A small review of 165 Uber rides reveals the company’s upfront pricing scheme may be overcharging customers. Harry Campbell, founder of the popular newsletter “The Ride Share Guy,” conducted the test and found there was a discrepancy between what riders were paying and the fares drivers were collecting. That is to say Uber was collecting money on top of the fees it charges drivers. In total, Campbell notes, Uber made an additional $162.56 across 82 UberX trips over the course of five weeks. It also lost $108 on 49 UberPool trips. In the past, Uber has declined to say whether this sort of pricing shakes out in its favor. But Campbell says there are bigger concerns:
“The second facet of this story and most worrying has to do with the de-coupling from what the passenger pays and the driver receives (and to be fair, this is also a practice that Lyft has taken to). Uber drivers are independent contractors, yet it’s becoming more and more difficult to figure out how we’re paid. If Uber is going to claim that they’re merely a ‘technology platform that connects drivers and riders’, they should act like it. I appreciate them facilitating payment but I don’t want them charging the passenger one price and then paying me another price. As a driver, I should always know exactly what the passenger paid, what I got paid, and what Uber’s cut was—that’s how a marketplace works.”
We reached out to Uber for comment and will update if we hear back.