14-Hour Nightmare Uber Trip Costs Man $700

Offbeat / Comments

Getting stuck in traffic and paying for the privilge.

The pandemic has not only affected car manufacturers but the entirety of the automotive industry, including digital taxi services like Uber and Lyft. It is estimated that during peak lockdown periods, people were driving 40 percent less, and people sharing rides declined by similar numbers, placing massive strain on drivers.

But natural (or just as likely man-made) disasters can sometimes benefit Uber drivers, as Andrew Peters of Richmond recently found out.

Cold weather and heavy snowfall caused major traffic issues on Monday on Interstate-95 in Virginia, with some motorists spending up to 17 hours stuck inside their vehicles. That's enough time to watch the movie Titanic nearly six times.

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Uber

As if being stuck with your wife, mother, or children for 17 hours isn't bad enough, Peters found himself buddying up to an Uber driver on this trip of nightmares. Peters was on his way home from Dulles International Airport; a 120-mile trip that would set him back $200. As the snowfall became heavier on Interstate-95, his Uber driver finally capitulated, and the two were stuck together. For 14 hours.

Once traffic cleared and finally made it home, he thought it good to tip his brave driver a solid one hundred bucks, but his gratitude quickly turned to disgust when he saw that his Uber driver had slapped an additional $400 to his account.

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That meant a total cost of $700 to breathe in the scent of a stranger in a confined place for 14 hours. Uber states on its website that "heavy traffic may cause your trip to take longer than expected and to compensate your driver for the additional time, your fare may change" but this is just ridiculous. Peters went on to dispute the charges.

He told Uber that "I had no way of knowing that I would be stuck in this traffic jam for that long, and I don't feel like that's fair because they have the directions. I have no say in which way Uber goes."

Uber finally dropped the additional $400 fee and told NBC News that "they recognized that the prolonged highway shutdown was an extraordinary circumstance for Peters and the driver." We could understand the $700 fee if we were driving in a Rolls-Royce Wraith, but not in a Toyota Prius.

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