Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed a lawsuit against ride sharing company, Uber, due to misleading marketing tactics. The company, which does not require it’s drivers to have a taxi license, offers cheaper and quicker rides that consumers can order from an app on their phone. It has apparently been making false and misleading statements regarding consumer safety, and engaging in practices which violate California business law. While the company claims that it uses an, “industry leading background check process,” it doesn’t fingerprint its employees, which is required by law to perform an accurate background check. “The company repeats this misleading statement, giving consumers a false sense of security when deciding whether to get into a stranger’s car,” says District Attorney Lacey. She stated that although the company does perform some sort of a background check, it is rendered “completely worthless,” because it does not take fingerprints.
The San Francisco District Attorney has also filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Uber in the Superior Court, claiming that the company violates California law by causing consumers economic harm. According to the lawsuit, several unnecessary fees are charged to customers, including a $4 “airport fee toll” regardless of whether or not the driver uses a toll road to get to an airport, and a $1 “safe rides fee,” which is supposed to be for background checks. Uber is also refusing to obtain permits and approvals needed to lawfully pick up passengers from airports, and to submit its app for testing to a state agency to determine its accuracy in calculating fares.
Other ride sharing companies have come under scrutiny for the same reasons lately, with cease-and-desist orders being issued in counties in Oregon and Nevada. One of the companies, Lyft, has agreed to cooperate with demands made by the lawsuit, stating that the compromise, “demonstrates our shared commitment to consumers and innovation.” The main problem facing the lawsuits, though, is lack of definition in requirements for ride sharing companies in California. The Public Utilities Commission has recently cleared up some of the gray areas, requiring the companies to have extensive insurance policies and thorough background and vehicle safety checks. Court cases like this are expected to define unclear rules, and ride sharing companies like Uber are not expected to disappear as long as they comply with the new regulations.
If you are suffering due to fraud and misleading marketing tactics by a company, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.