Heat Map and Surge Manipulation by Uber?

Tjphilly2

Member
I've been doing Uber and Lyft at the Jersey Shore all summer.

It rarely surges here - so when it does, you really take notice. Yesterday, my Uber heat map was beet red for at least a half hour during a large, ethnic festival. I received several pings showing pickup locations that were clearly in the surge areas shown on the heat map BUT the acceptance bar did not show them as surged fares - so I let them time out.

Two of those went by with the heat map still beet red. Finally a third ping. I thought the acceptance bar not showing the surge might be a computer problem and tapped accept. I was born and raised here and know the area very well and I KNOW this pick-up location WAS clearly in the BEET RED (6X) zone as shown on the heat map.

Sure enough - I was paid the flat fare.

The cynic in me says that the Uber is showing surges to rearrange the fleet and then not awarding them.

Has anyone else noticed this?
 

ElCampe

New Member
something similar happened to me yesterday in Orlando airport. Airport was surging at 1.6, got a pickup but i got paid flat fare. Uber then said that their records dont show surge at the time of pickup even though the airport was surging. I made the mistake of not taking a screenshot PRIOR to even getting near the airport (was driving anyways) as proof so i got nowhere with them. My take on it? they show surges in areas to attract drivers to meet riders demands but they dont pay the surge
 

Bpr2

Well-Known Member
Now that you mention it, noticed it twice last night in my area. Pick up ping request map showed no multiplier but same area on map after it timed out was reddish
 

ElCampe

New Member
Now that you mention it, noticed it twice last night in my area. Pick up ping request map showed no multiplier but same area on map after it timed out was reddish
yeah sounds about right like on my area. next time i attempt to do pickups in areas with surge i'll screenshot just in case they dont apply it to my fare
 

Bpr2

Well-Known Member
yeah sounds about right like on my area. next time i attempt to do pickups in areas with surge i'll screenshot just in case they dont apply it to my fare
Interesting to see if uber will make the excuse of "it was a scheduled ride and was made prior to surge and wouldn't be fair to pax to charge more"
 

newton24567

Active Member
This called uber scam as a form of upfront pricing. Uber is giving itself raised by surging all time for their own good but they only pay based rate to driver.
 

JimKE

Well-Known Member
Not all rides in surge areas are actually surge rides. I'm not sure how it happens, but it's certainly nothing new. It's been happening as long as I've been driving (10 months). If there is no surge on the acceptance bar, there is no surge.

I've also seen several posts stating there was a big difference between the surge the pax see and the surge we are offered.

For example, the pax paying 4.0x and the driver only getting 1.5x or so. I think I saw a screenshot from support saying something like, "We checked and the surge was only showing as 1.5x 'on the driver's side.'" They were basically admitting that the surge Uber charges pax is NOT the same as what they pay us.

I don't complain about upfront pricing because I understand Uber is trying to find discreet ways of increasing their revenue without driving away their customers. But I think charging pax a higher surge than they pay us is a very deceptive trade practice.
 
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Uberingdude

Well-Known Member
One thing I seen with a surges is that they always show dark red Surge for the airport before any flights arrived. Then as soon as all of the Uber are in place the flights arrive, and then the surge instantly disappears.
 

ElCampe

New Member
One thing I seen with a surges is that they always show dark red Surge for the airport before any flights arrived. Then as soon as all of the Uber are in place the flights arrive, and then the surge instantly disappears.
i saw this but instead of being flight based, i saw it being cars in queue based (ie. if lower than 8 cars, airport was redish at 1.6x. anything above that it magically disappears)
 

Jtdub

Well-Known Member
I am a believe that the further you are from the surge area the redder it is. The closer you get the lighter it gets. Only way to prove it would be for two drivers to communicate from different distances to the same surge area.
 

Julescase

Well-Known Member
yeah sounds about right like on my area. next time i attempt to do pickups in areas with surge i'll screenshot just in case they dont apply it to my fare

Screenshot EVERYTHING:
- the screen when you first arrive at a pick up location,
- as soon as you accept a ride, tap the upper right-hand corner of screen (there are three short lines in upper right corner- tap it for ALL ride details) it brings down all of the details about the passenger, the surge rate if there is one, their rating, the address you're going to for pick up, and a few other details. I always take a screenshot of that case Uber tries to claim that there wasn't a surge when there really was one, etc.
- take a screenshot once every minute if you are waiting for pax for a long time, that way you'll always have proof if Uber tries to pull their usual nonpayment of the passenger no-show cancellation fee that we are entitled to after five minutes pass and the passenger has not arrived

Even with screenshots of everything, Uber has tried to not pay me for cancellation fees; always push back and insist they pay and don't stop debating it until you get the money that you're entitled to. Uber counts on drivers giving up after a while, they know that most people will take payment refusals and won't keep writing back to insist on it. Once I emailed about a cancellation fee I was entitled to more than 25 times in one situation, at a certain point it's not even the $3.74, it's the principle of the matter and they should not be getting away with non-payment when money is owed.
 
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