A Baltimore resident named Gabby Wathen was shocked when she woke up on her 26th Birthday and found an Uber receipt totaling $362.57 for a 20-minute ride from a party back to her apartment. Unfortunately for Ms. Wathen, her rent was due the exact same day, $450 a month, and the Uber bill prevented her ability from paying her rent.
She took to Instagram for some good old fashioned slacktivism. Look at all these hashtags:
So what’s a broke, twenty-something to do? Why, go on the internet and beg for money, of course!
Ms. Wathen started a GoFundMe campaign entitled “Uber Stole My 26th Birthday.” From the campaign text, which has since been deleted:
“Last night was Halloween. Great time. Today is my 26th birthday. Not so great time. I live in Baltimore and went out with my friends to celebrate my birthday at midnight. When 3 AM rolled around, I suggested we take an Uber hole to avoid drunk driving (#responsibility/#MADD). I live 22 minutes, tops, from the party I was leaving.
When I awoke this morning, I heard a friend talking about how outrageous Uber rates were the night before (9x original rate). I checked my bank account to, unbeknownst to me, I see a charge for $362. Not only is it my 26th birthday, it is rent day. My rent is $450 and I can no longer pay it today due to this completely outrageous charge.
I waitress at two restaurants and freelance for a City Paper. I worked incredibly hard this week to be able to enjoy my birthday this weekend. This misunderstanding has cost me 80% of the funds I have to my name (embarrassingly so) and I spent a good two hours of my birthday crying over it.
I feel taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name. $367 for a 20 minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween. Please donate even just $1 if you think this is utter and complete bullshit and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time.
Thanks for the ride, Muhammed.”
I hope the driver’s name was actually Muhammed.
I love how at the end, Ms. Wathen twists her story, which is essentially “I got blackout drunk and forgot I ordered an Uber,” to make it a cry for social justice against Uber. Boo for price surges! Boo for supply and demand! Boo for a basic economic principle! Boo for Uber giving you two different warnings whenever surge pricing is in effect!
Nobody likes Uber’s fare surges. I’ve experienced them twice. Once was in a massive snowstorm in NYC, where Uber received a big black eye in the press for price-gouging, and one, ironically, the same night as Ms. Wathen last week, but I had no choice due to a friend’s minor medical emergency and had to get them home quickly and safely. I was pissed off and was railing against Uber’s policies as well, until our very own Tech Guy set my dumb ass straight. It’s supply and demand in real time, nothing more. Nobody at Uber is sitting in an ivory tower stroking a cat and laughing maniacally as they push a button that, essentially, drains someone of their meager income.
Frankly, good for Ms. Wathen for raising the money, but, really, if you’re forced to beg from the internet because you can’t bail yourself out of an emergency that’s under $500, you might need to do some thinking about making adjustments to your lifestyle. And if you’re 26 years old and can’t afford $450 in rent, you REALLY need to get your shit together. I’m 24 and I’ve been paying double that for over a year now, and I have enough squirreled away that, God Forbid, I could use if an emergency ever came up.
I hate to judge someone else without knowing their full situation but, frankly, with the facts I have in front of me, I can’t help it. As of the GoFundMe Campaign’s deletion, last night, she raised $512, exceeding her goal of $362.
[via Business Insider]