Uber allegedly surging fare for customers with dying batteries

Published on : Monday, May 23, 2016

uberRecently it has been found that Uber app comprises of such a technology that can sense when a mobile phone is about to go on the battery saver mode. Uber is a car rental service app, which was founded in San Francisco. The app could sense the battery status of a user from the very start. It could sense and track the battery status from when it was first launched in London in 2012.



Although the authorities at Uber said that they do not use the app to pump up the fare for the customers who are having a low battery. But it is not very convincing because of the dynamic pricing of the car rental company, whose fare prices jump up and down from peak hours to lazy hours. In the past, Uber already faced certain allegations regarding the surge in their fare prices; after a hostage situation in 2014 near Sydney.



The head of economic research at Uber, Keith Chen gave a statement regarding this issue. He stated, “one of the strongest predictors of whether or not you’re going to be sensitive to surge… is how much battery you have left on your cell phone.” He also added, “we absolutely don’t use that to push you a higher surge price, but it’s an interesting psychological fact of human behaviour.”



Chen pointed out that a very small jump in the pricing of 1.2times the normal rate discourages almost 27 potential customers. He also stated, “whereas if you say your trip is going to be 2.1 times more than it normally was, wow, there must be some smart algorithm in the background here at work, it doesn’t seem as unfair.”

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