Uber made false and greatly exaggerated claims about its drivers’ earnings in advertisements, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is alleging.
Uber acknowledged those claims by paying $20 million to settle a lawsuit the commission had brought against it, Bloomberg reported. The unicorn also lied about its leasing program and the amounts drivers paid to lease cars.
Some of the charges the FTC made against the ride-hailing solution include:
- Uber’s website claimed UberX drivers made $90,000 a year in New York and $74,000 a year in San Francisco. The real figures were $59,000 and $53,000.
- Craigslist ads falsely claimed that Uber drivers were making $20 an hour in Boston and $21 an hour in Chicago.
- Uber claimed its finance plans would allow drivers to buy a car for $20 a day or $140 a week. In reality drivers were paying around $200 a week for the cars. If that’s true they would have been better off buying directly from the dealer.
- Uber’s practices “have caused its drivers to suffer millions of dollars of injury,” the FTC’s complaint stated.
In the agreement Uber, apparently agreed to stop making the false claims. Uber spokesman Matt Kallman claimed that the service was making improvements but did not say what they were.
The lawsuit referred to here is Federal Trade Commission v. Uber Technologies, 17-00261, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Anti-Trump Protesters Target Uber
The FTC is not the only headache Uber has these days. Obnoxious protesters celebrated the inauguration of Donald J. Trump by chaining themselves to the doors of the company’s San Francisco headquarters, CNBC reported.
The protestors were upset because Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has joined President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. Some of the protesters were waving signs that stated: “Uber collaborates with Trump.”
The protest is a strange one because Kalanick has been a big supporter of Democrats; and an outspoken apologist for Obamacare – which Trump has promised to dismantle. It looks as if companies and CEOs that want to cooperate with Trump had better reconsider their priorities. They might become targets for what John Robb calls an open-sourced insurgency.
Uber it seems just cannot catch a break; the company is now being blamed for the misdeeds of its founders’ political opponents. One has to wonder if anybody actually likes Uber.