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Man Accidentally Takes $1,600 Uber Ride After Night of Drinking

Surge pricing doubled an already expensive fare.
Surge pricing doubled an already expensive fare.
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

A New Jersey man named Kenny Bachman woke up last Friday in the passenger seat of a 2011 Toyota Sienna with a $1,635.93 Uber bill, NJ Advance Media reports.

Bachman had been partying with friends in West Virginia the night before and at some point ordered an Uber while inebriated to return to a friend’s place where he had been staying. Yet, some wires got crossed, and the Uber driver ended up taking him all the way back to his home in New Jersey.

Bachman was buffeted by a perfect storm of additional fees that jacked up the final price, which NJ Advance Media indexed in its piece:

A $3.94 base fare, a $2.35 booking fee, $696.95 for distance, $115.90 for time. Things were more expensive because Bachman unintentionally ordered an UberXL, which can hold up to six passengers and is exponentially more expensive than the typical UberX. Still, it would have been just $819.14—if not for the surge pricing, which doubled every charge except the booking fee.

On top of all those charges, Bachman withdrew cash so the driver could pay tolls on the trip back. He contacted Uber to dispute the bill, claiming that, though he was drunk, he had not entered his home address. Uber told NJ Advance Media that Bachman had in fact requested to return home to New Jersey. After speaking with company representatives, Bachman agreed to pay the steep sum.

This isn’t the first time that exorbitant fares have surprised an Uber passenger, though in the past it’s been clear that the company messed up rather than the customer. In December, a man in Toronto discovered that he was charged over $14,000 for a 21-minute ride that was only supposed to cost $12 to $16. Uber acknowledged the error and paid him back. And this past summer, surge pricing inflated a Milwaukee couple’s fare from the initially quoted $214 to $898.