Uber Update Spotlights 'Upfront Fares' While Burying Surge Pricing Notifications

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Ride hailing app Uber has begun testing a version of its app in six United States cities, with a new UI that makes periods of surge pricing more subtle to discover for users. Surge pricing is a term dedicated to windows when riders greatly exceed drivers, resulting in heightened fare prices due to the increased demand.

    When this would happen prior to Uber's new test, anyone signing into the app would get a pop-up notification that surge pricing was in effect, along with a general multiplier that they would have to add into their driving fare to figure out its total cost.

    The update nixes both features, simultaneously making it harder to know when surge pricing is in effect without notifications, but also benefitting users thanks to an "upfront fare" with "no complicated math and no surprises," according to Uber.
    Now, when users want to know when surge pricing is in effect, a faint line of text references "increased demand" beneath their fare. The company is testing the upfront fare system in New York City, Miami, San Diego, Philadelphia, Seattle, and some parts of New Jersey, in addition to five cities in India: New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai. The surge pricing update is expected to hit the rest of Uber's markets around the world "in the next few months."

    Previous Coverage: Uber Attempts to Address Driver Concerns With New App Update

    Article Link: Uber Update Spotlights 'Upfront Fares' While Burying Surge Pricing Notifications
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68040

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #2
    Except for surge pricing, I guess.

    EDIT
    Reading Uber's release, I guess the surge pricing is actually included in the upfront fare?
     
  3. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a

    Pbrutto

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    I just recently used uber for the first time (own a car, travel mostly with it or rentals) and I was actually surprised about surge pricing. I have friends who use it all the time and they never mentioned that part (which I thought was the most important part to mention). I think further burying surge pricing will not change how most regular users feel but might really annoy first time users who are unaware to begin with.
     
  4. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    I use Uber quite a bit. Given they are providing an accurate fare I could care less whether it's surge time or not. I'm either satisfied with the estimate provided and take the ride or I'm not and I pass. This doesn't seem like news to me.

    And even at surge rates an Uber is still light years ahead of an old school taxi ride experience.
     
  5. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    #5
    I've never used Uber because of surge pricing. Knowing my luck, I'll try Uber for the first time on the same day that the Queen of England pays a surprise visit accompanied by the Pope.
     
  6. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

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    #6
    But why is that icon's corner radius like an iOS 6 icon?
     
  7. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #7
    This MacRumors article seems to be really negative about something that, it seems to me, is an obvious and massive improvement.

    Just tell me what the damn price is. Either I accept the price and I'll use the service, or I don't and I'll find another way to get to my destination.
     
  8. Iconoclysm macrumors 68020

    Iconoclysm

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    #8
    I don't know, a $110 ride home from a concert that cost $19 to get to from the same service seems more like limo ride prices than taxi ride prices...
     
  9. 2457282 Suspended

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    #9
    My concern is that this will create significant confusion unless the price is clear that it includes a surge cost. Today if one knows that surge is in effect they can decide to wait a while for the surge to go down. However, if they just see a price that seems too high and are not informed that it includes a surge, one might just say "screw this" and hail a cab. So how they implement this could make it an improvement or it could cost them money.

    Full disclosure, I hate Uber and use Lyft exclusively.
     
  10. jarred125 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Same here. As long as I am okay with the pricing, why do I care if it is surge or not? I've never been a single rider in the first place, I normally have at least three others with me so splitting fare on a few bucks is trivial. Light years better than crummy taxi services which have always cost me more than $30-40.
     
  11. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502a

    logicstudiouser

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    #11
    Any reminders of the good old days of iOS 6 are always appreciated! :p
     
  12. walnuts macrumors 6502a

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    #12

    I disagree to an extent. Yes- it is better to know upfront what the total cost will be. But, surge pricing is moving from what it is now ("hey, it's really busy so we need to charge you extra") to essentially a hidden fee. I for one want to know that I'm getting charged extra than normal on top of knowing clearly what the whole fee is.

    As an aside, this seems to be a confused mixed message coming from Uber. I think the purpose of a surge fee is to encourage some people not to use uber when the demand is higher than they can meet, and make more money off of those who still want to use it despite the peak period. This sounds like the people in charge of the service (making sure customers are getting appropriate service by matching demand with pricing) are fighting with the bean counters (take customers even if we can't realistically serve them all- cash is king).
     
  13. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040

    12vElectronics

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    #13
    I don't see the problem. Pricing of products and services change ALL the time. We don't need explanations about every little thing.

    Display the price. Let the customer choose if they want it or not. Done.
     
  14. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    My point was that if the fare is presented accurately you can choose not to take that $110 ride.

    There's competition in the marketplace, you are free to use it. Thankfully I'm free to avoid taxis thanks to Uber.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 24, 2016 ---
    Geography and time play a big roll but I rarely see the lightning bolts. I was out in the sticks near Denver recently and they only had two uber drivers (and no Black) so it seemed like surge happened more frequently (maybe any time that one of the two was in use :p ). Also around bar close time it's more likely. Otherwise I see it very infrequently and if it's a problem you can usually wait 20 minutes and it's over (they'll even send a notification if you want).

    I'd recommend trying it. Unlike a taxi they'll give you a fare estimate right up front so there's no worry about surge "surprises" and the experience is so much better than a dirty smelly taxi. After several years of Uber now I'd rather walk than take an old style taxi.
     
  15. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #15
    Exactly I hate hidden fees that come along after you show me the advertised price. The price that is shown should be what I will pay or at least have the option of paying if I don't want to add extra services.
     
  16. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a

    Pbrutto

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    #16
    First time I used it was a few weeks ago in Baltimore.....happened to use it right when a Beyoncé concert let out.....
     
  17. TonyC28 macrumors 65816

    TonyC28

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    #17
    As long as they have some kind of fine print or explanation that states that prices are dependent on demand then I don't see a problem.
     
  18. JtheLemur macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Huh. The app experience I currently have in NYC, removed the onscreen lightning-bolt indicators that a given pickup area has surge pricing in effect. When you tap to request, you do still get the normal multiplier screen ("1.5x normal fare"). The change being in that they did indeed remove the immediate UI indicator(s) that surge is active.
     
  19. ThaRuler macrumors regular

    ThaRuler

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  20. ipedro macrumors 601

    ipedro

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    #20
    If you could care less, then you care. :rolleyes:
     
  21. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    Geez, I can't believe I did that. I *couldn't* care less (about the surge but I do about my grammar).
     
  22. rhett7660 macrumors G5

    rhett7660

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    #22
    This, I use Uber a boat load, and I am actually really impressed with their service and like this post, Taxi's are so far behind. No thanks.
     
  23. ipedro macrumors 601

    ipedro

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    #23
    Hahaha I'm glad you took it in stride. Some people lose they're minds when you correct there grammar. ;)
     
  24. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    Love you're irony

    Yeah, I'm pretty easy going.
     
  25. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Just one more reason to stick with Lyft, as far as I'm concerned. Their whole model is better. And the drivers are usually happier. Generally, my Uber drivers spend most of the ride complaining about how terrible it is to drive for Uber.
     

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