The Surge Battle


There was a time a while back, when stability and forming a habit was a good thing. Being predictable in our behaviour was the norm. There would be people who would say that a clock can be set to perfect time by their routine.

Not anymore.

I am writing this post while I wait for the surge to end on #uber fares. The fare that should be under 350 (a year back it was closer to 300) is right now 483. #uber app says fares higher due to demand. Well some of it might be true but I think they have figured out my pattern. They know what time I usually book a cab for work. So here I am. Waiting out the surge period and hoping I beat Uber pricing today. So much for being routine oriented and predictable.

But this doesn’t just end with Uber. Take airlines and travel apps for instance. You check out pricing for a certain sector a few times and watch the fares go up. Surge pricing? Hell yeah! Our constant looking at fares has triggered some code somewhere to let the app know that there is an interest in a certain sector and fare algorithm must kick in. I knew back in old days, if something was popular and lot of people were buying it, prices would come down to get more people to buy.

Now, you hope that there aren’t many people interested in the same thing you are else the prices will go up.

By the way, an update… fare is up by a rupee on Uber 🙂

So someone help me understand. I think it has to do with economics and I was terrible at that.

When surge pricing is happening, or airline fares are going up, is there a calculation by the companies which tells them that beyond a certain price point, the consumer may not use the service. Or they now know that irrespective of the pricing, the need far outweighs the price?

Think about it. All tickets sold out at a reasonable price would have been a far better proposition than to wonder that if we jack up the price real high, ticket might not be sold. But obviously morons out there are ready to buy at whatever price.

What if we as consumers decided not to use the service because “fares are slightly higher due to increased demand” (that slightly bit is a sick joke!). We boycott all those who indulge in such practices. I know I know it is all about business demand and supply but still. It’s alright to make profit but more than 50%?? Or in case of airlines, 3 times?!!

There is a fallacy in the logic somewhere and at some point of time, it is going to bite them in their ass.

And I still wait because the far now is up to 490.

If this continues, the government and the auto makers won’t have to blame Uber and Ola. People will start buying cars and using them. The economy will be back on track!

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