In Uber’s endless quest to be sketchy it announced that its learned when users are more likely to pay the sometimes-ridiculous surge pricing for a ride. They claim they’re not using it against you... yet.
In an NPR podcast titled “Your Brain On Uber” with Keith Chen, the ride-hailing service’s head of economic research (makes sense), talked on how Uber’s users are more willing to accept the surge-pricing fees for a ride if their phone battery is about to die, via The Verge.
I think we’ve all been in the ungodly state of panic that ensues as you watch the little battery slowly drain to zero in the corner of your phone. It’s not fun and, if you need to get somewhere like your house, accepting the surge pricing may feel like your only option before your phone goes black, ending all relevant existence.
Chen also pointed out that users seem to be more accepting of odd-numbered surge pricing factors. When the multiplier rate is odd, users seem to think there’s some sort of algorithm doing the math that is smarter than them. And we all know you listen to things that are smarter than you.
Chen ensures that Uber doesn’t charge users with draining battery life anything different from everyone else, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find more odd-numbered surge pricing multipliers in the future. And with less than ten minutes of battery life left, listening to the imaginary smart algorithm may be your drunk ass’s best bet of getting home.