Hit on-demand car service Uber was hit by a huge number of complaints over New Year's Eve, which came as a result of a shockingly high level of surging pricing. The app's Twitter page is currently dominated by apologies to angry users tweeting screenshots of the alarming Uber fares they had to pay, with some being as much as $350 for just a few miles. Surge pricing was Uber's way of ensuring the availability of cars all night, especially one as demanding as New Year's Eve. The company's use of surge pricing is in a form of an algorithm that determines demand versus available cars in order to come up with how much the surge pricing should be at any given moment.
While sky-high prices are no fun for everyone, Uber has to be credited for its attempts to make sure its customers aware of surge pricing. The app won't let you call a car unless you agree to surge pricing first. It also shows the multiple of the normal fare you will pay, along with what the minimum fare is. Uber takes it a step furhter if the multiple is extremely high: it will require you to type it in in order to make sure you understand that you're paying more than usual. Despite all this, as well as a video and blog post released to explain surge pricing and why it would come into affect on New Year's Eve, the company has still come under fire in this lose-lose situation.