When customer service fails, you have legal options to file a claim against Uber, get them to listen and give you a fair resolution.
As the most recognized ridesharing company operating in the world, Uber is much more than a company that offers peer to peer ridesharing services. The San Francisco based company also provides a food delivery service under a subsidiary called Uber Eats, as well as runs a micro mobility system using bikes and scooters to help customer navigate large American cities.
Uber has a presence in more than 780 cities across the globe, with a customer base consisting of nearly 110 million users. The ridesharing company controls two-third of the ridesharing market and one-quarter of the food delivery industry.
The transportation networking industry has received criticism for unfairly treating drivers, and Uber is not an exception to the rule. In fact, Uber paid the United States government $20 million to resolve a complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the underpaid driver issue. The complaint highlighted unethical business practices, including charges Uber deceived drivers about how much they potentially could earn driving for the company. In May of 2017, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) filed a class action lawsuit that Uber eventually settled for more than $2.5 million. After the class action lawsuit settlement, Uber made changes to the company’s dispute resolution process.
“You and Uber agree that any dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to (a) these Terms or the existence, breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof, or (b) your access to or use of the Services at any time, whether before or after the date you agreed to the Terms, will be settled by binding arbitration between you and Uber, and not in a court of law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where you allege claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment occurring in connection with your use of the Services, you may elect to bring those claims in a court of competent jurisdiction instead of arbitration. Uber agrees to honor your election of forum with respect to your individual sexual assault or sexual harassment claim but in so doing does not waive the enforceability of this Arbitration Agreement as to any other provision (including, but not limited to, the waivers provided in the following paragraph, which will continue to apply in court and arbitration), controversy, claim or dispute.
You acknowledge and agree that you and Uber are each waiving the right to a trial by jury or to participate as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class action or representative proceeding. Unless both you and Uber otherwise agree in writing, any arbitration will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, collective, consolidated, or representative proceeding. However, you and Uber each retain the right to bring an individual action in small claims court and the right to seek injunctive or other equitable relief in a court of competent jurisdiction to prevent the actual or threatened infringement, misappropriation or violation of a party’s copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents or other intellectual property rights.”
Although binding arbitration prevents drivers and customers from filing class action lawsuits, there are three other legal options available for you to file a claim against Uber.
You have the right to hire an attorney and file a claim against Uber in small claims court. Just compensation awarded in small claims court cases runs between $2,500 and $10,000. This means that if you suffered monetary damages caused by a car accident involving an Uber driver that exceeds $10,000, binding arbitration represents your best legal option for seeking just compensation.
You have to pay small claim court fees, which include the cost of administering the legal hearings and the expenses charged by your lawyer.
As a complementary legal strategy, filing a complain with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can lead to changes as to how Uber conducts business. The CFPB has the legal authority to force companies to make operational changes and in some cases, the CFPB has forced unethical and unlawful businesses to shut down operations. In addition, the CFPB can issue hefty fines that the federal government agency uses to finance its oversight of companies operating in the United States. But this doesn’t get you compensation. It just holds the company to a higher standard.
Founded to act as a highly influential advocate for consumers, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) manages a comprehensive website that allows consumers to file complaints. The BBB has helped settle nearly 5,000 consumer complaints against Uber since the beginning of 2017. BBB representatives make sure every complaint the organization addresses comes from a valid source, not from a disgruntled employee.
Unlike a legal action initiated in a civil courtroom, binding arbitration ends with a decision that cannot be appealed by either party participating in the process. Both sides agree to a neutral arbitrator to oversee the hearing, as well as understand that the decision made by the arbitrator ends the process. Legal actions such as a class action lawsuit and a case filed in small claims court allows either party to file an appeal that disagrees with the legal decision. FairShake follows the binding arbitration guidelines set forth by the American Arbitration Association.
As with any legal process, binding arbitration results in costs that one or both parties must pay. Arbitrators typically refer to the terms of services policies established by companies to determine which party is on the financial hook for paying binding arbitration fees. As of early 2020, Uber has not written a clause within its binding arbitration provision that defines which party must pay the costs associated with the binding arbitration process.
Learn more about the binding arbitration process by speaking with a representative from FairShake.
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