SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A new lawsuit accuses Uber of pulling a bait and switch. Not with its passengers, but with its drivers.
The company’s new pricing policy has some drivers crying foul.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft were originally developed to cut out corporate run-around. The transaction is meant to be between a passenger and a driver.
A law firm in Los Angeles claims Uber maliciously and deliberately broke this system by ripping off its drivers and secretly taking money from passengers.
Attorneys Bobby Saadian and Daniel Miller firm filed a class-action lawsuit against the rideshare company for its pricing system released last year. “They’re being egregious, they’re double dipping,” said Saadian.
Here’s how it works: A passenger would agree to a fare amount to get from point A to point B. Let’s say its $25. Uber shows the passenger a route costing $25. On the driver’s app, the driver gets a quote from Uber showing a different, often cheaper, more direct route. The driver takes home only the money earned for miles driven, not the higher amount of money the passenger paid for.
And that’s on top of the 20 to 25 percent cut Uber already takes of the fare.
Saadian said, “Uber is systematically overcharging and underpaying, and pocketing the difference.”
Uber doesn’t deny this, in a statement released Wednesday Uber said, “We price routes differently based on our understanding of riders’ choices … Riders will always know the cost of a trip before requesting a ride, and drivers will earn consistently for the work they perform with full transparency into what a rider pays and what Uber makes on every trip.”
On Friday, Uber agreed to be transparent about the pricing system so drivers can see Ubers’ take.
Christian Perea just wishes they had done it sooner. He’s been an Uber driver for four years and blogs about the industry at Rideshareguy.com.
He thinks Uber owes him money too and that the company is going against what rideshare was meant to be about.
“You know, at the end of the day, the ride I would give you would help pay my rent … and the money stays among people. But now it just seems much different,” Perea said.
It’s worth noting that Lyft has not come forward promising to be transparent with how much money it takes from each ride.
Drivers like Perea say – now’s the time for Lyft to come forward too.