Worse than the hangover? Man, 21, who ordered an Uber home after a night out in Manchester wakes up with a whopping £104 bill for an 11 mile journey – but ride-sharing app defends the fare

  • The man rode from the Factory nightclub in central Manchester to Crumpsall
  • Sam George, a recent graduate, says he doesn’t remember the fare quoted
  • No other taxis were available to take Sam back to his home in north Manchester  
  • Uber explained that surge pricing causes charges to go up when demand is high 

A man who ordered an Uber to get home after a night out with friends in Manchester woke up to a shock – after seeing he had been charged £104.

The journey, which included two drop offs, was from Manchester City Centre to his home in Crumpsall, totalled just 11.95 miles and took less than half an hour. 

But what would usually cost ‘around £25’ according to Sam, turned out to more than four times that amount when he checked his bank balance, at £104.66.

Sam George, 21,  who has recently graduated university and had spent the night partying at the city’s Factory nightclub on December 27.

Sam George, a 21-year-old graduate, got slapped with a £104 charge for an Uber XL trip from Manchester City Centre to Crumpsall, north Manchester – a journey of just 11 miles

Shortly after 3.30am, he and two other friends, who had been to an event at the Warehouse Project, tried calling various taxi companies but were told there was none available.

Then resorting to Uber XL to get home, he has no recollection of how much he was quoted for the trip, but says he would ‘never’ accept a journey that was so expensive.

Uber XL is a more expensive version of the traditional service, which distinguishes itself by providing SUVs or other minivan vehicles, allowing more passengers to rideshare at once.

Despite complaining to Uber, the taxi company has defended the fare.

Sam said: ‘I woke up and looked at my emails and just couldn’t believe it. I was just in shock.

‘It just did not seem right. How could a journey that took less than half an hour cost more than £100?

‘I had been out to Factory and grouped together with two friends because we thought it would be cheaper even with just two drop offs.

‘We normally use Uber and it is never that much – but this just puts you off wanting to go out.

‘I contacted Uber but they told me there was not a problem with the fare. I suspected it may have been the drop offs but they were only a short distance extra.’ 

Return flights from Manchester to Dublin, Madrid, Rome and Berlin can be bought for under £90 for this coming weekend, January 1-2.

Sam says he does not remember the price he was quoted, although he claims he would ‘never would have accepted’ the £104 charge 

And earlier this month, a student from Fallowfield was charged £80 for a four mile trip home after a night out. 

People living in north Manchester have few alternatives to get home in the early hours of a morning, Sam claimed.

He added: ‘The hilarious thing was, the price of the taxi cost more than the entire night out.

‘It really isn’t that far so nobody would ever think they would be charged this much just to get home.

‘It puts you off going out, but also leaves you with few alternatives because there are no night buses or trams to where I live in north Manchester.

‘If you go for a night out, your only way home is a taxi. 

‘I knew I had been drinking but I still had sense and if it had quoted me that much I never would have accepted the fare. I just can’t believe this has happened just two days after Christmas.’

But Uber has hit back saying that all fares are calculated and customers are provided with a fee before riding.

On that particular evening, the fare was accepted with a surcharge and additional drop offs were added, meaning the fare was recalculated.

An Uber spokesperson said: ‘The Uber app uses dynamic pricing to make sure that people can get a car when they need it.

‘When a large number of people in a specific area are booking a trip at the same time and there aren’t enough available cars, fares automatically rise to encourage more drivers to go to the busy area.

‘Users will always see a fare estimate in advance so they have the choice to book a car.’

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