Photo: Elekes Andor
Uber has agreed to a $20 million settlement related to charges that the company made false or unsupported claims about its drivers’ likely income and the benefits of its Vehicle Solutions Program, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.
The FTC said Uber made 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. In addition, 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.
Most of Uber’s drivers weren’t likely to earn the claimed annual and hourly wages, according to the FTC.
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.
Actually, drivers who took part in the Vehicle Solutions program paid more than the weekly advertised amounts and were offered higher interest rate loans than the industry average, said Andrew Johnson, consumer education specialist for the FTC. 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 the FTC website for how to get a refund.