Uber rider hit with $600 bill during I-95 delays to get refund

An Uber rider who was hit with a $600 bill while stuck on Interstate 95 in Virginia during the first major snowfall in the D.C. area said the ride-share company is going to issue him a refund.

Andrew Peters, of Richmond, was coming in from San Francisco on Monday and said that he did not know about what was happening in Virginia. He got in an Uber at Dulles International Airport to go home. It appears that the driver also did not realize how dire the traffic was and went on the highway and got stuck in traffic.

It took nine hours to get home, and cost $600 total — in addition to the original $200 Uber bill was $400 in extra charges.

The company reached out to Peters on Wednesday and apologized for what happened.

“They were sorry to hear that I had … so many problems with the app, and with the override, and with the highway and that they would love to issue me a full refund,” Peters said.

Uber spokeswoman Michelle Blackwell said that Uber has refunded Peters $600 “after this terrible ordeal and are so glad that he and his Uber driver got home safely.”

Peters said he would be fine paying the original $200 base fee and the tip. In trying to figure out what happened, he did some research on why his fare changed.

As of Wednesday, $200 has been credited to his account, and Peters said Uber told him the $400 charge will be refunded in a few days.

“There’s like an interface on the app that you can get trip help or provide driver feedback. And when I was pressing those buttons, there was an option for ‘Why did my fare change?’ And, you know, it’s traffic or construction. And if you press the button on there, it says, ‘There’s nothing we can do for that.’ … You kind of have to pay it based on how long your trip was. So that was a little frustrating. And because, you know, it isn’t a person that’s just (the) app saying those types of things, so I wasn’t able to get anybody on the phone,” Peters said.

Peters said he feels better with the refund, and his Uber driver was amazing. But it was hard to contact somebody at Uber.

“But I’m glad that they got to see what happened and that they understand why I was frustrated,” he said.

Uber said the driver will get paid, including a tip.

“We appreciate Mr. Peters’ patience with us. The process started after he initiated the refund request and he should be able to see the full refund now,” Blackwell said.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

A winter wonderland in the D.C. area. (Courtesy of Conner Prochaska)
St. Anselms Abbey DC snow. (Courtesy of Mike Simo)
St. Anselms Abbey DC snow. (Courtesy of Mike Simo)
A beautiful snow covered puppy enjoying the winter weather. (Courtesy of Courtney Linkous)
This is Mason Flaherty enjoying sledding in the snow. (Courtesy of Bradley Jones)
From the Widewater area of North Stafford. (Courtesy of Nancy Sullivan)
A snowy start to the new year here at the White House. (Courtesy of the White House)
A sunset view of snow and waterways in the region. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Winter storm clouds moving through Reston, Virginia. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
The Lincoln Memorial stands on the opposite end of the reflecting pool in this snowy scene. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
A nice white coat covers the World War II memorial on the National Mall. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
A few residents make use of the thick snow to assemble a snow man on the National Mall. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
The Washington Monument looks down on the snow-covered ground at its base. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
Snow coats Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Rick Massimo)
Snow coats Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Rick Massimo)
Snow lines the streets in Bethesda, Maryland. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Snow blankets Chevy Chase, Maryland. (WTOP/Alejandro Alvarez)
Snow and ice drape the trees in Prince George’s County, Maryland. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
The U.S. Capitol is shrouded in snow Monday. (WTOP/Zeke Hartner)
The Capitol gets a dose of snow. (WTOP/Mitchell Miller)
Chevy Chase in the snow. (WTOP/Jacob Kerr)
Mile 1 on Route 5. “Stay home.” (Courtesy Marcel Westney)
The roads in Rockville, Maryland, have seen their share of snow. (WTOP/Craig Schwalb)
Dogs still have to have their walks, even on snow days. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
A plow travels along Wisconsin Avenue on Monday morning. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
Heading out on the snowy sidewalks in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
A fox plays with a dog toy during snowfall in McLean, Virginia. (Courtesy Kathleen Kline Moore)
In Waldorf, Maryland, a freshly plowed parking lot is already getting recovered in snow. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
polar bear and penguin inflatables
Snow made a winter wonderland for some holiday inflatables that are still up in Alexandria, Virginia, on Jan. 3. (Courtesy Ed Kelleher)
Southeast D.C. is getting its fair share of snow. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
Southeast D.C. is getting its fair share of snow. (WTOP/Sarah Beth Hensley)
There’s a soccer field somewhere behind the trees in Reston, Virginia, where the snow gets heavier and heavier. (WTOP/Will Vitka)
Heavy snow, low visibility on Route 15 in Prince William County in Virginia, near Haymarket. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Route 15 approaches white-out conditions in Virginia’s Prince William County. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
The season’s first snowfall is making itself known in Annapolis, Maryland. (WTOP/Chris Roth)
Snow piles up on the road on U.S. 301 in Brandywine. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
Snow starts to pile up in southern Prince George’s County, Maryland. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
A plow gets ready in Bowie, Maryland.  (WTOP/Luke Lukert)
polar bear and penguin inflatables
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