After receiving a slew of customer complaints, Uber ride share will stop showing surge pricing – the extra rates Uber charges when demand exceeds an area's number of drivers available.
The app has been updated to show customers the total cost as soon as they order their ride. Uber will calculate everything: traffic, distance, time, and surge pricing. If the final price ends up being higher than an average ride, Uber will note it is "higher due to increased demand" rather than by how much.
All of this will be calculated and displayed before customers have to "accept" the charges.
However, this update will mean customers have to type in their destination into the app beforehand, to ensure accurate pricing.
Uber has already begun testing its "upfront pricing" in six cities across the United States. The change, they say, will help customers understand the company's pricing strategies and reduce the need for riders to do extra math. According to the statistics they've gathered so far, beta testers have found the new system easier to understand and navigate. Several have said they will likely use Uber again.
Uber has also begun upfront pricing for its UberPool service.
The update will mean that customers will no longer see the lighting bolt, signifying a "surge" in ride demand. Similarly, they will not be able to see when peak times die down. This also means that users will be allowed to see their total bill before taking a terribly expensive ride on holidays like New Year's Eve.
Surge pricing has caught many customers unawares in the past. Even though Uber has tried to make riders confirm surge charges before riding, they are still surprised when they see how much more they will be paying on top of the normal fare.
Once the update goes live, customers will be able to see exactly how much they will pay before they even get picked up.
What do you think, PopStars? Have you already experienced this beta feature? Is it helpful? Are you happy with the change?