New Year's Eve revellers had a love/hate relationship with their Uber drivers last night, with social media streams filling with sledges, scams and a fair amount of heartfelt thank yous to drivers.
Uber X is a U.S. made taxi app where everyday people can take riders in their car for a fee which is lower than traditional taxis. It's this year become legal in the ACT and NSW but you'll find Uber in all Australian capital cities.
For Canberra and Sydney, the New Year's Eve celebrations were the first big test, and while many went home happy, the service's sliding pay-vs-demand scale rubbed people the wrong way.
@J0HNMcTERNAN Demand is through the roof! You can wait a bit for the rates to drop or split the ride with friends.— Uber Sydney (@Uber_Sydney) December 31, 2015
That day, Uber's General Manager for Australia, David Rohrsheim told the Sydney Morning Herald they wanted passengers to be aware of their options to either pay a higher rate when demand was up, or pay less and wait until the line had subsided.
"We are as upfront as we can possibly be in terms of dynamic pricing, and we suggest individuals plan accordingly," Mr Rohrsheim told The Sydney Morning Herald.
User Aus_Pol said the rate out of the popular Fortitude Valley nightlife district was more than six times the usual rate. Just past midnight in other city locations, users said the service was quick and the rate only 0.4 percent above average.
On Twitter, there were plenty of happy customers sharing quirky stories about their drivers on New Year's Day.
uber driver just offered me water and a vodka cruiser lol. happy 2016!— Nina Las Vegas (@ninalasvegas) January 1, 2016
The @Uber_Sydney surge pricing in and around Darling Harbour when I just checked is only 1.2x. Still cheaper than a cab.— Phillip Q (@MrPhilQ) December 31, 2015
Globally, a chain-letter style cavalcade of tweets offering free Uber ride codes swept around the world.
At first glance, what looked like a scam is actually a legitimate incentive offer from Uber.
don't drink and drive tonight. use my uber code:
retweet to save a life.— Yousef Saleh Erakat (@fouseyTUBE) December 31, 2015
Drinking and driving is never worth it. Call an uber. Use my code "travism2823ue" for a free ride up to $20 🍺🚫🚙! RT, this could save someone— Abandoned (@abandonedpics) January 1, 2016
free ride Uber code : uberdashdobro
just trynna save some lives out here— Dash Dobro (@DashDobro) December 31, 2015