BUSINESS

Michelle Matton, Uber Ottawa User, Slams $184 NYE Bill

01/02/2015 07:37 EST | Updated 01/02/2015 08:59 EST

Good luck convincing Michelle Matton to ever take Uber again.

The Ottawa woman wanted to grab some friends a ride from Centretown to the Elmvale neighbourhood at around 2 a.m. on New Year's Day, The Ottawa Citizen reported.

Some of her friends wanted to hail a taxi, but Matton, a regular Uber user, suggested they try the ride service app.

She normally paid around $20 to use it, and she was aware that the company would hike its prices during high-demand periods like New Year's Eve. So she was ready to pay a little more.

Then she received a bill for $184.43. And now she's calling it "highway robbery."

Uber had previously warned customers that surge-pricing would be in effect between the hours of 12:30 and 2:30 a.m., with riders possibly paying five times more than they normally would.

The company said the price increases were necessary to "get enough cars on the road and ensure you always have a reliable ride." It suggested that people request rides outside those two hours.

And though she knew a price surge would happen, Matton was still soured by her bill.

"I feel taken advantage of," she told the Citizen. "A 900 per cent price increase is unacceptable. I could have rented a private driver for the night at that price."

Uber spokesman Xavier Van Chau told the newspaper that Matton's order was made during a "dynamic pricing" period, and that she would have had to enter a multiplier when she requested the trip. She doesn't remember doing that.

Matton raised the issue with Uber Ottawa on Twitter, telling the company its surge-pricing is a "rip off."

The company responded, saying they could investigate the issue further.

But other social media users weren't very sympathetic.

In the end, Matton tweeted that Uber had refunded some of her money, and she said she wants others to learn from her error.

Though she also told the Citizen that she's deleting the app.

"They make an easy 185 bucks, but lose a customer for life," Matton said.

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