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Does an available Amex credit make your Uber ride more expensive?

Does an available Amex credit make your Uber ride more expensive?

Old Oct 5, 19, 3:40 pm
  #1  
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Does an available Amex credit make your Uber ride more expensive?

Not sure if this was covered up thread but I noticed some slimy behavior from the Uber app with Amex cash loaded on it.

looking at HNL>Waikiki, Lyft was $24. I checked Uber and - surprise - the most basic car type is $48. Hmm could that be because of my Amex cash? I checked google maps and it priced Uber at - surprise - $24. When I used google to access the Uber app for booking, the $48 became $24 in the app.

seems slimy to me
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Old Oct 5, 19, 3:43 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Not sure if this was covered up thread ....
Inconclusive discussion in 2017:

Does Amex Platinum make Uber trips more expensive?
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Old Oct 5, 19, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Missed that thread but it seems prett conclusive to me based on my observation. I guess going the google maps route first will force transparent pricing but this sounds like a lawsuit opportunity to me.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Not sure if this was covered up thread but I noticed some slimy behavior from the Uber app with Amex cash loaded on it.

looking at HNL>Waikiki, Lyft was $24. I checked Uber and - surprise - the most basic car type is $48. Hmm could that be because of my Amex cash? I checked google maps and it priced Uber at - surprise - $24. When I used google to access the Uber app for booking, the $48 became $24 in the app.

seems slimy to me
Not at all my experience to/from HNL. Most recently picked up at HNL and brought to my home, further than Waikiki. Total charge for Uber XL was about $48ish, less my store of Amex and other cash benefits. The price has been consistent for this route. YMMV.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Missed that thread but it seems prett conclusive to me based on my observation. I guess going the google maps route first will force transparent pricing but this sounds like a lawsuit opportunity to me.
Hmm, I've also noticed some outrageous Uber pricing the last couple of times I opened the app; Lyft was 50-60% of the price.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Not at all my experience to/from HNL. Most recently picked up at HNL and brought to my home, further than Waikiki. Total charge for Uber XL was about $48ish, less my store of Amex and other cash benefits. The price has been consistent for this route. YMMV.
I did not detect any differences between this experience and the one from bocastephen. You only omitted the comparison with Lyft and Google Maps quotes. Did I miss something?
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxVO View Post
I did not detect any differences between this experience and the one from bocastephen. You only omitted the comparison with Lyft and Google Maps quotes. Did I miss something?
Perhaps you missed the points that I was using a premium vehicle, traveling a greater distance than the OP, and have a long history of experience taking multiple forms of transportation to/from HNL. Therefore, I know a good deal when I see it.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Not at all my experience to/from HNL. Most recently picked up at HNL and brought to my home, further than Waikiki. Total charge for Uber XL was about $48ish, less my store of Amex and other cash benefits. The price has been consistent for this route. YMMV.
I was booking a basic car, and I know this is an issue because I was able to replicate it, and every time I used google maps as the source, the Uber price changed when the app opened. Further I did additional tests from my hotel to Ala Moana mall and the Diamond Head trail entrance. Same issue.

I never saw it before because I only used Uber in Canada where the Amex cash doesn’t apply.

Given the reputation of Uber senior management, this doesn’t smell like a tech defect but definitely a deliberate attempt to scam customers using Amex cash.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
....every time I used google maps as the source, the Uber price changed when the app opened. .....
Can you replicate this with another device? It sounds as if the Uber app on your phone may not have accurate location data.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Can you replicate this with another device? It sounds as if the Uber app on your phone may not have accurate location data.
Uber uses the phone's Location Services, same source as Google Maps. If you turn off location, mobile Uber wouldn't work at all. I could still get Uber price estimates without location from their website on a desktop.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Can you replicate this with another device? It sounds as if the Uber app on your phone may not have accurate location data.
I don't have another device, but when I setup the pickup, I can pinpoint my location exactly in the app - it gave me the false price, then I switched to Google Maps, got the "correct price", then immediately switched to the Uber app from Google, and the prices that were listed from the original search quickly updated (like by 50%) without changing any location information.

Now after I spent the Amex cash balance down to zero - guess what happened - the behavior stopped.

This is looking more and more like a scam, and I think it would be helpful for other forum members to do their own tests and report back to make sure it can be replicated across accounts and devices - and if we get more reports of this behavior, then I think the media should be notified, unless we have an attorney in the group who wants to try and extort a settlement from Uber.

I don't think this is something Amex is doing - however who knows if they are aware of it or not. Like I wrote upthread, this type of behavior is right in line with how Uber does business.

To do the test, I would suggest the following approach:

1. make sure Uber and Google Maps are not running on your device - kill them from the sleeping apps list
2. make sure you have a positive cash balance in your Uber cash account from Amex
3. open Uber, setup a ride and get a price - then if you have Lyft, do the same thing and compare - if Uber is way above the Lyft estimate, then you have a valid test to move forward
4. leave Uber open, but switch to Google Maps, setup a from-to directions and choose the ride hailing option
5. check the price from both Uber and Lyft to make sure they are in reasonable alignment
6. click the Uber link which will then re-open the Uber app directly from Google Maps, and you should see the prices change to match what was in the range quoted by Google Maps
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
I was booking a basic car, and I know this is an issue because I was able to replicate it, and every time I used google maps as the source, the Uber price changed when the app opened. Further I did additional tests from my hotel to Ala Moana mall and the Diamond Head trail entrance. Same issue.

I never saw it before because I only used Uber in Canada where the Amex cash doesn’t apply.

Given the reputation of Uber senior management, this doesn’t smell like a tech defect but definitely a deliberate attempt to scam customers using Amex cash.
I just had a chance to compare pricing using my phone vs. my wife's phone. I have the Amex benefit, and she does not (she has no Amex card in her profile). The prices quoted were within cents of each other. Does not appear that scamming is going on, at least not right now at this location.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:42 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I just had a chance to compare pricing using my phone vs. my wife's phone. I have the Amex benefit, and she does not (she has no Amex card in her profile). The prices quoted were within cents of each other. Does not appear that scamming is going on, at least not right now at this location.
I am in the same situation as you and my wife and I just compared prices for a dummy trip to the airport. The prices were virtually identical.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
I just had a chance to compare pricing using my phone vs. my wife's phone. I have the Amex benefit, and she does not (she has no Amex card in her profile). The prices quoted were within cents of each other. Does not appear that scamming is going on, at least not right now at this location.
I've also tested this out 4 or 5 times in multiple locations with multiple other people's phones (who don't have the Amex Uber credit). Every single time all of our quoted rates have also been with a few cents of each other.

However, I've read about this issue happening to multiple people, so I'm guessing Uber might be using other factors in addition to having the Amex credit in deciding when to inflate their prices.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by IndyHoosier View Post
I've also tested this out 4 or 5 times in multiple locations with multiple other people's phones (who don't have the Amex Uber credit). Every single time all of our quoted rates have also been with a few cents of each other.
Such "test mode" can be easily identified by any "cheating software", i.e. several phones within feet of each other asking for the same trip. Remember the DieselGate fiasco?
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