Six major chains from pubs to ticket sites hiking prices for customers during peak times – and fans are livid | The Sun

SIX major chains and providers are hiking prices during peak times, piling pressure on consumers.

Well-known brands are adjusting their prices during times of high demand through what's known as surge or dynamic pricing.

Businesses across various sectors use the method during busier times to make extra profit or counteract higher costs.

Airbnb allows hosts on its platform to trigger a setting which adjusts prices automatically for customers based on demand.

Stonegate, the pub chain, last month revealed it's implemented dynamic pricing, upping the cost of a pint between 5-7pm.

Meanwhile, a number of electric vehicle charging point companies slap customers with higher rates during peak hours.

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Plus, one "big Italian" chain in London is said to be using dynamic pricing – by changing the prices on its digital menus based on demand – according to Andrea Maria Cosentino, founder of strategic consultancy Impact Fundry.

However, he was unable to name which one.

Dynamic pricing started being employed by airlines in the 1980s and is widely used across the travel and hospitality industry today.

But consumers are noticing the practice even more across retailers and pubs in recent months.

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A poll by Barclays this October found that 47% of 2,000 people surveyed had noticed a rise in the pricing method across retailers.

It also found that 32% experienced pubs and bars raising the price of food and drink at peak times such as evenings, weekends and during major sporting events.

James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, told The Sun dynamic pricing makes it harder for consumers to make "informed decisions" and buy at the best price.

"If dynamic pricing is going to stick around, those firms who use it need to be fully transparent about the rules of the game – so that customers can make like-for-like comparisons and choose to buy from a position of strength, he said.

Here's the full list of companies that use surge pricing:


Airbnb is a platform where property owners can advertise rooms or entire homes for an agreed price.

Prices vary depending on what time of year you're staying, and of course, the location.

But the platform also has a "Smart Pricing" feature which hosts can trigger that automatically changes the price of their accommodation based on demand.

The website says the tool is helpful to "optimise pricing without constantly monitoring it".

And while it means customers may pay lower prices during quieter periods, they could have to fork out more at times of high demand.

A spokesperson for the company said hosts are "always responsible for their price and they can adjust their nightly prices at any time", which included switching off or overriding Smart Pricing.


Stonegate, with 4,500 boozers across the UK, angered punters last month after hiking the price of drinks between 5-7pm.

The chain, which runs the Slug and Lettuce and Yates pubs, is now charging more on midweek early evenings and weekends.

A spokesperson previously told The Sun: "On occasions, pricing may marginally increase due to increased cost demands", including the need for more staff.

But the move has been met with backlash by punters.

One said: "Time to call time on patronising their pubs," while another added: "Well that should stop them being so busy."

It comes after the group secretly hiked prices by up to £1 for football fans during England matches at the 2022 World Cup.

Ubitricity, Genie Point and

Three electric vehicle charging companies charge customers different prices depending on what day they plug in.

Ubitricity, part of The Shell Group, started hiking prices for customers during peak hours in January.

It now charges 46p per kWh for anyone charging between 7pm and 4pm and 79p between 4pm and 7pm.

Customers charging between midnight and 7am are charged 37p.

Meanwhile, Genie Point also charges customers 79p per kWh to plug in between 8am and 7.59pm each day and 75p between 8pm and 7.59am. charges its customers 29p per kWh for plugging in from midnight to 7am and 65p per kWh between 7am and midnight.

A spokesperson said it hiked prices at certain times to reduce carbon emissions and noted its move had been "loved" by customers.

They added that since it had implemented the change in December last year, the proportion of electricity it supplied to drivers between midnight and 7am had doubled.

Genie Point and Ubitricity failed to respond to a request for comment.


Ticketmaster is a website and app which sells tickets for concerts and other live entertainment events.

It does not set the price of tickets, instead allowing promoters and artists to decide on the price of concerts themselves.

A spokesperson for the company told The Sun it uses dynamic pricingwhen demand for artists is higher as it offers them more value and discourages touts from cashing in.

But the pricing model has seen music fans paying over the odds on tickets for popular bands and musicians including Harry Styles and Coldplay.

One fan said: "Seriously though, dynamic pricing on Ticketmaster is so blatantly ridiculous.

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"Tickets to Beyonce, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift are in high demand, they're selling out stadiums."

Another said: "The Ticketmaster dynamic pricing is a rip off."

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