Uber Kindly Agrees to Stop Price Gouging During Emergencies
Everyone's least and most favorite transit app catches a lot of flak for lacking anything you might call a conscience, but is that really so fair? It just said it will obey the law and no longer charge insane prices during crises and natural disasters. Those softies!
The news comes via New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman:
#BREAKING: My office has reached an agreement with @Uber to cap pricing during emergencies, a thoughtful application of NY law to new #tech.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) July 8, 2014
If you're wondering what "emergencies" are defined as, the applicable law is NY Code - Section 396-R: Price gouging:
For purposes of this section, the phrase "abnormal disruption of the market" shall mean any change in the market, whether actual or imminently threatened, resulting from stress of weather, convulsion of nature, failure or shortage of electric power or other source of energy, strike, civil disorder, war, military action, national or local emergency, or other cause of an abnormal disruption of the market which results in the declaration of a state of emergency by the governor.
So, in case of nuclear bombs falling across Brooklyn or a heavy blizzard, it will no longer cost you $300 to get a ride home. Previously, Uber did gouge during these extreme scenarios, wiping its invisible hands on free market pants and blaming the dictates of supply and demand.
A spokesperson from Schneiderman's office says "Uber is expected to propose a similar change to its pricing model nationwide."