Given the slew of complaints about Uber's surge pricing during DreamForce -- when fares climbed as high as $45 for a trip downtown -- the company had little choice but to tackle the issue in its latest charm offensive.
Surge pricing isn't going anywhere. The combination of inclement weather, back-to-back holidays, and downtown carousing has just been too lucrative for Uber to pass up. Not to mention the technology startup is committed to its free-market ethos, which favors pure supply-and-demand economics.
Yet, as a sort of palliative, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick offered a few "pro-tips" for riders who want to dodge the high prices this New Year's Eve.Here he is, breaking it down: Jessica Seinfeld paid to have her kids squired from a Bar Mitzvah to a sleepover has already become a symbol of tech start-up iniquity.) But, as beloved Silicon Valley watchdog Sam Biddle put it, the real take-away is that Uber's pricing schemes are "so problematic that they require an instructional video on how to avoid them." A cynic might also view this pricing primer -- which Uber fire-hosed into the inboxes of various tech journalists this morning -- as a shield against all the complaints that will inevitably come on January 1st. Which might just be the dawn of another profitable year for Uber.