In a city where public transit often proves unreliable, hailing an Uber may seem like the fastest and most affordable way to get around. It's the reason why the popular rideshare app has millions of users worldwide, many of whom use the app on a daily basis. Despite the service's general dependability, there's always the occasional trip that goes awry. Case in point, a Toronto man last week who was way, way overcharged for a short ride across city's downtown core.
Hisham Salama took to his Twitter account this past weekend to share a screenshot of a bank-busting Uber receipt totaling $18,518.50. What's even crazier is that the trip was a simple 21-minute ride covering just 11 miles. That means the ride cost an insane $882 per minute and $1,683 every mile. When Salama reported the incident to Uber Support, the company responded back saying that his drop off and pick up locations were inaccurate. They also failed to offer additional information on a potential refund.
Understandably upset, Salama voiced his frustration online and called out the company for the obvious error and the lack of assistance. "What turned out to be an honest mistake is now turning into the biggest blunder of 2017," he wrote. "I’m no longer laughing at wondering when Uber will get their act together. Can anyone help? Obviously, no 20 min fare is $18,500". The tweet in question quickly gained traction and eventually racked up hundreds of likes and shares.
Thanks to some good ol' fashioned viral attention, the saga finally came to an end this week with Uber fully refunding Salama. According to a company spokesperson, the problem traced back to a traditional cab doubling as an Uber taxi. When the trip began, the driver made a mistake inputting fare details into their cab meter. Uber now says it will look into preventing the issue so that more people don't get screwed in the future.