A Follow-Up on the Uber $362 Car Ride Story

A few days ago, we shared the story of Gabrielle Wathen, a Baltimore woman who discovered that, due to surge pricing at 9 times the usual amount, Uber had charged her $362 for an approximately 22-minute ride.

Wathen gave the Baltimore City Paper a follow-up, in which she explains:

Approving a nine-times fare increase without realizing it is completely my fault, I understand that.

Wathen also states that she did receive enough money through the GoFundMe to hit her funding goal — nearly all of the donations came from family and friends, and she stopped accepting donations after she hit her goal — and that she never intended it to be a public fundraiser:

The GoFundMe page was made in a very playful manner after a couple of my friends told me they would donate if I made it, in an attempt to brighten my birthday after seeing how upset I was.

And, of course:

I never thought this would be a story that would go viral and end up on Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Jezebel, E! News, and plenty of other blogs, nor did I think I would be fielding calls for comment from CBS, ABC, and local radio stations.

Wathen also explains what we already suspected: she chose the more expensive Uber Black because the less expensive UberX was not available, and she knew that she was agreeing to a fare hike but did not know how much she would eventually be charged.

But it’s Wathen’s last paragraph that is the most interesting:

A staff writer for the City Paper, Edward Ericson Jr., has written about the perils of the “sharing economy” before as it pertains to Uber, and I’d recommend you read his piece and spread that around the internet instead.

So let’s read that, this afternoon. It’s titled The Desperate Hustle as a Way of Life, and begins:

Here is the future: nobody gets any job security. Nobody gets a fair wage while they have a job. Nobody gets a retirement fund or even any guarantee they’ll be able to eat tomorrow. And almost everyone is doing everything they can just to get by — and paying some substantial portion of their earnings to a pimp or “platform” which controls the business they are in. And ain’t life a grand adventure? Isn’t it all so fun?

Welcome to the Sharing Economy.

I loved the piece and am happy to follow Wathen’s suggestion and share it with you. If you share it with other people, remember that we are currently experiencing Surge Sharing and you must share it 9 times.

Photo credit: Patrick Cain

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