RSDU Official Complaint to the ACCC, November 2022

We’ve highlighted Uber’s recent fake surges in our press release dated 13/10/2022.

The idea behind Uber’s surge pricing is to adjust prices of rides to match driver supply to rider demand at any given time. During periods of excessive demand when there are many more riders than drivers, or when there aren’t enough drivers on the road and passenger waiting times are long, Uber increases its normal fares by a surge multiplier.

Uber drivers are being visually notified via the app of surging areas, being enticed to drive to these areas with the premise of higher rates. Lately however drivers have been reporting being presented with normal base rate jobs in areas clearly marked as surging on the Uber app map, day after day and for extended periods of time.

We have been receiving reports from affected drivers (see this video taken by a driver on Thursday 13th Oct 2022), where rides clearly appear to be originating from a “very hot, high paying” surging area, when the actual job is nothing but a normal base rate (or very close to it) job. 

Fake surges are bad for drivers and bad for customers. Bad for the entire industry as a whole as it creates a false perception and instability, being the reason for many of the cancelations passengers are experiencing lately and long pick up waiting times.

Uber recent fake surges are nothing short of a false employment advertisement. It is our opinion that the fake/misleading information displayed to drivers by the Uber app is intentional and quite illegal. Drivers are Uber consumers, paying a commission for the booking service that Uber is providing via the driver app, expecting honest and accurate passengers demand information at all times.

The RSDU has now filed an official complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and have asked the department to get involved, a copy of our letter to the ACCC can be viewed below.

It is our view that displaying such false demand information to drivers is no different to displaying a false misleading employment ad. High demand in the Uber app context means higher fare prices/more income promised for drivers when this is not really the case, in far too many trips!

Max B. For Ride Share Drivers United,
A drivers’ advocacy group.


Drivers! Vote in our poll (closing 1/12/2022)

Have you been affected by fake Uber surges in your city in the last 60 days?

  • Yes! Very Often/Daily! (61%, 839 Votes)
  • Not at all. (33%, 457 Votes)
  • Yes. Sometimes but it's rare. (5%, 75 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,371

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Copy of our letter to the ACCC 22/11/2022: