Uber Accused of Charging People More If Their Phone Battery Is Low 

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

24 Apr 2023

Uber have come under fire for allegedly charging its users more if they have low phone battery, according to a new investigation. 

The predatory pricing was revealed as part of a study done by Belgian newspaper Dernière Heure.

Using one phone with 84% battery the user was charged  €16.60 (£14.56) for a journey from the newspaper’s offices to a nearby ferry terminal while the other phone with 12% battery was charged €17.56 (£15.41).

Sceptics of Uber may point to Uber’s former head of economic research, Keith Chen, who in a 2016 told NPR the company had found that people with lower battery levels were more willing to pay for surge pricing. 

In a statement to Dernière Heure the company denied the allegations saying claiming that their app isn’t able to measure a user’s battery life:

“Uber does not take into account the phone’s battery level to calculate the price of a trip,”

“The dynamic pricing applied to trips booked via Uber is determined by the existing demand for rides and the supply of drivers who can respond to it.”

Do you think Uber would price discriminate against their most vulnerable customer?