Uber faces lawsuit over $1 safe-ride fee

After being hit by waves of passenger safety complaints from incidences in Boston and New Delhi, Uber has now been slapped with a class-action lawsuit by two passengers for the $1 safe-ride fee.

The lawsuit, which was filed last Tuesday in a federal court in San Francisco, CA claims that the company misleadingly represented its “safe rides fee” as “industry leading,” according to Forbes. The lawsuit seeks restitution for every $1 fee charged to Uber users across the U.S.

The safe ride fee was introduced by Uber in April this year to cover for its safety program that involves background checks, training drivers and vehicle inspection. The company claimed its safety program to have the highest standards far "rigorous" than of an ordinary taxi driver. However, the lawsuit claims its use of language to be misleading as drivers are not fingerprinted, thereby, leaving a large scope of false identity.

The lawsuit is the latest among a series of other lawsuits filed by not just passengers, but also drivers and other cab companies. Another lawsuit was filed on behalf of a passenger who was charged a $4 fee that was being charged to passengers going to San Francisco International Airport to reimburse drivers. Similarly, Uber also overcharged passengers using its service from Boston's Logan Airport for which it's facing another lawsuit filed this November.

“We don’t expect to get 100 cents on the dollar — that would be shooting the moon,” said Nicholas Coulson, one of the attorneys filing the lawsuit. “But we do aim to get the greatest possible restitution.”

Amidst lawsuits and shutdowns, Uber, which was recently valued at $41 billion, is expanding its business on retail front. Uber recently joined hands with TouchBistro, an iPad POS solution, to provide $20 off on first rides for customers using promo codes issued by TouchBistro merchants. Upon signing up, the merchants will receive customized promo cards for handing out to customers, according to a press release.

The service is initially being rolled out in Toronto and is expected to follow in New York City, which is TouchBistro's home ground in the US.



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