Weekly Round-Up: A $30,000 Uber Ride?!

In this edition of our weekly round-up, due to a glitch, a vacationing Uber passenger was stuck with an almost $30k ride.

Also this week, a Minneapolis man pleads guilty in a carjacking ring targeting Uber and Lyft drivers.

Woman Charged Nearly $30,000 for Uber Ride on Vacation


A woman vacationing in Costa Rica was left “absolutely shocked” after being charged nearly $30,000 for an Uber ride.

Dominique Adams told Newsweek how her “heart sank” when she realized she had been charged $29,994 for a journey from the resort where she was staying in Costa Rica to the airport.

Adams, an American, was on her way to meet her husband to celebrate their five-year wedding anniversary in Guatemala but, after checking her recent transactions, realized she had been mistakenly charged in U.S. dollars rather than the Costa Rican Colón….

woman charged nearly $30k for uber ride on vacation
Woman Charged Nearly $30k for Uber Ride on Vacation

My Take

I would have had a heart attack if I saw that number being charged. For one, I don’t have a credit card that would cover it anyway, so it would likely have been kicked back or flagged as questionable by any credit card company I had used.

Though, according to the article, because she had flagged she was traveling, the bank didn’t find this charge to be suspicious. Not exactly a glowing review for the company nor does it encourage telling them you’re on vacation.

Having that kind of deficit on your accounts would certainly ruin the mood of any vacation.

William Saffold Pleads Guilty To Violent Carjacking Ring That Targeted Uber And Lyft Drivers


A 20-year-old Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty for his role in a violent carjacking ring targeting rideshare drivers and for pointing a gun at an FBI agent, federal officials announced Thursday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Minnesota, William Saffold and his co-conspirators would target Lyft and Uber drivers, luring the victims to particular locations. Once the victim arrived, Saffold and others would brandish firearms and force the victim to give them their phones, along with the password.

“The conspiracy members then transferred money, via Cash App or other applications, from the accounts of the victim-drivers to the accounts of members of the conspiracy,” the attorney’s office said. “To intimidate and force compliance, members of the conspiracy struck, pistol whipped, and threatened to kill the victim-drivers.”

After the funds were transferred, the victim’s vehicle would be taken at gunpoint….

My Take

That’s scary! And that’s one reason I am glad I no longer drive for Uber or Lyft in the Twin Cities.

I potentially would have unknowingly gone to one of these dangerous locations without realizing it, assuming the best of my supposed passengers only to have all of my money stolen and my car stolen.

I am glad they caught one person, and I hope they continue to destroy this carjacking ring. No driver should fear for their life/safety while on the job. This is terrible. We need more safety measures in place. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

Uber Rival Bolt Names New CFO In Preparation For IPO


Estonian ride-hailing and food delivery startup Bolt named Mikko Salovaara as its chief financial officer ahead of the company’s preparation for an initial public offering.

The company, a rival of Uber (UBER.N), was valued at over $8 billion when it raised 628 million euros from investors in January last year.

Chief Executive Officer Markus Villig told Reuters in May that Bolt expects to become profitable in the next 12 months and be ready for an IPO in 2025. The company has 150 million customers in over 45 countries and 500 cities….

Bolt named Mikko Salovaara as its chief financial officer
Bolt named Mikko Salovaara as its CFO

My Take

Another rideshare company is stepping up to the IPO plate. Bolt seems to be playing the game a little differently than rival Uber, however. They are looking to become profitable before going public, with a goal IPO of sometime in 2025.

They seem to be well spread across the globe so far and I imagine they have their eye on expanding to further markets as well.

A DoorDash Delivery Worker Was Fired After Cursing At A Woman Who Gave A $5 Tip On A $20 Order


A DoorDash delivery driver was fired for cursing at a woman who tipped him $5 on a $20 order.

TikTok user Lacey Purciful posted a video from a door camera that appeared to show the delivery driver handing her a pizza box from a red DoorDash bag – Purciful isn’t visible in the video.

The driver says: “I just want to say it’s a nice house for a $5 tip.” Purciful can be heard firing back: “You’re welcome,” to which responds: “Fuck you,” while walking away.

Purciful clarified in the comment section that she contacted DoorDash and the driver has since been fired. A spokesperson for DoorDash confirmed this in a statement to Insider….

My Take

The nerve of some people! I get that the pay is garbage and you might expect a certain dollar amount per delivery despite the cost of it for your customer, but to curse at your customer for a $5 tip that was actually a 22% tip?

That person does not deserve to be in any kind of service industry job. They will not be happy in any position where customer service is a necessity.

This is one time where I definitely side with the customer and with DoorDash. I am glad they got fired for treating a customer so poorly. 22% is well above the standard for tips for any service industry worker.

dasher fired for cussing at customer over tip
Dasher Fired for Cussing at Customer Over Tip

Instacart Debuts AI-Powered Smart Carts for Grocery Shoppers


For shoppers that prefer to skip face-to-face interaction with a cashier but still want a faster option than self-checkout, Instacart’s latest grocery technology may be the right fit.

The online grocery marketplace has launched the newest version of its smart carts for shoppers.

Powered by AI and equipped with computer vision technology and weight scales, the Caper Cart recognizes and scans items as they are placed in the cart, ringing up totals automatically.

The carts feature a large touchscreen that displays prices, helps customers navigate the store, and checks off items from a premade list online….

My Take

Obviously, this will take a while to catch on in all of their markets. Instacart is available in several stores and this kind of technology might not work with all of their partners.

Plus, they would have to be stored in a separate area from the standard shopping carts so the regular customer doesn’t accidentally try to use them when not there on official Instacart business.

If you’re an Instacart shopper and have the opportunity to use these smart carts, please share with us your experience! I’d love to hear how it went for you and if you’ll continue using it in the future.

RSG in the News This Week