We asked Uber about their emergency policy following the New York bombing
The company came under fire this weekend for their 'surge pricing' feature
Uber have once again attracted controversy for the use of their taxi app's 'surge pricing' feature in the aftermath of an explosion in New York at the weekend.
At least 29 were reported to have been injured in the explosion on Saturday, which was described by the city's mayor as "an intentional act".
In the wake of the attack Uber's 'surge pricing' feature automatically kicked in, causing prices for taxis to rise dramatically in the area surrounding the incident. This led to hundreds of furious social media users taking to the internet to voice their anger at the company.
After the attack the transport giants did, in fact, suspend the increased pricing. In fact they seemed quick to respond, and the following tweet was put out not long after the attack (note the time stamp, which shows the Tweet was posted in advance of many complaints).
Uber have previously promised to limit use of the feature during emergencies.
We spoke to Uber to find out if they had any plans to introduce some sort of emergency policy to cope with these sorts of situations in the future, to which they responded, "Uber uses dynamic pricing to ensure that people can always book a car when they need one. When demand increases, fares automatically rise to incentivise more drivers to go online in the area and so provide more cars for Uber users."
"With regard to NY - Soon after we saw reports of the explosion, we turned off surge in the affected area. We have done the same in similar circumstances recently - for example following emergencies or attacks in Brussels and Dubai."
This episode sparks questions over what duty corporate organisations have to be charitable in times of crisis, but we'll have to wait and see whether or not Uber will stick to their words in the future.