Uber has responded to claims from outraged customers who were left stranded after the Global Citizen Festival. File Image: Uber
JOHANNESBURG - Ride-hailing company, Uber has responded to claims from outraged customers who were left stranded after the Global Citizen Festival that was held at the Soccer City stadium in Soweto. 

Uber said that they are aware that some uber trips prices were inflated and apologised. 

Uber said in a statement, “We are aware that some riders were charged more than usual for rides taken from the Global Citizen concert last night, and we apologise for this. Due to a variety of complexities, such as network coverage issues and mismanaged event traffic flow at the venue (both of which were out of our control), last night we switched on dynamic pricing. This was done to encourage more driver-partners to move into the specific area and stay on late into the night to cater for the demand, in order to ensure that there were drivers available in the area."  

Uber went on to say that they would be refunding riders who were charged extra on their trips. 

"We understand that we went back on our promise to apply standard rates for this event, which is why we will be refunding, in full, all riders who were affected by this. This will not affect the drivers who will retain their full earnings for all trips they completed," the Uber statement read. 

Speaking on Radio702 on Monday morning, chief executive of Stadium Management Jacques Grobbelaar said that their role was restricted to providing certain services and that the ultimate responsibility for safety and security in and around the stadium lay with the SAPS and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).

"Because of this event being of national importance, it was taken over by National Joints Operations of SAPS. We as stadium management were not involved in the safety and security of the event as we would normally have been as we did with the Guns N' Roses concert last week Thursday," Grobbelaar said.

"For the Global Citizen Festival, the stadium provided the venue, we provided logistical services, and provided certain cleaning, as well as medical services. The police and JMPD were responsible for the bylaws in the precinct and overall safety and security of the event."

Background on Uber's dynamic pricing:
  • Dynamic pricing is an automatic feature which encourages more driver-partners to come onto the app and cater for demand to ensure that riders who want a ride can always get one.
  • When dynamic pricing came into effect, riders were notified from the moment they opened the app and were reminded as they requested their trip. Some riders choose to pay, while some choose to wait to see if the rates go back down to normal
  • When demand and supply are in line, prices quickly return to normal. Dynamic pricing ensures there are cars available whenever you open the app.