A Toronto man was charged nearly $20,000 for a five-mile 21-minute Uber ride. On December 8 while visiting a friend at St. Joseph's Hospital, Hisham Salama was charged $18,510.50 ($14,400 in US dollars) for the five-mile ride.

Salama told Vice Canada, "My first reaction was just to laugh."

When he saw the charge was actually pending on his card it was no longer a laughing matter. Normally fare for a ride like this is between $15 and $25.

The night of the very expensive ride he tried to reach customer service at Uber unsuccessfully.

The following morning a customer service representative from Uber gave a disastrous response:

'I can confirm that based on the pickup and drop-off locations of the trip you took, this fare is correct.'

This is when Salama took to Twitter and unleashed the power of social media. He tweeted:

@Uber @Uber_Support what turned out to be an honest mistake is now turning into the biggest blunder of 2017. I’m no longer laughing at wondering when #uber will get their act together. Can anyone help? Obviously, no 20 min fare is $18,500.

Twitter responded in a big way.


The wave of public support on Twitter forced Uber to take action. Not only did Uber refund him, but they also added a $150 credit.

Uber blamed the error on driver error, not a technical glitch, according to the Canadian Press.

Uber released a statement to Slate:

There was an error here and it has been resolved. We have provided a full refund to this rider and apologized to him for this experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred.

Salama took to Twitter to thank all of the strangers on Twitter who had his back:

Thank you to everyone who tweeted and retweeted about my magical $18,500 @Uber ride. @Uber_Support has refunded the fare and apologized. I am hopeful that I will be able to speak to someone on their leadership team about my issue and timing of resolution next week.

All is well that ends well. So they say anyway.

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