Uber Technologies has agreed to pay $20 million to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that it misled prospective drivers with exaggerated earning claims and claims about financing through its Vehicle Solutions Program.
The $20 million will be used to provide refunds to affected drivers across the country.
According to the FTC’s complaint, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company exaggerated the yearly and hourly income drivers could make in certain cities, and misled prospective drivers about the terms of its vehicle financing options.
The FTC claims that Uber posted on its website that uberX drivers’ annual median income was more than $90,000 in New York and over $74,000 in San Francisco. The FTC alleges, however, that drivers’ annual median income was actually $61,000 in New York and $53,000 in San Francisco.
Less than 10 percent of all drivers in those cities earned the yearly income Uber promised.
The FTC also alleges that Uber made high hourly earnings claims in job listings, including on Craigslist, but that the typical Uber driver failed to earn those advertised hourly amounts in various cities.
The complaint goes on to allege that Uber claimed its Vehicle Solutions Program would provide drivers with the “best financing options available,” regardless of the driver’s credit history, and told consumers they could “own a car for as little as $20/day” ($140/week) or lease a car with “payments as low as $17 per day” ($119/week), and “starting at $119/week.” Despite Uber’s claims, from at least late 2013 through April 2015, the median weekly purchase and lease payments exceeded $160 and $200, respectively, the FTC alleges.
Uber apparently failed to control or monitor the terms and conditions of the auto financing agreements through its program. In fact, their drivers received worse rates on average than consumers with similar credit scores typically would obtain, according to the FTC’s complaint. Moreover, Uber claimed its drivers could receive leases with unlimited mileage through its program when in fact, the leases came with mileage limits, according to the FTC.
In addition to imposing a $20 million judgment against Uber, the stipulated order prohibits the company from misrepresenting drivers’ earnings and auto finance and lease terms. The order also bars Uber from making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated representations about drivers’ income; programs offering or advertising vehicles or vehicle financing or leasing; and the terms and conditions of any vehicle financing or leasing.
Uber Technologies is a multi-billion dollar corporation with unlimited amounts of money, while the drivers responsible for Uber’s success are real people working to support themselves and their families. Our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know this and can help if you have been financially harmed by the company. Billion dollar companies get away with all kinds of illegal conduct, which is not fair to their workers.
Give us a call at 866-608-5529 or contact us online for a no-obligation and completely free and confidential consultation to learn what financial compensation you might be entitled to.