Kenneth Bachman, a 20-year-old New Jersey man, woke up to a sobering $1,635 Uber bill after a 300-mile ride from West Virginia to NJ he does not remember booking.
Bachman told CBS Philly he was out partying with friends at a bar in Morgantown, West Virginia, last week. He says he booked an Uber to go home near the West Virginia University campus and then passed out in the car. He woke up as the cab neared Bachman’s family home in Gloucester County, NJ, only to realize he was sitting next to an Uber driver in a minivan.
“We went to a frat party and then went to the bar. I was getting drinks all night; I probably spent like $200 at the bar after already drinking all day. Basically, I kinda just blacked out.”
The ride would have cost him $800 had he booked an UberX. But Bachman said ordering in the expensive category, UberXL meant for six passengers and surge pricing, nearly doubled the bill and cost him more. After getting home, Bachman paid in cash so the driver had money for tolls on the way back to West Virginia.
Admitting it was an embarrassment, Bachman said he had challenged the ride with Uber while arguing he would not have put in his New Jersey address for the ride’s destination, more than 300 km away from his West Virginia address. Bachman alleged the Uber driver had used his phone while he was blacked out and claimed he had a FaceTime call with his friend.
An Uber spokesperson told NJ.com that the ride had taken place and the destination was keyed in by Bachman, who later agreed to pay for the ride. The passenger also gave the driver five stars.
Bachman’s story went viral and received mixed responses. He told his friends on Facebook he did not attract attention to his Uber ride but simply sent a tweet to a friend that was later picked up by news stations. Bachman denied he was an alcoholic and worked full-time. On Friday, he set up a fundraiser seeking contributions to cover his hefty Uber bill.
The $1,635 fundraiser managed to raise $50 with just a single donation in a day. Bachman slotted the fundraiser as an “emergency” and titled it “Help out Kenny Bachman.”
“Blacked out in an Uber and woke up to a $1,600 dent in my pocket,” the fundraiser’s description reads.