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Uber slammed for surge pricing during London attacks

Ride-sharing service Uber was criticized for keeping its surge
pricing in place as panicked pedestrians tried to escape the
terrorists who plowed into people on the London Bridge with a
van and stabbed patrons at nearby bars.

Users of the app went on social media to blast the company for
being slow to end the surge pricing and accused it of trying to
profit from attacks that sent streams of people fleeing the
rampage that killed seven and wounded scores Saturday night.

“Big fan of @Uber but bitterly disappointed in profiting from a
terrorist attack. ~£7 Knightsbridge to Victoria. Charging £40
#UberLondon,” said Simon Moores in a tweet from Saturday night,
referring to the fare increase from about $8 to $45.

“Hey @Uber — you’re really going to surge price x2.1 during a
terrorist attack in #London??? Lower than low. #londonbridge
#emergency,” Amber Clemente wrote on the social media messaging
site.

Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London, defended the
company’s response.

“As soon as we heard about the incident we immediately
suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks –
and shortly afterward across the whole of central London – just
as we did following the attacks in Manchester and Westminster,”
he said.

Read: Ride-hailing industry expected to grow
eightfold to $285 billion by 2030

Uber uses an algorithm that raises prices when demand is high,
but usually turns off the program during emergencies and
disasters.

According to CNN, the first calls to emergency services were
made at 10:08 p.m. Saturday. Uber said it had disabled surge
pricing in the area around the attack by 10:50 p.m. and
extended the suspension to include all of central London by
11:40 p.m.

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