FTC: Uber Duped and Hurt Its Drivers
According to The Hill, Uber is looking to become a Washington, DC powerhouse and maybe even introduce its own legislation.
Huh. Can someone check their references?
Because here’s what the Federal Trade Commission just said re: Uber in settling a $20 million lawsuit involving its treatment of drivers (whom the FCT suit calls “consumers”): “Consumers have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial injury as a result of Defendant’s violations of the FTC act. In addition, Defendant has been unjustly enriched as a result of its unlawful acts or practices. Absent injunctive relief by this Court, Defendant is likely to continue to injure consumers, reap unjust enrichment, and harm the public interest.”
Specifically, the FTC said Uber duped prospective drivers into believing they could earn a much better wage than was realistically possible. But they really and truly screwed over the folks who signed up with Uber’s “Vehicle Solutions Program.”
According to the FTC, here’s what Uber did to these drivers:
- Knowingly communicated a lower-than-actual lease cost to drivers (because Uber communicated a higher number to an auto company);
- Advertised lease rates as better than industry average when they were actually worse;
- Informed drivers the leases involved “unlimited mileage” when they did not;
- Profited from the program and debited the lease payment directly from drivers’ paychecks but refused to handle/discuss any complaints, looping them all back to the leasing companies;
- When drivers attempted to cancel the leases, they incurred “significant monetary harm.”
This “program” is where being an Uber driver-partner verges on indentured servitude.
Uber lied to prospective drivers by deceiving them about the money they could make. But it really hurt the drivers who were already down—broke people with bad credit.
The FTC suit flatly declares: “Uber’s practices have caused its Drivers to suffer millions of dollars of injury.”
Back to Uber’s references. The FTC’s permanent injunction (judicial order) prohibiting Uber from further duping its drivers joins California’s permanent injunction banning Uber from further deceiving the public about its driver background checks.
Can someone tell the legislative branch?