Woman Crowdfunds to Pay for $362 Uber Ride, Evidently Turns a Profit

Halloween surge pricing made it impossible for her to pay rent, she said.

— -- A Baltimore woman received a fright the day after Halloween when she discovered the car service she'd taken home cost almost as much as her rent.

But the solution she came up with was decidedly rich: to set up a crowdfunding campaign to make up for the lost funds.

In a GoFundMe post titled, "Uber Stole My 26th Birthday," Gabrielle Wathen described how, after celebrating at a party 20 minutes away on Friday night, she decided to take an Uber ride home "to avoid drunk driving" but was unaware of surge pricing in effect for the holiday. When she saw the following day that her account had been charged $362.57 for the transport, Wathen realized she would be unable to pay the $450 rent due the same day, which also was her birthday.

"I feel taken advantage of and cheated by the Uber name," she wrote on her campaign page. "$367 [sic] for a 20 minute ride should never be justified, even on Halloween. Please donate even just $1 if you think this is utter and complete bulls*** and also hilarious and very, very depressing at the same time."

Fifteen hours later, the Internet had not only responded to her complaint but exceeded the donation goal, raising at least $573, the total shown before the page was taken down.

Wathen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A representative for GoFundMe confirmed to ABC News that the account was real, adding that it was taken down by the user.

That hasn't stopped others from continuing to talk about the incident online.

"So the lesson learned from this girl who blew $362 on Uber is that you can start a crowdfunding campaign to make up for your drunk mistakes?" wrote one person on Twitter.

Others likened the charges to highway robbery.

“You think charging 362 dollars, almost 400 bucks, for one 20 minute ride, knowing that it's a holiday and people will probably be doing a little drinking and less apt to notice the hiking of the [fare], to such EXTREME amounts, is just a good company with good policies, and this girl just got what was coming to her?" commented one man in response to a report on the incident on Buzzfeed. "No. This has nothing to do with entitlement, this is highway robbery by a morally bankrupt company who has lost a customer for life!”

In response to the campaign, Uber confirmed the $362.57 bill and offered the following statement to ABC News: "Uber ensures a safe, reliable ride, wherever and whenever, and dynamic pricing allows us to remain the reliable choice, even on the busiest nights of the year. Our in-app features ensure dynamic pricing is repeatedly communicated and approved before any trip is confirmed."

In order for a driver to respond to a pickup request, the rider must manually retype in the quoted surge pricing before accepting it. A fare estimator is also offered in the app.