NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A weekend with his significant other was all Bellevue resident Michael Pistone wanted.
“We were going to the Brewer’s Festival right next to the Hilton,” Pistone said.
Pistone said he paid $21 for the ride downtown.
It was all fun and laughs until Mother Nature rolled in.
“We noticed the clouds were starting to get pretty ominous and the winds were picking up,” Pistone said.
At the same time, the Garth Brooks concert at Nissan Stadium was postponed. Pistone went on his phone to try and get a pickup from a ride share service.
“It kept saying, ‘No cars available,’” Pistone said.
After trying multiple times, he finally got connected for a ride.
“Got a hold of a car, I selected it, it got there in 15 minutes. It was $205, the most expensive Uber ride I’ve had in my life,” Pistone said.
To make matters even more stressful, when he got home and looked at his bank account, he noticed a charge of $311.
Pistone said for something like this to happen, while thousands of people are trying to look for a ride home during severe weather is unacceptable.
“I understand surge pricing, but 10 times the amount to get down there and get back home is a little ridiculous,” Pistone said.
News4 contacted Uber, which issued the following statement:
“The abrupt cancelation of the concert led to unexpected high demand of riders trying to leave the stadium at one time. Dynamic pricing automatically goes into effect when there are more riders in a given area than available drivers. This encourages more drivers to serve the busy area over time and shifts rider demand, to maintain reliability and restore balance. Uber is committed to transparency and riders are shown the price of their ride up front in the app before they accept a trip.”
Pistone said he doesn’t buy it.
“When they say there’s not enough drivers and they’re trying to incentive drivers to get on the road, it’s like, so you’re going to charge your customers 10 times the amount and expect them to come back because there’s no other choice,” Pistone said. “Right, so they have you over a barrel.”
An Uber spokesperson also stated it has confirmed that there was a significant deviation on this particular trip, which led to longer distance and time than what the rider was shown on his upfront price. Because of that, Uber said it gave Pistone a $77.88 credit.
Uber added that it did not get an alert from the city or police to shelter in place, so it ran its policies as normal. Uber also does not look at severe thunderstorm warnings when it comes to changing its policies on surge pricing.
Uber said it does not have a labor shortage at the moment. The surge had to do with high demand downtown at the time.