Uber-exaggerated claims result in $20 million settlement

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When you’re on the hunt for income, the last thing you want is to be misled about the earnings and benefits that a business opportunity offers. Today, the FTC announced that Uber agreed to a $20 million settlement of the FTC’s charges that the company made false or unsupported claims regarding its drivers’ likely income and the benefits of its Vehicle Solutions Program.

The FTC says Uber made several misleading claims about the annual and hourly wages its drivers were likely to earn. For example, Uber’s website claimed that the median yearly income for Uber drivers in New York is $90,000. Similarly, Uber ads in Boston and Philadelphia claimed that the average driver would “make $25/hour,” while San Diego and Phoenix drivers could expect to make $20/hour. According to the FTC, most of Uber’s drivers were not likely to earn the claimed annual and hourly wages.  

To attract new drivers, Uber also created the Vehicle Solutions Program, which claimed to “connect drivers with any kind of credit history to the best financing options available.” Uber advertised “payments as low as $17 per day” and “starting at $119/week,” as well as unlimited mileage on leased vehicles.

In reality, drivers who participated in the Vehicle Solutions program paid more than the weekly advertised amounts and were offered higher interest rate loans than the industry average. Also, even though Uber claimed leases had “unlimited mileage,” the leases did have mileage limits.

The settlement requires Uber to pay $20 million and prohibits the company from making false or misleading claims about its drivers’ likely income and the benefits of its Vehicle Solutions Program.

If you or someone you know drives for Uber, watch this space for info on how the FTC plans to make refunds.

And remember, if a business doesn’t deliver on its promises or if you’ve spotted a scam, report it to the FTC.

Tagged with: jobs, settlement
Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Nice to see once again that the FTC is looking out for the consumer.

What I need to do

NOW I WANT TO MONEY.HOW TO ME DONE?

God Bless you. Now investigate Uber's arbitrary and fake surge pricing. One report of a veteran driver (anyone over 2 months) being asked a question about the app by a new driver. Her app had surge pricing, his did not and they were in the same location. Other reports of drivers finding out (because they knew passengers) that Uber is charging significantly more to the passenger than they are claiming to the driver. The company is shiftier than quicksand. Also, surge? Mostly a ploy to draw (again newer drivers) to areas with low numbers of drivers. How is this ploy not making them essentially employers because they are dictating where we should be driving?

Wow I had this happen several times but uber dismissed me

I would like to be notified on further developments I am an uber driver in Tennessee

I would like to be kept up to speed about any other developments

As a Uber driver I am very interested in filing a claim for a refund

How do I sign up for this law suit

I was told to follow this website for details AFTER the judge approves the settlement. I'm in California.

this is not a law suit its a consumer complaint and uber settled in order not being shut down

Interested

Does the FTC have the Uber data on drivers affected by both the false revenue claims and the new car financing claims? I am a victim of both. What is the formula for calculating refunds? What is the timing of the refunds?

I Drive for Uber and Lyft for about one year now and I never earn $35.00/Hour as they adv. in MI.

I've almost taken a job through Uber since this past October but decided against it. It sounded to good to be true and didn't seem to give all information about the way they paid their employees for their work and gas mileage used. Glad I didn't get a job with them, seems I would've been screwed over anyhow. Least they are doing something to fix the problem and hopefully prevent it from happening again.

How will FTC know how to contact us (uber drivers)? As of right now, it looks like we have to keep checking back on this site's blog. Right? Wrong??

The settlement requires Uber to pay $20 million and prohibits the company from making false or misleading claims about its drivers’ likely income and the benefits of its Vehicle Solutions Program.

You can watch for information here, on the FTC consumer blog, for information about how the FTC plans to make refunds.

I'm very interested to see how this $20 million is going to be spread out to the uber drivers. I am one of those drivers and I'll tell you what , it seems like they take a hell of a lot of money out of your earnings, and I also got the tax paperwork through them from online and it does NOT match up with my pay statements. It says that they only took out $50 in fees when it was more realistically the amount of $100

It's like they are trying to take money but don't want to claim it si they can look like they are trying to be aa great company but they are money hungry on the side.

I'm sure only some uber drivers will benefit. Just like only 10 % can earn up to 1000 per week. Me here in Phoenix 6-9/hr

More info please

Thanks. I bought a car based on these promises, and found that after fuel, tires, brakes, maintenance, I was making about $5-$9/hr, unless there was surge. Then, I had to feel guilty about driving somone 15 miles for $200! Constant lies from this company. They are already violating the terms, telling my friend they can deliver food with Uber Eat and make $25/hr, but he is spending 45 minutes to deliver some food and getting $4, which doesn't even cover the gas. How do we make a claim?

Uber is a scam. Don't let them scan you

My favorite thing with uber is their instant pay.. many times I would try to get paid instantly which means within minutes, only to have them blame my bank and charge me the instant pay fee and I have to wait a week!

Does this settlement benefits DC resident that drive for Uber as well

The money will be used to provide refunds to affected drivers across the country.

How do I register to receive a refund? I am a driver and have vehicle through Uber

You can watch for information here, on the FTC consumer blog, for information about how the FTC plans to make refunds.

Should I file a complaint on FTC or should wait on how the FTC will be paying Uber drivers?

You can report problems about your experience with Uber to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. Once at the complaint portal, choose the complaint category "education, jobs" on the first screen and "business opportunity" on the second screen. Be sure to include the words "Uber" and "driver" in your report when you get to the screen that lets you tell your story in your own words.

The information you provide will be added to a secure database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog are not included in the law enforcement database.

is there any good comments for the drivers? what if you only did it sometimes or do you have to dedicate set times....dates?

You can make money, even driving part-time. The times of day and areas you drive in can determine your earnings. Don't waste time "waiting" at the airport - drop off your fare and leave. You will spend money on gas and put mileage on your car.

In July 2015 I purchased a car through Uber’s auto purchase program with an expensive loan that I thought I could manage based on Uber’s claim of $75K annually for San Francisco drivers. As I got into the game, it became clear that the revenue (not to mention profit margin) were not even close to Uber’s claims. It got so bad that I stopped driving all together, having put 58,000 miles on my brand new car in just over a year. I have refinanced the loan twice to get to reasonable monthly payments. I drove full time for 18 months, from July 2014 to December 2015. In 2015, my earnings were $34,330 driving full time In San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, chasing surge pricing and Uber driver promotions and every other trick I could think of to optimized earnings. The experience was a total Uber rip-off and exploitation.

Correction: I purchased the car in July 2014, not 2015

$20 million divided by 160k Uber drivers in the USA. Us Uber drivers will be lucky to get $100 a person from FTC/Uber. Oh also, after FTC takes out their fees for administrations, we are left with $70 each. And FTC investigators get their big bonus from the $20 mil pie. In the end consumers and Uber drivers still gets screwed again--just to remind us.

Is there any more information on the settlement? Also, I would like to explore filing a complaint re Uber charging riders more than what they are paying Drivers on - e.g. they are cheating drivers out of $ that they should be paid on. Also, is there a way to get in touch with other folks on this page? Can you post your real name or contact information here?

The FTC hasn't posted any updated information yet. Also under out comment policy, we don't post comments that contain personal or contact information.

Thank you Bridget

I submitted a claim today, but when I agreed to take the FTC survey at the end, the page closed before I was able to print the confirmation. Is there any way I can get a copy of the confirmation for my claim / report? Thank you in advance!

The FTC isn't taking claims from people. The FTC will have information about a refund process for the Uber settlement, but we are not taking claims from people.

If you reported a problem to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, that's important, because it gives the FTC and law enforcement more information about what businesses are doing. But, that's not a personal claim that is connected to you getting a refund.

You can call the FTC's consumer response center at 1-877-382-4357 and ask them if they can find your complaint. The phone consumer response center is connected to the online complaint system.

Hi. I came off of disability and baught a car to go work for Uber after all the advertising for a good job they sent me. The ability to genuinely work my own hours made work possible for me again and I was thrilled! Six months later I am broke and losing car and apartment and everything and my credit went from excellent to totally worthless now in massive debt for credit cards maxed on gas and auto repairs and maintenence, which is what all my earings went to . Uber pulled some crap on me that can't be legal not mentioned in ftc complaint. I made far less than expected and i am going to be homeless, carless, creditless, and broke and I clearly qualify for compensation at least enough to file for bankrupptcy and a place to liveagain.. How and when can I access a share of settlement and be included in future settlements for some of the crooked crap Uber pulled but hasn't answered for yet??? Thanks!

The FTC will have information about a refund process for the Uber settlement discussed in this blog, but it is not taking claims from people.

Please report the problems you described to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a law enforcement database that the FTC and other agencies use for investigations. You can choose how much personal contact information to provide.

How Do we Find out what we should see of this settlement?

Is there any way to get even general time-frame info regarding payment of refunds? It's been 4 months since the January 19 first announcement. How much longer do struggling drivers have to wait to see compensation for Uber's misdeeds?

I say dont depend too much on this settlement. $20mil divided by over 200k drivers nationwide,us Uber drivers will be lucky to get $125 apiece ;(

This will not apply to ALL drivers only the ones who were affected by the Leas issues, and drivers who opted out of the arbitration clause, they will lower the people able to get it. However in my active law suit in uber that is a class action they ofered 60mil settelment at start and the judge stated that was no where near enough but there was more losses invovled with the active class actions. This is not a class action btw

Right, not all; but 80% of drivers went for the leasing solutions program

What is taking so long for the FTC to refund the money that they collected from Uber? I see that the FTC uses vendors who are listed on this page of the FTC website: ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds
Maybe we should call these vendors to see which one of them is handling the Uber refunds to get a better idea of timeframe.

We send out checks as soon as we can. There are several steps in the process. We have to

  • resolve our legal action;
  • get money and information from the company; and
  • prepare and mail checks.

Those steps often take several months.

When will checks be sent out to affected Drivers.

When is this going to be available I been checking back all year . I opted out of the arbitration agreement. Yes I did ! I really got screwed over would really appreciate some assistance. I filed a complaint even before all this was happening so I have a active complaint / file with you .

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