Uber Customer Gets Surprise Charge of $28,000 by Mistake, Does Not Have To Pay

Uber branded Ford Fusion self-driving car prototype 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Uber
Uber’s app is far from perfect, but it works correctly for most of its users. However, glitches sometimes occur, and some of them can be extremely upsetting.
A customer from Philadelphia got the Uber ride of a lifetime, as her account was charged with $28,000. Fortunately, the bank of the client was keeping a watchful eye for unusual activities, and blocked the charge for $28,639.14.

Evidently, the unnamed woman does not owe Uber that sum of money, but everyone was curious to learn what could have happened to bring such an extreme surcharge.

Instead of Uber’s dynamic rate, which would have had to be in the thousands to justify the difference in fare, the problem was caused by a glitch. The said electronic failure came from the authorization hold that Uber puts on an account when someone orders a ride. An authorization hold means that the company asks the user’s bank to set aside a sum of money to ensure a payment method is valid.

Some hotels have a similar practice, which involves charging a user’s account as a guarantee, but the latter takes money from an account and gives them back once the stay is completed. The glitch announced above happened within the mechanism of the authorization hold, which apparently received a much higher value than usual.

According to Philly, several users of the Uber app were affected by similar issues. Uber refused to disclose the number of clients that suffered similar problems, preferring to use the term “a handful of users.” The company pledged to work so that a similar glitch will not happen again.

Fortunately for the Uber customer, her bank was actively double-checking transactions, and the error was discovered before $28,000 were removed from her account. At this moment, it is unclear whether other clients were financially affected by the problem.

Since Uber tries to be fair to its customers on this aspect, we do not believe anyone got charged extra for a ride because of this glitch. For what it is worth, check your account to overview your recent trips, just to be sure.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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