Make your voice heard and make UberEats pay: These are your options!
Most of use have heard of Uber, which is a company that has set the standard for delivering ridesharing services throughout the world. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Uber expanded its business model by diving into the food delivery industry and as we deal with the “new normal” called stay at home orders, Uber Eats has become one of life’s indispensable services.
Customers begin the Uber eats process by ordering from a restaurant menu that is accessed via an app. You can also pay for a food order through the app. Uber Eats receives a notification for a food delivery order, and one of its drivers takes the food order from a restaurant to a hungry customer. There is just one problem.
The combination of running a food delivery app and physically consummating a food delivery order can lead to a dispute with a customer. It also can lead to issues with the drivers that work for Uber Eats.
The combination of delivering food and driving a vehicle in a large urban area is a recipe for a dispute. A customer might come down with a food related illness that he or she blames on the driver that delivered the food, or the driver of a car might become involved in an accident with an Uber Eats driver. Regardless of the reason for a dispute, Uber has established a clear policy for handling any disputes that involve Uber Eats.
Here is how Uber Eats addresses dispute within its terms and conditions agreement:
“Any dispute, whether contractual or otherwise, arising out of or in connection with this Agreement or these dispute resolution procedures, including any question regarding its existence, performance, validity, or termination, will be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration administered by JAMS in accordance with its Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures (the “JAMS Rules”), which are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause. The parties agree that the arbitrator (“Arbitrator”), and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve any disputes relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability or formation of this Agreement, including any claim that all or any part of this Agreement is void or voidable. The Arbitrator shall also be responsible for determining all threshold arbitrability issues, including issues relating to whether this Agreement is unconscionable or illusory and any defense to arbitration, including waiver, delay, laches, or estoppel. In the event of a dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to this Agreement, the complaining party shall notify the other party in writing thereof. Within thirty (30) days of such notice, representatives of both parties shall attempt to resolve the dispute in good faith. Should the dispute not be resolved within thirty (30) days after such notice, the complaining party shall seek remedies exclusively through arbitration.”
Although Uber Eats clearly prefers disputes to be resolved by participating in the company’s binding arbitration process, you still have three other options to force Uber Eats to resolve a customer complaint.
It is not just the cost associated with a class action lawsuit that motivates a vast majority of large companies to opt for the binding arbitration process. It is also the time it takes to litigate a class action lawsuit. The lack of a class action lawsuit option does not mean you cannot take Uber Eats to court. You can file a claim in a small claims court to seek just compensation.
However, the just compensation awarded for any small claims court case cannot be more than $10,000. If you endured the costs paying for the damages caused by a car accident with an Uber driver, a small claims court case might not cover the entire amount of the monetary damages. A small claims court judge has the authority to issue a non-monetary award, which can entail forcing Uber eats to make operational changes that prevent another occurrence of the same issue.
As a federal watchdog that oversees consumer complaints, the CFPB wields an incredible amount of legal power when it comes to handling consumer complaints. The CFPB conducts thorough investigations into the allegations made by consumers. After an investigation ends, the CFPB decide whether there is enough evidence to levy a fine and/or force a company to alter its business practices. The CFPB can also shut down a business for violating federal consumer protection law.
Although the BBB does not possess any legal authority, the leading consumer advocacy organization handles the complaints filed by consumers against companies such as Uber Eats. As a subsidiary, Uber Eats does not directly deal with the complaints filed by consumers to the BBB. Instead, parent company Uber handles every BBB-related consumer complaint. As of early 2020, the BBB has mediated nearly 5,000 complaints filed by consumers against Uber over the past three years.
It is not just the limit of just compensation that makes a small claims court case a less than desirable legal option. Small claims court cases also do not give either side a sense of finality. That is not the it is with binding arbitration, as the decision issued by a neutral arbitrator is the final word on every case.
Binding arbitration resembles a court proceeding, as both sides present evidence that support their respective claims. You should present documentation that verifies your allegations, as well as present anecdotal evidence from expert credible witnesses. Every binding arbitration hearing requires one or both parties to cover the costs associated with the hearing. Uber has not yet added information into its terms and condition policy that clearly defines which party must take care of the fees generated by the binding arbitration process.