Some revelers complain about price of New Year's Eve rides - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Some revelers complain about price of New Year's Eve rides

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ATLANTA -

Some local New Year's Eve revelers are upset over prices they paid to get home safely. They said that trips that had cost just a few dollars earlier in the night set them back much more.

Michelle Fernandez and her boyfriend joined thousands of others in downtown Atlanta for dinner and a concert at Philips Arena on Tuesday. They knew they would be drinking, so they used Uber for transportation.

The app-based service has been in Atlanta for about two years. It uses your phone's GPS to find a contracted Uber driver near you to pick you up and take you where you need to go. A credit card on file is used to pay for the service and tip, so no cash changes hand.

"We love it, it's simple, it's convenient -- never had a problem with them before," Fernandez said.

The couple says they've made similar trips from downtown to their Brookhaven home and it's never cost more than $60. On Tuesday night, their tab was $214.

"That's not even reasonable. That's ridiculous," said Chris Attebery.

On New Year's Day, customers went online from Atlanta to Los Angeles complaining about Uber and its "surge pricing."

"Surge pricing is when we actually raise the prices for a fare when we have demand that completely outstrips the amount of supply we can get on the road," said Keith Radford, Uber Atlanta's general manager.

Radford said the company raised prices at times on New Year's Eve to attract more drivers, so at peak demand they would have enough cars.

"We actually sent an email to all the riders, we actually had a splash screen in the app, and then also people had to confirm that they accepted the higher fare before even getting a car," Radford said.

Fernandez and others say they were never quoted such a high price.

"If this is the way you're going to keep treating your customers, I mean, you've already lost two, and I'm sure more, because this is not just happening in Atlanta, it's happening in all the major cities," Radford said.

Cab drivers in Atlanta told FOX 5's Chris Shaw that they also had a busy night on Tuesday. However, the city sets the rates for Atlanta cab companies, preventing prices from fluctuating from night to night.

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