Since April, Uber has been rolling out a new way to display fares for UberX rides in the US and India. The latest version of the app asks for your destination and shows you the cost of your trip before you hop in the cab; this feature will soon roll out in other countries too.
The trouble with that is, it hides the surge pricing pop-up that displays the multiplier applied to your fare because of increased demand at the time of booking. Now, there will only be a small line of text mentioning this below the fare.
Uber believes customers will prefer this over a quick mental calculation of what their trip might cost. I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s not too hard to figure out roughly how much more your trip will cost when you see the surge pricing multiplier. Plus, the pop-up served to remind you that the fare could be cheaper if you just waited a little – and now Uber’s craftily doing away with that.
Of course, it may not be an issue for some folks. Uber would do well to allow users to choose whether they’d like to see the surge pricing indicator, and inform them of the update in the app.
The change also introduces an extra step in the booking process – you’ll have to enter your destination before you can get a ride. It’s usually not a big deal, but there are times when connectivity is poor or your hands aren’t free to type and search for an address. I’d rather not have to deal with that every single time I need a cab.