Uber is a great idea until the surge price becomes more than next month’s rent. That’s what happened to a Milwaukee couple grabbing a ride home from the Summerfest music festival, which turned into an $898 ride from downtown to suburban Brookfield.

The surge? 8.6 times the normal price.

According to WISN, the up front price from Summerfest to another address in Milwaukee was a whopping $214. After adding a few stops, it went up to $898.

“Two hundred dollars to get to the first stop,” Tubin said. “We asked if he could take us a couple more places, he said no problem. He put it in the computer. I wake up the next morning with a fraud alert on the credit card, $898.”

Tubin’s wife, Audra Tubin, couldn’t believe the total.

“I thought he was joking,” she said.

The couple contacted Uber, which is notoriously terrible at public relations. Shockingly, Uber handled it poorly, telling the couple to go away.

In emails back and forth, Uber said the surge price was 8.6 times the normal cost and upfront price is no longer relevant when stops are added.

“We thought they would negotiate because no one said anything,” said Audra Tubin. “When we contacted them they said nothing. We can’t do anything.”

“We have reviewed the trip. The fare you were charged is within our estimate for a trip from your pickup location to destination. As a result, the fare was not adjusted.”

Then, the press found out, and Uber realized that this was a pretty bad hill to die on, as WISN reports that it is refunding the family all but the initial $214.

This has been Today in Uber Adventures.


About Kevin Trahan

Kevin mostly covers college football and college basketball, with an emphasis on NCAA issues and other legal issues in sports. He is also an incoming law student. He's written for SB Nation, USA Today, VICE Sports, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.