As a customer, I’m a big fan of Uber. It’s easy, convenient, and inexpensive. Intellectually, I even like their Surge Pricing model. By charging more during peak demand times, they ensure that more cars become available to meet that demand. It makes sense.
That said, I don’t like to pay more.
Option 1: Leave the surge.
In some cases, an app like SurgeProtector can help. It will show you the nearest spot to you in which surge pricing is not in effect. I haven’t yet tried it, but it makes sense. The idea is that you can sometimes walk a few blocks (or take other transportation) to get out of the surge zone in order to get cheaper pricing.
Option 2: Surge Drop Alert.
Uber offers an option to click a button that says “Notify me if surge ends.” I always press that button, but I’ve found that you can often do better:
Option 3: Try again.
Wait a couple of minutes and try again. Surge pricing seems to change from minute to minute. I once encountered 2X surge pricing, clicked the button to alert me, but then couldn’t wait so I tried again. Bingo! Surge pricing was gone.
I should note that this option is a gamble. Last week I opened the Uber app and was told that 1.5X surge pricing was in effect. A few minutes later I tried again. Now the surge pricing had risen to 2.1X! Luckily, a few minutes later, it was down to 1.4X. I took it.
Do you have any other approaches for avoiding Surge Pricing? Please comment below.