Uber South Africa today sent out an email to its users explaining that they will be rolling out upfront fares from Thursday 22nd December 2016.

Explaining that this will bring their service’s pricing structure in line with that of hotels and airlines, users will now know exactly how much a trip will cost before they get into on of the service’s cars.

These fares will be calculated using a number of variables including distance, time, traffic and driver availability.

All a user needs to do is enter their current and desired locations and a fare is calculated by the app. After being picked up an “authorisation hold charge” is placed on the user’s account for the total of the fare. If the trip is completed this turns into a regular charge against the account.

If the trip is not complete or the total fare deviates from the price displayed at the beginning of the trip, the hold charge should disappear. Uber warns that this may take several days depending on the user’s bank.

You can find the full FAQs regarding upfront fare’s below, as they were published by the company in this announcement.

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.

What is a Auth-Hold charge? 
At the start of a trip, Uber may place a temporary authorisation 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 authorisation hold should disappear from your account, but depending on your bank policy this might take up to a few days.

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.

[Image – CC 2.0 By Arvind Grover]
Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.