London terror attack: Uber slammed for being slow to turn off ‘surge pricing’ after rampage

Uber users on Twitter said that the company was charging multiple times its standard fares immediately after the attack and only reduced charges later

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The Independent Online

Ride sharing service Uber has been criticised for being too slow to turn off its “surge pricing” feature after Saturday night’s deadly terror attacks in London.

App users took to social media to complain about the inflated prices, saying that Uber should have reduced prices immediately as people tried to make their way home in the aftermath of the rampage, which left at least seven dead and dozens injured in the London Bridge area.

:: Follow latest live updates following the deadly London attack

On Twitter, Uber users said that the company was charging multiple times its standard fares immediately after the attacks and only reduced charges later.

The “surge pricing” feature automatically kicks in when demand is greater than the number of cars available.

A fierce rivalry has swelled between Uber drivers and London black cab drivers in recent months, with the latter accusing Uber of distorting competition unfairly. Many were using the social media hashtag #deleteuber on Sunday.

One Twitter user called Uber’s pricing “lower than low”. Others accused it of profiteering from the attack and said that black cab drivers and some mini cab companies had offered to drive members of the panicked public away from the area for free as Underground stations were temporarily shut. 

Responding to the criticism, Tom Elvidge, general manager for Uber in London, said that the company had “suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks” as soon as Uber had heard about the incident “and shortly afterwards across the whole of central London”.

“We are also ensuring all rides from around the affected area were free of charge,” he added. “Our team is also working with the Metropolitan Police to help them get any footage from drivers who were in the area at the time.

“Our hearts go out to everybody affected by yet another horrific attack on our city. We’d like to thank all the drivers who helped tens of thousands of Londoners get home safely last night.”