It's turning into a bad week for cap-app phenomenon Uber. On Monday, it was banned in Delhi amid rape allegations against a driver while the company was being sued in Portland for lack of disability accessibility, then yesterday it was banned in Spain and branded "unfair competition" to cabbies.
Now, US cities Los Angeles and San Francisco are joining in, too, with the cities suing the ride-hailing company on the grounds that it misleads consumers about their safety as well as overcharging them.
The L.A. Times reports that the San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon accused Uber of "making false and misleading statements about how it protects consumers and engaging in business practices that violate California law".
Gascon is most alarmed by the way Uber claims to have an "industry-leading background check process" but, speaking to the L.A. Times, he noted that the security checks that are in place are "completely worthless".
It's not just safety, either – Uber's charges also came under fire, too. Notably, it was criticised for charging an "airport fee toll" even when drivers weren't paying it, as well as its $1 "safe rides fee" for background checks.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey added that "it's not our goal to shut them down. What we're saying is the advertising is false." Meanwhile, similar complaints levelled at Lyft were met with a settlement, while Uber doggedly decided to ride the incident through to the bitter end.
This civil suit probably won't halt Uber's operations in either of the two cities, but the company will be increasingly pressed to change it the messaging of its website and marketing materials. But after so much bad press in recent weeks, seriously: what's next for Uber? [L.A. Times]
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