For the price Uber nearly charged Hisham Salama for a 20-minute ride, the Toronto resident could have bought his own car.
Salama took an Uber to visit his friend at a local hospital on Saturday. The 20-minute, four-and-a-half mile ride initially cost him more than $14,000.
When Salama checked his phone after arriving at the hospital, he laughed. He expected to pay about $20, but Uber told him he owed $18,500 Canadian dollars.
“My first reaction was to just laugh, because I thought it was probably just an error but then about 20 minutes (later), when I was with my friend, I thought I should probably check my credit card to make sure everything was OK," Salama told Vice.
It turns out that Uber did put a significant charge on his credit card. Salama then contacted Uber customer support, who told him that the fare was correct.
@Uber@Uber_Support what turned out to be an honest mistake is now turning into the biggest blunder of 2017. I’m no longer laughing at wondering when #uber will get their act together. Can anyone help? Obviously, no 20 min fare is $18,500. pic.twitter.com/zBhtMSBy67
— Hisham Salama (@The_Hish) December 9, 2017
It wasn't until Salama posted a photo of his digital receipt on Twitter that Uber apologized, refunded the fare and offered him a $150 credit.
"There was an error here and it has been resolved. We have provided a full refund to this rider and apologized to him for this experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred," an Uber spokeswoman told Slate.