One of the more annoying parts of using Uber is surge pricing, its dynamic pricing feature that kicks in when demand is high.
During times of high demand — on weekend nights, on holidays, or during bad weather — Uber enacts surge pricing, which charges a multiplier on every fare during busy times. Uber says that by raising its prices, it encourages its supply — drivers — to get out on the road to keep up with increased demand.
Gett, a startup that’s been trying to take on Uber with aggressive advertising campaigns, no surge pricing, and low flat fares, says it has a new way to lure in Uber customers.
Starting Tuesday, November 10, the startup will give its NYC customers free ride credits equivalent to what they paid in Uber Surge Price fees. The campaign is called Surge Sucks.
Gett, which is available in 57 cities, will let customers sign up on its website and then send their surge-priced ride receipts from Uber to Gett. Then, Gett will give customers ride credit equal to whatever they paid in surge pricing, rounded up to the nearest $US5 increment.
So, for example, if you had a $US95.79 surge price receipt (God help you), it would get rounded up to $US100 in Gett credit. Customers will be able to submit up to $US100 in surge-priced receipts from Uber or from Lyft.
Gett has run similar attention-grabbing campaigns in the past. In London, the company offered champagne delivery, and last year in New York it offered actual tattoos to New York customers. Also, it advertises around New York with bold, Uber-attacking ads like this:
— Nicholas Carlson (@nichcarlson) August 24, 2015
Uber is by no means unique in its dynamic pricing strategy. Airlines have similar tactics to sell tickets and hotels use dynamic pricing to book rooms, especially during busy holiday seasons. As Matt Yglesias pointed out in Slate, what makes Uber different is that the company is at least up front and transparent about how much you’re going to pay when the price spikes.
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