Uber Sued in Hometown, Accused of Misleading Users over Background Checks

Josh WolfordBusiness

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Uber is under fire from more cities – now including the one in which it is headquartered.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says that Uber has made "false or misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in a variety of business practices which violate California law." He specifically addresses Uber's driver background checks.

Though the very first thing you find on Uber's 'Safety' page is a blurb about "Background check you can trust", the company has come under fire recently for the bad actions of some drivers. The latest story involved an accused rape in New Delhi, which led to many Indian officials calling for a countrywide ban. Here in the states we've also heard plenty of Uber driver horror stories – including a brutal hammer attack, stories of sexual assault, and one instance of a driver taking passengers on a high-speed police chase.

"Uber has refused to comply with straightforward California laws that protect consumers from fraud and harm," said Gascon. "These companies can be innovative in the way they deliver services without ignoring the laws that protect the public."

Los Angeles County D.A. Jackie Lacey has joined Gascon is his suit.

From SiliconValley News:

The two officials claim that Uber makes misleading statements about the background checks it performs on drivers and falsely charged a $1 "Safe Rides Fee," among other accusations. The officials had threatened such action in September, warning the car-sharing companies -- which connect passengers with drivers through a mobile app – were operating illegally.

According to a report from the New York Times, Uber has consistently lobbied legislatures across the country against imposing background check requirements that are as strict as those required of traditional taxi services. Uber's not alone in this, as other on-demand ride companies like Lyft and Sidecar have also done the same thing.

Uber, a company now valued at over $40 billion, is also facing a lawsuit from the city of Portland, Oregon. The city has accused Uber of operating illegally.

“There’s nothing sharing about this so-called ‘sharing economy’ company: They want to profit in Portland without playing by the same rules as existing cab companies,” said Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.

Image via Uber

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf