Uber passenger Dane Wilcox reports the saga of a ride in an Uber in Boston. He told the driver he was leaving a bag in the passenger compartment as he unloaded luggage from the trunk — but then the driver drove off. When the driver didn’t return his calls or voicemails, he sought assistance from Uber and ended up filing a small claims lawsuit against Uber.
Meanwhile, in response to Wilcox’s police report, an officer tried to investigate, but Uber falsely told the investigating detective that the driver at issue had not worked for Uber for two years, and that the company had no record of the ride — both provably false. Based on these false statements which impeded the investigation, the small claims court awarded Wilcox the full $4000 he sought.
See also coverage by Ars Technica.
When Massachusetts ran its own background checks of Uber drivers, it found more than 8,000 violations ranging from license suspensions to violent crimes and sexual offenses.
In 2013-2014, Uber charged a nonexistent $8.75 “Logan Massport Surcharge & Toll” for rides to or from Boston’s Logan airport. Uber’s web site said was to “cover… Massport fees and other costs related to airport trips.” But neither Massport nor Logan airport charged any such fees. Furthermore, Uber charged an “East Boston Toll” of $5.25, but the largest toll any UberX driver was actually obliged to pay was $3.50. Uber reimbursed drivers for the actual toll and retained the remainder.
Cullinane et al v. Uber Technologies, Inc. No. 1:14-cv-14750-DPW. Massachusetts District Court. December 30, 2014. Complaint. Supreme Court briefing as to Uber’s motion to compel arbitration and avoid litigation (also restating and summarizing merits of the case).