Uber sued in Los Angeles and San Francisco for ‘misleading’ customers


Uber just can’t seem to get a break in any corner of the globe these days. The cab service has just been slammed with lawsuits in the Californian cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco for unlawful business practices, reports GigaOm.

District attorneys in both cities have filed civil consumer protection action lawsuits (PDF) against Uber “for making false or misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in a variety of business practices which violate California law.”

Both DAs have listed changes that they want Uber to make in its product and marketing, with regard to how the company describes the background checks it conducts on drivers, as well as how it charges customers, and tracks and reports mileage to the state government.

Reportedly, they also want Uber to pay restitution to passengers for the $1 ‘Safe Rides‘ fee that is supposed to cover the cost of background checks — which aren’t as rigorous as those carried out by traditional taxi services and are hence seen by the DAs as misleading to customers.

Rival service Lyft was faced with legal action in both cities earlier over similar grievances, and has since settled for $500,000 following conversations with the DAs.

It appears that Uber’s inadequate background checks are landing it in hot water elsewhere too: the service was banned in New Delhi, India, just a couple of days ago after a passenger was allegedly raped by an Uber driver, who did not go through verification while working with the company. Uber was also recently deemed illegal in Thailand as well as the city of Portland.

➤ Los Angeles and San Francisco sue Uber, settle with Lyft [GigaOm]

Read next: Two down, nine to go: Uber banned in Hyderabad, India