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Uber said to use “sophisticated” software to defraud drivers, passengers

Discussion in 'News' started by Ant-Man, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Ant-Man


    Los Angeles
    Class action says Uber's "methodical scheme" manipulates rider fares, driver pay.

    DAVID KRAVETS - 4/6/2017, 10:54 AM

    Uber has devised a "clever and sophisticated" scheme in which it manipulates navigation data used to determine "upfront" rider fare prices while secretly short-changing the driver, according to a proposed class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing app.

    When a rider uses Uber's app to hail a ride, the fare the app immediately shows to the passenger is based on a slower and longer route compared to the one displayed to the driver. The software displays a quicker, shorter route for the driver. But the rider pays the higher fee, and the driver's commission is paid from the cheaper, faster route, according to the lawsuit.

    "Specifically, the Uber Defendants deliberately manipulated the navigation data used in determining the fare amount paid by its users and the amount reported and paid to its drivers," according to the suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles. Lawyers representing a Los Angeles driver for Uber, Sophano Van, said the programming was "shocking, "methodical," and "extensive."

    The suit (PDF), which labeled the implementation of Uber's technology as a "well-planned scheme to deceive drivers and users," is one of a number of lawsuits targeting the San Francisco-based company. The suits range from disputes over drivers' employment rights to sex discrimination to trade-secrets theft. Just weeks ago, Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, declared that he needed "leadership help."

    This latest lawsuit claims that Uber implemented the so-called "upfront" pricing scheme in September and informed drivers that fares are calculated on a per-mile and per-minute charge for the estimated distance and time of a ride. "However, the software that calculates the upfront price that is displayed and charged to the Users calculates the expected distance and time utilizing a route that is often longer in both distance and time to the one displayed in the driver’s application," according to the suit.

    Software manipulation
    In the end, the rider pays a higher fee because the software calculates a longer route and displays that to the passenger. Yet the driver is paid a lower rate based on a quicker route, according to the suit. Uber keeps "the difference charged to the User and the fare reported to the driver, in addition to the service fee and booking fee disclosed to drivers," according to the suit.

    The manipulation of prices between the amount charged to Users and the amount reported to drivers is clever and sophisticated. The software utilized in determining the upfront price is specifically designed to provide a route distance and time estimate based on traffic conditions and other variables but not to determine the shortest/quickest reasonable route based on those conditions. Meanwhile, the software utilized in the driver’s application, which navigates the drivers to the User’s destination, utilizes traffic conditions and other variables to provide the driver with a more efficient, shorter, or quicker route to the User’s destination, resulting in a lower fare payout to the driver.

    The suit claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud, and unfair competition. The suit seeks back pay and legal fees, and it demands a halt to "the unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices."

    Uber declined comment.

  2. Hopefully it goes somewhere.
    stpetej, Dinoberra, Yooper and 6 others like this.
  3. New Uber

    New Uber

    Here is Orlando Uber Short-payed the tolls for weeks. And they turned off surge even though it was busy
  4. Finally. And seriously I just can't wait till there's a lawsuit that tackles their software which guesses based on past experience how much a pax is likely willing to pay and presents that as the cost.
    stpetej, Elmer Dud, Roadster4 and 6 others like this.
  5. uberdriverfornow


    This is similar to the one that was filed, I think, in North Carolina.

    However, I'm not sure if they are assuming the upfront pricing scheme is based on a higher route or if they know that to be true. They may not realize that Uber is simply just flatly charging a different amount instead of thinking it is based on time and distance, which the upfront pricing scheme can't be based on time and distance since pool trips are always substantially less than what it would be, if it was based on time and distance.
    RedoBeach likes this.
  6. Ant-Man


    Los Angeles
    For those who haven't done so yet, calibrate your "Days Since Last Uber Scandal" clock by adding two decimal places.
  7. There is nothing illegal about that. You don’t have to take the ride if you don’t want to pay what they want you to pay
    Hans GrUber, -JR- and Cableguynoe like this.
  8. This is old news
  9. Ant-Man


    Los Angeles
    Yeah I was wondering what was up with that whole passage as well. Ars Technica is usually journalisticly sound.

    That part, no. However, the part where they charge more depending on pax's zip code is textbook price gouging.
  10. That's impossible, they're on instruments!

    melusine3, Ziggy and Ant-Man like this.
  11. Illegal or not, word gets out about it in a large way and Uber is done, because let's face it it's a ****ty thing to do to people and no one will think otherwise!
    MoreTips, UberDiaz, Rakos and 2 others like this.
  12. Ant-Man


    Los Angeles
    Have your pax change destination a few times so pricing reverts to pre-upfront pricing scheme (assuming you aren't badly long hauling them and killing any savings). Word will spread pretty quick.
  13. That’s what I do I explain how to beat the system to anyone who will listen
  14. Ant-Man


    Los Angeles
    I've spent the past few hours compiling a detailed list of absolutely everyone in the world surprised by this news:
  15. "Sophisticated".

    There is nothing sophisticated about uber.
    melusine3, -JR- and Elmo Burrito like this.
  16. Sure there is! I have never been screwed in such a sophisticated manner before. I think I’m going to add to my tinder profile that I “screw like uber!”
    melusine3, Cdub2k, MoreTips and 6 others like this.
  17. SurgeMasterMN


    Triple bag it cause I heard it has been around the block a few times...
    melusine3 and Ant-Man like this.

    Cheating drivers.

    Cheating passengers

    Bilking investors.
    TedJ, melusine3, command3r and 3 others like this.
  19. New2This


    DC Area
    Now you know why I Longhaul whenever possible.

    I explain WHILE Longhauling them how Uber's fornicating them like a drunk sorority girl at Cowboys Training Camp with Upfront Pricing, Uber charging them based on their purchase history and that if they're going from an affluent area they'll pay more than the same trip in an economically depressed area. Usually they're pissed, and many say they thought something was hinky.

    I tell them how to counteract it. If they're planning a long trip, when requesting trip, put in destination a half mile away for minimum fare. Then once trip starts, change destination to where they want to go. It then charges them the old time/distance formula.

    I get good tips doing this by saying "if you want a tip on saving money on your next Uber".

    Isn't this article a year old?
    Loralie, Cdub2k, MoreTips and 5 others like this.
  20. Rat


    Tallahassee, FL
    You can’t advertise one rate and then charge another

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