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Upfront pricing and authorization holds on your trips

February 2, 2017 / Kenya

At Uber, we’re always trying to give you the most seamless experience possible, from the moment you request a ride to when you’re dropped-off at your destination. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’re rolling out upfront fares in Kenya!

With upfront fares, all you have to do is enter your pickup and drop-off locations, and this new feature will show you the price for that trip. Upfront fares are calculated using the expected time and distance of the trip, traffic conditions, as well as the availability of driver-partners. This way, you can always decide what works for you and your budget.

No surprises or complicated maths – just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Simply set your pickup and drop-off locations, and view the guaranteed fare displayed in the app. Once you successfully complete a ride, you will then receive a receipt reflecting your upfront fare. If you have multiple stops or have to change your destination mid-trip, don’t worry! Fares will simply fall back to the original time and distance rates.

With the launch of upfront pricing, you will see some changes. Similar to how hotels charge their guests, Uber now authorizes your non-cash payment method for every trip requested, to the amount of the Upfront Fare. At the start of a trip, Uber may place a temporary authorization hold for the upfront fare of the trip on your payment method. This will show up as a “pending” charge on your account.

When the trip completes, this hold is converted to a charge for the final trip fare. If the trip has been cancelled or the total fare is different than the upfront price, the original authorization hold should disappear from your account, but depending on your bank policy this might take up to a few days.

If you would like to confirm a specific item on your statement, please contact your bank directly.


Why are you doing this?

When you book a plane ticket or hotel room, you know the price before you buy it. There’s no maths and no surprises – we see this as the right approach for Uber.

Will dynamic pricing (surge) be included in the upfront fare?

Yes, if there are more people requesting rides than drivers available, fares will increase via dynamic pricing. The price the rider is shown is guaranteed upfront, and you cannot request a ride without approving the cost beforehand.

Will I ever be charged an amount other than my upfront fare?

On rare occasions, you will be charged for wait time. Wait time charges are incurred after 2 minutes of the driver arriving at your location, so always ensure you’re ready to go when you request. Wait time will be added on top of your upfront fare, and will appear as a line item on your receipt. If your pickup or drop off locations change, your trip may revert to standard time and distance pricing.

What if I need to change my destination?

You can easily change your destination in the Uber app. When you update your destination after you’ve requested, your fare may revert to time and distance pricing.

What are Rider Fees?

These are costs that are applied to a ride if a trip has a toll or surcharge due to the use of a certain route. To give our riders the most convenient experience, these costs are already included in the upfront fare.

Have fare calculations actually changed?

No. Upfront fares take into account all the factors that typically affect the price of a trip, including the expected time, distance, and traffic, as well as how many other riders are requesting rides and how many drivers are nearby. The only change is that we’re now displaying it for you upfront – no maths, no surprises.

Why did I receive a text from my bank before the trip started?

The authorization hold will take place upon requesting your ride. Some banks may send a text notification that an authorization hold has been charged to your account. However sometimes these look the same as actual charges – don’t worry, the authorization holds will either convert into the actual charge or be voided by your bank within a few days.

If I take multiple trips in the same day, will I receive multiple authorization holds?

It depends – if an authorization hold from a previous trip has not been completed or cancelled yet, the same authorization hold can be used for multiple trips. However, it’s possible to receive multiple authorization holds on the same day if the previous authorization hold has already been processed.

Why is the amount of the authorization hold higher than my Upfront Fare?

Currently, authorization holds are for the full amount of the trip, excluding any promotions or discounts. Don’t worry though, you’ll only ever be charged the correct amount, and any unused authorization hold amounts will be refunded back to your payment method.

How can I tell the difference between an authorization charge and an actual charge?

In your credit card statement, the charge should show up as pending or voided, and will not be showing as settled. If you need clarification on your bank’s policy on authorization holds, we recommend contacting your bank directly.

Why was I prompted to add another payment method?

This may happen if the authorization hold is not successful. If the amount of the Upfront Fare is not available for us to hold, you will be unable to request a ride. In this scenario we recommend adding another payment method, or following up with your bank.

What happens when a trip is cancelled?

If you cancel the trip within Uber’s cancellation policy, the authorization hold will be voided immediately, although it may take several business days for this to reflect on your payment method.

Why did I have two charges for the same trip?

This can happen if you update your destination within the trip, leading to your final fare being higher than the initial authorization amount. If a second authorization hold for entire actual amount is not successful, your bill may be split into two receipts. Please contact us through help.uber if you need assistance with any authorization hold issues.