Just days after Uber admitted shortchanging drivers in NYC for millions of dollars comes news of a new lawsuit that claims the transportation upstart has been ripping off customers too.
The New York Post reports that a class-action lawsuit has been filed alleging that the company’s “upfront” pricing option isn’t playing fair and has had customers paying hidden fees. Uber is said to be charging roughly $2 per ride extra for customers using upfront pricing. The idea behind the upfront pricing service is that riders would go with a guaranteed rate for their trip, but there’s deliberate shenanigans at play claims the suit.
The company pulls off the scheme by showing riders a less efficient route than the one drivers take, according to court papers.
The suit cites a recent investigation by the website The Rideshare Guy, which found that Uber is hitting half of riders taking the daily 250,000 trips in New York City with the extra $2 charge. So Uber is making about $250,000 a day or $7.4 million a month “in New York City alone” from the hidden fee, the suit says.
In the months following the wave of #DeleteUber backlash, Uber’s current popularity is ultimately tied to how affordable (in addition to how efficient) the rider thinks it is. If Uber loses this suit, will that discourage customers that have weathered 2017’s storm of negative publicity attached to the company? Or does the idea of a potential $2 add-on fail to be a bank boogeyman when you’re loaded and need a ride home from a bar across town? If you’re Uber, you’d rather not have to know the answer and come out with a win versus this customer class action.