Hours following the terrorist attacks on Paris, phony reports saying Uber was getting 400 percent the regular fee, or had completely halted its service in Paris, have all of a sudden cropped up over the web.
Uber, nevertheless, was quick to negate rumors which are spreading like wildfire, saying not only did it cancel surge pricing roughly half an hour right after the terrorist bombing in Paris, but also denied coninued its operations to provide transportation to citizens in Paris.
In fact, during the emergency situation, Uber's app displayed a notification from the French authorities ("situation d'urgence"), telling its users to stay safely inside and do not travel, unless absolutely necessary.
Gareth Mead, an Uber official, told Quartz over an email that it's a real disgrace that some people are using unfortunate situations for their own purposes.
"The rumors are not true," said Mead. "To be absolutely clear: Uber immediately removed dynamic pricing across France last night."
She explained that the degree of demand throughout this kind of terrible time meant that Uber's partners were extremely occupied and constantly on trips.
"This remains the case today," she said.
In the meantime, bogus stories and images have also emerged and created quite a buzz on social media networks. The Eiffel Tower had been said to go dark in 126 years. It was also rumored that there was a huge rally gathering in the center of Paris.
In 2012, a tremendous increase in pricing on Uber went into effect in New York City during the Hurricane Sandy. This earned complaints from its users in New York. In addition, Uber also initialized surge pricing during a hostage situation in Sydney, Australia way back 2014. It reportedly billed its users four times the typical rate. After what happened, the company apologized.
Even the day following the attack, however, the rumor mill still continues to churn about Uber's alleged taking advantage of the situation. Below are some tweets from users who apparently don't know better.
— Choppah™ (@iamchoppah) November 14, 2015
Uber are scum. Surge pricing in Paris. You really are the scum of the earth. ✌
@TIME @PTCHills #uber greed #uber #paris surge 4.5x when people start complaining they suspend services — factweet (@LuxuryBrook) November 14, 2015
I see Uber, knowing they couldn't take advantage of surge pricing, suspended service in Paris last night.
— Andre Eagle Dollar (@TeamThirstTrap) November 14, 2015