On the night of December 13th, Ashleigh Cooper was headed home from a work Christmas party in central London. She hailed an Uber back to her home in Gillingham, Kent. She was quoted £200 for the 40-mile long journey.
Ashleigh fell asleep in the car. When she arrived home, she was charged a whopping £529.77. Turns out, the driver had intentionally taken a much longer route that was more than twice as long at 89 miles.
The 27-year-old accounts manager said: “I knew it would be past an hour, it was really dark and I don’t drive in London, I don’t know the area so it was only by length of time. I wouldn’t have accepted that journey if it came up on the quote. The first thing I did the next morning was take it up with Uber and I finally got call back four days later.”
Uber responded acknowledging that the driver had taken her on an unnecessarily lengthy journey, but they said they were unable to offer a refund for what was close to three times what she was quoted. Instead, they offered her £275 in Uber credit, which is still £55 less than the difference. They said she would need to take it up with Transport for London, which is a government agency responsible for the transport system. Ashleigh has contacted them but has yet to receive a response.
Ashleigh added: “After all the bad customer service, I want compensation. Their ‘compensation’ offer of Uber credit to use for future rides is insulting. I don’t understand; I paid by card, I have never had Uber credit, I wanted to get paid back the way I paid.”
The app includes a feature allowing users to provide feedback on the route taken once the journey is completed, but it’s not clear whether there’s any consequence to this feedback or if any action is taken against the drivers accordingly that engage in this seemingly malicious behavior.
Last month, Uber was banned from operating in London. Uber has launched an appeal, allowing them to continue operating during the appeal period.