People have always suffered hangovers after New Year's Eve. This year, many party-goers woke up on Jan. 1 experiencing a new affliction: Uber rage.
In cities around the world, people tweeted their anger at Uber's surge pricing, its practice of charging up to eight times the normal rate when demand is high.
Uber warned people ahead of time (the company did not respond to a request for comment for this article). That didn't stop a lot of people from freaking out on Twitter:
Andre Ospital-Cone, 26, was visiting his college buddies in Scottsdale, Arizona. They all decided to head to a block party in nearby Tempe around 9:30 p.m. The 15-20 minute ride cost $24.
Fun was had, drinks were consumed, and at 1:49 a.m. it was time to go home.
"There is not an abundance of taxis rolling around in Tempe, Arizona, so we decided to get an Uber," he told TODAY.
Ospital-Cone and his friends hailed two Uber cars to head back to Scottsdale.
"In our drunken state, we saw there was surge pricing," he said. "We didn't really feel like we had a choice, so we accepted it."
In the end, a ride that had cost $24 one way now cost $163 on the return trip. The group's other car, traveling along the same route, somehow cost $89.
"Yes, it was our fault, I just don't understand why they feel the need to have 6.7 times surge pricing," he said. "That is beyond greedy. People are just trying to get home safe."
Uber claims surge pricing is necessary to get drivers on the road during hectic nights.
"On busy nights with peak demand – like New Year’s Eve – we use surge pricing to get enough cars on the road and help ensure you always have a reliable ride," the company wrote in a blog post on Dec. 30.
Other ridesharing companies also have their own version of surge pricing. Lyft calls it "Prime Time," but caps its prices at 200 percent of normal fares on busy nights and 400 percent this year on New Year's Eve. Uber has no cap on surge pricing.
Luckily for people in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, they had access to a special $10 flat-rate deal for rides that would normally cost under $50, thanks to taxi-hailing app Flywheel.
"If people knew that there was a company like Uber that wasn't going to do surge pricing, even at busy times when you're just trying to get home, I don't know why people just wouldn't use that instead," Ospital-Cone said.