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What am I paying for? Uber Fees Explained

If you’ve been overcharged by Uber, let us know. We may be able to help you claim compensation.

With Uber you are able to order a ride from an app comparably easier and less expensive than a traditional taxi. But, with the convenience Uber provides, there is also a fair amount of mystery in their payment structure. 

So what are you paying for when you book an Uber?

Estimating your fare can be done with a few simple tools on the app. But every time they calculate what your cost is going to be they include:

Uber calculates your fare from a variety of sources. This is what you're paying for in total.

These 6 items are calculated together to give riders their final cost.

  1. Base Fare: the flat fee that covers the price of picking you up
  2. Time:  the amount of time that you spend in the car
  3. Distance:  the distance the vehicle has to travel while you are in the car
  4. Booking Fee:  the flat fee that covers the booking and overhead administrative costs
  5. Surge variable:  they at a price multiplier if demand outweighs the driver supply, so if you need a ride when everyone else does, you might get charged a lot more than you expected
  6. Tips:  if you decide to add a tip for your driver this gets added to the total cost

The base fare and the variable portion for distance and time is contingent upon your city, where you are using the lift.

Why did I get charged a few extra dollars for “safe ride,” what is it for?

You get charged a booking fee but now you are also charged a “safe ride” fee that varies in cost by city but are generally between $1 and $3. That’s added to your fare.This was introduced in 2014 and designed to offset the cost of background checks.

Type of Uber

The type of Uber you select in your city will also impact the cost. The original Uber black for example with a seat capacity of four people might have:

  1. Base fare: $7
  2. Per minute charge: $.35
  3. Per mile charge: $3.2
  4. Cancellation fee: $10
  5. Minimum fare: $15

Even when you add all of this together it is slightly less expensive than the average cost of a City Taxi but not necessarily other ride-sharing services.

You don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee but if you do have to cancel, they will charge you the cancellation fee.

Are there other hidden fees I’m being charged for this that I’m not aware of?

The company makes it clear that there are pending authorizations that are never charged but are simply meant to check an authorized card. This is something that might happen if you add a new payment method or if you haven’t used the service in a while. However, even though they say that this will never be processed as a real charge in the hold will be released, some customers have faced unrecognized charges or holds that became real. If that’s the case, there are things you can do.

Can I refute fees related to unauthorized fees?

The company does ask you to share the details on their website for an unrecognized charge that include a card information, transaction information, a screenshot of the charge, and any additional details once you have verified that you don’t recognize it. But what if you’ve done all that and the company still isn’t refunding you or responding to you? You have options.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If you were incorrectly charged a fee, any fee, you have two options.

The first is to go through a small claims court. To do this you need to create a demand letter and send it to the company first, outline what they did and how you want them to fix it, and then you have to submit paperwork to your local court. The problem is this can be a bit of a headache and there are strict minimum and maximum monetary qualifications for the amount of damages. Your case might not qualify.

The second option is to use consumer arbitration. This is an option laid out in your user agreement in lieu of other legal methods. With this we can help you generate the forms you need, get into contact with a company, and get a resolution for your problem.

What's your complaint?


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