Earlier today, I wrote:
Uber acted quickly Monday in an attempt to tamp down the latest controversy to hit the company, saying it is offering passengers free rides amid an unfolding siege at a Sydney café after complaints that rates had soared to exorbitant levels.
The reversal came just a short time after the ride-sharing app drew criticism on Twitter for saying it was raising prices to attract more drivers to the city’s central business district, where at least one gunman had taken hostages in a cafe and placed an Islamic flag in the window, sparking concerns a terrorist attack was under way.
The fare uptick was the result of an Uber policy called surge pricing, in which an algorithm charges customers more money during times of high demand — as was apparently the case in Sydney. Some users reported that the minimum fare had skyrocketed to $100 Australian dollars ($82) for a ride.
Click through for more. And for updates about the situation in Sydney, see our live blog.
Meanwhile, I neglected to mention that I recently wrote about Uber’s regulatory issues in Southeast Asia.
- How Uber’s Racing to Add Drivers Here in India
- By Me Yesterday: Lyft Teams up with India’s Ola and Singapore’s GrabTaxi
- Scoop Mon. With Colleagues: Indonesia’s Go-Jek in Talks to Raise $1 Billion
- By Me Earlier This Week: Interview with FireEye CEO David DeWalt
- By Me Monday: How Singapore’s Grab is Battling Uber Here in Southeast Asia