect to pay between $47.00 and $57.00.

In conclusion, I, my family, and coworkers were / will be notified of this and to avoid Uber.  I will not be using Uber as at best, I have neither confidence nor reliance that Uber will charge (the range) what they say they will.  When a consumer hands a merchant their credit card information, the consumer bestows their trust onto the merchant.  In this case, Uber is absolutely derelict by design and business model.  This experience is clearly exploitative and should be dealt with as any other abusive behavior to deter this sort of deceptive conduct by this or any other merchant.  For the reasons articulated here, I request that this entire charge be thrown out with prejudice by Bank of America and a warning sent out to cardholders of these deceptive business practices being committed by Uber Inc.



Victor Vanacore



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/31/2020 12:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/uber-san-franciscomarket-home/francisco-ca-bait-switch-used-1503460. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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