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People Are More Likely to Pay Uber’s Surge Pricing If Their Phone Is Dying

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Every smartphone user—heck, every cell phone owner—understands the sense of panic that overcomes you when your phone is clinging to its battery life. The moment when you notice your little battery display turn red, the feeling that your life is over hits.

Low Battery Gif

Now, it looks like Uber has found that its users are more likely to pay surge pricing, which is pricing that takes busier times into account, when their phones are going to die.

When you download the Uber app, you automatically give the company access to your camera, contacts, and locations—along with your battery life, too. Through these permissions, the transportation giant has figured out that riders are more likely to pay surge pricing once the panic of a phone dying sets in.

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During a recent chat on NPR’s The Hidden Brain podcast, Uber’s head of economic research Keith Chen brought up the study. He explained that Uber keeps tabs on battery life in order to know when to go into energy-conservation mode, instead of just keeping track of a user’s likelihood of paying surge pricing.

Along with the increased chance of user’s paying surge pricing with a dying phone, Chen stated that Uber found riders are more likely to pay surge pricing once it reaches 2.1 times the regular rate than they are at two times the regular price. This is due to the fact that a 2.1 times price hike makes it feel as if there is “a smart algorithm in the background” that calculated the price hike.

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Chen went on to ensure listeners that Uber isn’t using this fact to push higher surge pricing. He stated, “We absolutely don’t use that to kind of like push you a higher surge price, but it’s an interesting kind of psychological fact of human behavior.”

What do you think about Uber’s surge pricing? Do you think it’s appropriate for the transportation to charge more during busier times? Share your thoughts with us below.

News Source: Digital TrendsNext-Article-Button