Uber is refunding all passengers who used its service on Saturday, June 3, in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in London, in the affected areas.
On Saturday, attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and attacked people with knives, killing seven and injuring dozens. Police shot and killed the attackers within eight minutes after the first call to emergency services, and people who remained unharmed fled the scene in a hurry.
Following the terrorist attack in London, Uber faced a great deal of criticism over surge pricing, as its fees went up after 10 p.m. when the attack occurred. The company canceled surge pricing late on Saturday and prices went back to normal, but many took to social media and other online venues to slam Uber for spiking the prices to capitalize on a tragedy.
Uber Surge Pricing After Terrorist Attack
When demand is too high, meaning that Uber customers requesting taxis outnumber the number of available Uber drivers in the area, the Uber app automatically spikes the prices for passengers. When frightened people trying to leave the London Bridge area started requesting Ubers to flee the scene, they outnumbered the number of available drivers so the price went up.
Uber apologized for the occurrence and set out to make things right, explaining that it paid people back and canceled the surge pricing.
Uber Refunds London Bridge Passengers
Uber has issued a statement regarding the terrorist attack on London Bridge, expressing its regrets and explaining the situation. The company also announced that it refunded the rides of all passengers who used its service after the attack on Saturday within the affected areas. According to the statement, it offered refunds to tens of thousands of passengers.
"As soon as we heard about the incident we immediately suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks — and shortly afterwards across the whole of central London — just as we did following the attacks in Manchester and Westminster," said Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in London.
This sends a message to customers: in case of emergency, feel free to use Uber without worrying about the price surge they may notice on the spot. Uber will take care of it.
"We are also ensuring all rides from around the affected area were free of charge," the company further noted.
Uber also added that its team is cooperating with the London Metropolitan Police to hand over any footage that drivers in the area have captured. The company also donated to #OneLoveManchester, Ariana Grande's benefit concert to help victims of the London attack.
Uber customers who used the app on Saturday night around the London Bridge area should have already received their refunds. Those who did not should contact customer support to get their money back.
However, this is not the first time that Uber goes under fire over price surges when terror attacks occurred. Back in September 2016, when dozens of people suffered injuries when a bomb went off in New York City, Uber spiked the prices as well. In some cases, such as the terror attack that hit Paris in November 2015, Uber canceled the surge just as it did now for the London attack.