This Guy Got Hammered and Took a $1,600 Uber Ride Across Several States
It’s a classic story. You go out for a night with your friends, you have a little bit to much fun, venture farther than you intended, and wake up the next morning with a hefty Uber or Lyft bill. There’s a tinge of regret, but it subsides with the comfort that you made it home safe. Most of the time, those types of nights end with a $50 or $60 ride. This poor sap from New Jersey ended up paying $1,600 to get home … from another state.
How did this happen?
Kenny Bachman paid a visit to some friends in Morgantown, West Virginia, for a party. His plan was to stay with some friends near the West Virginia University campuses. He had so much fun that night that he must have accidentally clicked his home address on the Uber app when ordering his ride home. And that is what the Uber driver did — take him home — to Sewell, New Jersey.
Next: You won’t believe how long that ride is.
You’ve never taken an Uber this far
Regular Uber or Lyft rides take you just a few miles, maybe a little further in some cases. But Kenny’s trip was almost 300 miles. His driver drove his 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan for a few hours before Bachman woke up. When he did, Kenny was quite shocked to learn that he was just an hour away from his home … in New Jersey.
Next: Here’s how his bill got up to $1,600.
A quick break down in costs
Base fair: $3.94
Booking fee: $2.35
If you’re doing the math in your head and notice that it is only a total of $819.14, that’s because Kenny made two mistakes: He ordered an Uber XL, and he ordered it during surge time.
Yes, that’s right, our poor young lad here accidentally ordered his Uber XL while there was surge pricing. That was a big factor in bringing his bill up to ridiculous heights. But there were also other fees that added to it. The driver was fined at every toll bridge along the way because he didn’t have the money for it. Kenny was nice enough to give the driver cash for the tolls on the way back.
Next: Could and did Kenny authorize these charges?
There are some questionable details about the trip
Any regular person would look at the ride request and say to themselves “there must be some sort of mistake.” Nobody gets an Uber for a road trip. On top of that, Kenny claims that the driver used his phone and answered a facetime call from his friend. There are some ethical issues for sure, which is why Kenny disputed the charges. But whether or not the driver should have accepted the fare is another story altogether.
Next: Shockingly, this kind of thing has happened before?
This is nothing new
The combination of surge pricing and drunken riders is an expensive one. One man in Edmonton, Canada, paid almost $800 to get him and his friends home after a night on the town. Another woman in 2014 wanted a ride five miles away, but when she passed out in the car, the driver took the extra long route. She ended up with a $300 Uber ride.
Next: Do you blame Uber, the drivers, or the drunk people?
Ride-share drivers take advantage of drunk people
Uber has banned drivers who purposefully take advantage of drunk people. Most of the time, the drivers just drive people around in circles when they are passed out to hike up the fare. Others take a more sinister approach. A driver in San Jose was banned when he was caught on camera talking about all the ways he would take advantage of a drunk rider, and he wasn’t talking about just the fare.
Next: What happened with Kenny Bachman?
Bachman had to pay the bill
Kenny did end up disputing the charges with Uber. Unfortunately for Kenny, Uber ended up siding with the driver and made him pay the full $1,635.93 trip home. The simple fact is, he did accept the ride and the surge pricing, so there is no legal recourse to get his money back. A lot of people will cry foul, but unfortunately, there’s nothing he can do except to be a little more responsible the next time he drinks. Kenny still gave his Uber driver five stars in the end.
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