Uber hikes prices `exorbitantly` during Sydney café siege then backtracks post public outcry

Washington: A report has said Uber briefly charged its users, who were caught in downtown Sydney where a siege is underway at Lindt café, a minimum of 100 dollars as a result of automatic surge pricing to get more drivers online.

An executive in the city’s Central Business District (CBD), Matthew Leung, sent screenshots of the Uber app that showed the company was charging up to four times more than the normal rate as “demands is off the charts,” reported Mashable.

Leung said that he had never seen the rate at four times the normal rate and added that he was a one percent top Uber user.

Another screenshot shared by another customer showed that the app displayed the estimated cost for a journey starting just a few blocks away from the siege area to the airport as 145-185 dollars. The journey would normally cost less than 100 dollars according to Uber’s website, he said.

After a story was published on the price hikes, the company reversed course and said that all riders in the area would be free and that anybody who had been charged the higher amount would be refunded.

Five hostages have fled Sydney’s Lindt cafe where a gunman has been holding “fewer than 30” people captive since morning.

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