Uber Rider Stuck for 14 Hours Gets $700 Fare Dropped

Passenger receives a refund after disputing surcharge
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2022 3:35 PM CST
Uber Rider Stuck for 14 Hours Gets $700 Fare Dropped
A tow truck pulls a semi-tractor off of southbound I-95 and onto Route 234 in Dumfries, Va., on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Hundreds of motorists waited for help Tuesday after a winter storm snarled traffic in Virginia and left some drivers stranded for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures.   (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star via AP)

Thousands of people were stuck in their cars on I-95 in Virginia this week, but most of them didn't have the added joy of paying by the minute. Andrew Peters summoned Uber to take him from Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia to Richmond on Monday night, NBC reports. "We hopped on the first exit and then it was just, we stopped moving right there," Peters said, per WRC. "There were cars behind us. There was nowhere to go." Fourteen hours later, he reached Richmond after what became a $700 trip.

The bill was $200, Peters said, to which he added a $100 tip. But Uber later imposed a surcharge of $400, making the total cost for the 120-mile-or-so trip $701.47. That's more than twice what Peters paid for his flight from San Francisco. He wasn't happy with the surcharge. "I had no way of knowing that I would be stuck in this traffic jam for that long, and I don't feel like that's fair because they have the directions," he said. "I have no say in which way the Uber goes."

After Peters disputed the charge, Uber refunded the full $700. "We recognized that the prolonged highway shutdown was extraordinary circumstance for him and the driver," an Uber spokesperson said. The 50-mile backup began with an accident involving a tractor-trailer on Monday morning. By Tuesday evening, everyone, including Peters, had been rescued or had been able to drive on. "We're glad that he and the driver got home safely," Uber said. (More Virginia stories.)

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