Uber is trying to reassure its customers before a tell-all book about the company is released.
One excerpt of the book, authored by New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, reveals that Uber misled customers into paying $1 more per ride by telling them the rideshare giant would use the proceeds to pay for an “industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, development of safety features in the app, and insurance.”
The campaign reportedly brought in nearly half a billion dollars for Uber, but according to employees who worked on the project, the fee was devised primarily to add $1 of pure margin to each trip.
While the company didn’t address the claims about the additional charge, TechCrunch reported that Uber sent out a mass email to its riders on Saturday (Aug. 24) ensuring customers that their “phone number stays hidden when you call or text your driver through the app,” that “pickup and drop-off locations are not visible in a driver’s trip history,” and that “for additional privacy, if you don’t want to share your exact address, request a ride to or from the nearest cross streets instead.”
The company said the Aug. 24 email is “unrelated” to the excerpt that was published.
This is just the latest problem for Uber, which has seen its shares sinking since its IPO in early May.
There has been some good news for the rideshare giant: Last week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Uber will receive $24 million from the state to establish a new U.S. General and Administrative Hub in Dallas.
The project will create 3,000 new jobs and more than $75 million in capital investment.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted that “Dallas became the first city in Texas where the Uber app was available in 2012, and since then Texas has been a hub of innovation for our platform. Uber is excited to bring this major investment to Texas and to increase our commitment to the City of Dallas.”