Uber Rider Stranded in I-95 Snowstorm Hit With $700 Charge

by Clayton Edwards
(photo credit: KYU OH via Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Virginia residents braced themselves for a few inches of snow. They were ready to become a winter wonderland for a couple of days. However, the state turned into a frozen hellscape when the sky opened up and dumped nearly a foot of snow. Before long, the I-95 became a parking lot and motorists found themselves stuck there for nearly 24 hours. One man was stranded on the I-95 in an Uber.

Andrew Peters and his Uber driver spent fourteen hours stranded on the I-95. Then, when Peters finally made it home, he thought his nightmare was over. However, it was only the beginning. He quickly discovered that Uber charged him over $700 for the ride.

According to NBC News, Andrew Peters was on his way home to Richmond, Virginia. He had just flown in from San Francisco, California and landed at Dulles International Airport. Then, he called an Uber to get him the rest of the way home. Peters knew he was in for a big Uber bill even before getting stranded on the I-95. He was planning on traveling about two-and-a-half hours. In the end, he expected it to cost $200 plus a $100 tip for the driver. However, Uber tacked on another $400.

Andrew Peters on Being Stranded on I-95 in an Uber

About the charge, Peters told NBC News, “It ticked me off.” He went on to say that the charge was unfair. After all, he had no clue that his Uber would get stranded on I-95. Furthermore, he had no control over the route that his driver took.

Looking back on his daunting journey, Peters said it was like being in a “weird parking lot,” for hours. He went on to say that they got on the first exit and were immediately stuck. With cars stretching for miles ahead of them and more cars piling in behind them, there was nowhere to go. Peters said he saw several people walking around among the stalled traffic. However, he didn’t want to get too far away from the car just in case traffic started moving again.

So, What Happened to the $400 Surcharge?

Uber’s community guidelines state “Heavy traffic may cause your trip to take longer than expected and to compensate your driver for the additional time, your fare may change.” That’s usually fine because rides usually don’t go for twelve extra hours.

Peters wasn’t just going to eat the $400 surcharge. He called his bank and disputed the charge. Later, Uber refunded the extra $400. A spokesperson for the rideshare company said, “We recognized that the prolonged highway shutdown was extraordinary circumstance for him and the driver.”

After being stranded on the I-95, Peters said his New Year’s resolution is to not take an Uber in the snow.