Driver who allegedly charged passenger $97 for ride not one of ours, says taxi app Uber

Uber said that the car involved in an alleged case of overcharging, with a licence plate SJT 1444Y, was not registered with the company, and it has filed a police report over the incident. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Uber said that the car involved in an alleged case of overcharging, with a licence plate SJT 1444Y, was not registered with the company, and it has filed a police report over the incident. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Ride-booking service Uber said on Monday that the driver involved in an alleged case of overcharging - which is going viral online - is not one of theirs.

This is in response to a Facebook account by a passenger, who said he was offered a ride in a private Honda car and ended up paying $97 for a trip from Beach Road to Yio Chu Kang.

Uber said that the car, with a licence plate SJT 1444Y, was not registered with the company, and it has filed a police report over the incident.

Mr Joverst Lee, 22, who made the Facebook post, told The Straits Times that he was waiting for a taxi along Beach Road on Sunday afternoon, when he was approached by a driver who claimed to be from Uber.

Mr Lee, who was with his wife, 21, and his daughter, 3, and one-month-old son, said he was told there would be a flat rate of $3.90 along with a $0.70 charge for every kilometre.

However, Mr Lee said he was in for a rude shock when during the journey, he noticed that the fare - which was being displayed on a phone app - had amounted to $50.

Mr Lee said they were on the Central Expressway then, and he told the driver to drop them off at the nearest exit, which was at Yio Chu Kang, instead of going directly to his home in Woodlands.

The final bill amounted to $97, with the driver changing his tune to say that the charge was $8 per kilometre instead.

Mr Lee, who works in the construction industry, said he was concerned with the safety of his family then. "I didn't want to do anything harsh, I paid him the money and just go," he added.

Mr Lee's story has gone viral on Facebook, being shared more than 9,600 times as of 11pm on Monday, with over 1,700 likes.

An Uber spokesman said this is the first case of its kind here, and that all of its rides are booked through the Uber app and the company does not allow street hails.

 

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adrianl@sph.com.sg