After a series of tweets led to an influx of headlines, the claim that Uber charges more money to people with lower phone batteries crept across the internet recently.
It claims that ride share services like Uber “raise their prices relative to your battery level.”
Does Uber change the price of some rides based off a person's cell phone battery percentage?
No, while installing Uber’s app does allow the ride share company to monitor users battery levels during use, the company doesn’t use that information to change ride prices.
WHAT WE FOUND:
In that policy, Uber details that they “collect information about the devices you use to access our services.”
In previous interviews, Uber representatives have confirmed that they can view the battery levels of their users, but they claim that information has a purpose. According to them, the information is used to determine when the app should go into a power storage mode and can be used in analytics as well.
When VERIFY reached out to Uber, they confirmed that the claims above are false and sent the following statement:
“Uber does not use personalized pricing nor is battery life a factor in determining fares. Pricing is optimized for the network as a whole, not any one individual rider or driver. We launched What Moves Us last year to explain our marketplace and share more on how our pricing and matching technology works. You can also see more on how prices are determined here.”
VERIFY also ran our own tests of the claim. Using a phone that had below 20% battery and one that had more than 90%, VERIFY team members used the same location and destination and found identical prices.
So the claim in the tweet and headlines is False, while Uber can access your battery info, they don’t use it for pricing.
And if you’re wondering how the photo in the tweet is possible if the claim is false, it’s important to note that the image doesn’t even show Uber. It shows a screenshot from the ride share app “Bolt,” which isn’t currently available in the United States.
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