A shopper earlier this month at the Grove shopping mall waits for a ride from an Uber driver. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times) The hits keep coming for Uber — and not the good kind.
The embattled ride-share company, already buffeted by a barrage of lawsuits and public-relations crises, is being sued again. This time, a driver is alleging that the Silicon Valley behemoth’s fare structure deliberately shortchanges drivers.
In the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, attorneys for the plaintiff say they seek to have the case designated as a class-action on behalf of all Uber drivers in California.
At the center of the lawsuit is Uber’s use of upfront pricing. Introduced in major markets last year, the feature provides passengers with the cost of their ride before they summon a car. Uber pitched the fare model as a way to increase transparency and address anger over unexpected rate surges when demand for rides spiked.
“There’s no complicated math and no surprises: Passengers can just sit back and enjoy the ride,” the company said in a press statement.
However, according to the lawsuit, Uber also took the change as an opportunity to pull off “an active, extensive, methodical scheme […]