Robo-firing may cost Uber a fortune: two drivers to share $600K


Drivers fired by Uber’s automated system may soon get a big payout after Uber failed to provide a proper explanation. The District Court of Amsterdam ruled that drivers were right to demand penalty payments which total to $600,000 – and growing by thousands each day.

Three Uber drivers, one from Portugal and two from the United Kingdom, had their accounts deactivated by Uber’s machines for alleged fraud and failed to get a proper explanation from the company. So, they went to court.

The dispute arose over uncertainty about whether Uber should comply with drivers’ requests for information, according to the court documents.

Uber deactivated the drivers’ accounts in 2020 on allegations of repeatedly breaching contractual terms. One driver allegedly collected fees for canceled rides when the cancellations were caused by himself. The other two drivers performed pricey rides and collected pay from Uber when passengers had invalid payment details and were always almost in the same location as the drivers, according to court documents.

At first, the court ordered Uber to provide certain information or pay a penalty of €4,000 ($4,224) for each day. However, drivers were not happy with Uber’s explanations, and the case went further.

On October 5th, The District Court of Amsterdam ruled that Uber did not comply completely with the order as it interpreted the requirements too narrowly. It also avoided revealing sensitive details about its automatic fraud detection and profiling systems. Since Uber did not properly explain the automatic firing, the drivers were right to claim financial penalties. In one driver’s case, according to the court, Uber’s explanation of the decision was sufficient.

€4,000 per day between 13th May 2023 and 18th September 2023 totaled to €516,000, and continues to grow. The drivers even requested increasing the penalty to €12,000 per day, but the court rejected the request. The penalty payments would be shared between the two drivers. And the process may not be over yet, as Uber could potentially still appeal aspects of the decision or provide outstanding information. Both parties will also have to cover court fees.

Judge doubts that Uber made every effort

Judge R. A. Dudok van Heel questioned “whether Uber made every effort to comply.”

“It could also be that Uber is deliberately trying to withhold certain information because it does not want to give an insight into its business and revenue model. Whatever this may be, in any case, Uber has not complied with the injunction, and there is no reason to mitigate the forfeited penalty payments”, his decision reads.

In refusing to suspend or cap the penalty payments he also wrote that “The high and uncapped periodic penalty payments are not considered disproportionate…these penalty payments can provide sufficient incentive for Uber to comply with the order."

Uber, or any other company, must comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which also covers access to personal data and information about the existence of automated decision-making.

The drivers’ case was initiated and financially supported by the Worker Info Exchange (WIE) and the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU)

Anton Ekker, of Ekker Law, who is representing the drivers, explained that drivers have been fighting for their right to information on automated deactivations for years.

“The Amsterdam Court of Appeal confirmed this right in its principled judgment of 4th April 2023. It is highly objectionable that Uber has so far refused to comply with the Court's order. However, it is my belief that the principle of transparency will ultimately prevail,” he said.

In a press release, James Farrar, Director of Worker Info Exchange, said that “Uber habitually flouts the law and defies the orders of even the most senior courts.”

“Uber drivers and couriers are exhausted by years of merciless algorithmic exploitation at work and grinding litigation to achieve some semblance of justice while government and local regulators sit back and do nothing to enforce the rules,” his quote reads.

He calculated that, for now, Uber’s forfeited penalties stand at €584,000 (almost $617,000).


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Comments

Joe
prefix 7 months ago
I drove for Uber briefly about 8 years ago when I relocated. Doing it a short time made me realize how much of a joke their policies and algorithms are. Any less than a 5 star trip is a knock against the drivers record. These companies embody late stage capitalism.
Phil
prefix 7 months ago
Lotttta uber drivers in this comment section not really understanding the process here eh?


Yall cant just explain your life uber story on a random website and get help you need to get in touch with labour's boards ETC. And to the guy with a problem with your SS you clearly have bigger issues then being deactivated by uber lol
Rolando
prefix 7 months ago
I,am Rolando Leyva and I drive 🚗 for Uber for almost 5 years and I never had any problems, and now the company deactivated because the company said that I had problems with my ss, the company said that now, and my question is if I have problems with my ss now what is not happening 4 1/2 years ago,I just want put legal laws to put the company in court
James Robinson
prefix 7 months ago
I was deactivated as well without an explanation unfairly after calling to have the reason explained to me they would put me on hold and never returned to provide a explanation
Mamady Toure
prefix 7 months ago
I want Uber eat to reactivate my account because it was not my fault if some orders were not completed on time because of wrong adress and the traffic. Top of that I have to monthly pay the car I already get from car dealer .
Thank you
KIMBERLY OROARK
prefix 7 months ago
I am ready to file a lawsuit against lyft. They deactivated my account also on accusations from a writer which I have no idea who so I have no idea what they're talking about. I told them I didn't know what they were talking about. I also also requested another chance. I told them I would have a - Dash cam put in my car and they never even replied on that.
Lynette Peaches
prefix 7 months ago
Same here. I have been with Uber 8yrs. And this is the worst I have ever seen it. Not getting my surges, traveling further, being penalized for bad areas, taking 55 to 60 percent from us, I've been deactivated and reactivated, stopping the entire account if you land on a high surge, over charging passengers so majority won't tip, and sometimes the Fare is lower then the upfront fair. And the their GPS get us lost they won't pay for the extra time of being lost with their GPS.
GRANRATANA PHANAWONG
prefix 7 months ago
The drivers of Lyft and Uber must unite and form a Union to tackle unfair labor practices. Both companies have taken advantages of unorganized drivers.
Anita Baca
prefix 7 months ago
I to was deactivated with no explanation. I was a 5 star driver for 5 years. Tbrough email i was told there was a complaint thst went against their rules. I responded to send me the complaint and no respfrom Iber and Lyft.
The email said customer called in on a complaint which Uber and Lyft never gave me an explanation of what the complaint s was all about. The only contact I got was by email telling me to respond. I didn't really know who complained. With that said they deactivated both my accounts. I really enjoy driving I would like to be reactivated so I can work. I hope someone reads this that can direct me to the right person to talk to. Thanks for reading.
John
prefix 7 months ago
Uber and lyft, I don't know which one is bigger garbage. Bloodsucking POS.
Randal Kirk
prefix 7 months ago
I have had the EXACT same problems in Houston, TX. These corporate criminals will never have any consequences for their greedy actions. Preying on drivers who are barely getting by. I hate them with all my heart.
George
prefix 7 months ago
LYFT, did something like this to me back in July, 7/26/23, I got a trip notification, while working on a bonus, if I rejected the trip then I would not have gotten my pay bonus, the trip was for 133 miles, from Winston-Salem N.C.to Fayetteville N.C. And only got paid 74$. According to N.C. rules as a driver I'm supposed to get .90 cents a mile, so if you do the math 133 miles × .90 cents comes out to almost 120$ and that doesn't even include the other fees, like wait time, distance etc...

I messaged them to re-review the trip, and they said I got paid accordingly, then I asked them to send me a trip breakdown, and refused to do so, saying something stupid like they don't have access to that information, I even took screenshots of the trip, and conversation. it's now October 9th, and still have not received a trip breakdown, and with all the news about LYFT shaving off trips, I'm beginning to wonder what's really going on
Ann
prefix 7 months ago
This is truly happening with all rideshare and delivery
Chat
prefix 7 months ago
Just drive a taxi or limo if you want more accountability from your employer. I drove a cab for 10 years and they always backed me up against whining customers who complained about everything and tried doing illegal activities like dealing drugs and smoking weed. There are strict laws and regulations for taxis but you are safer than Uber Lyft with all their nebulous rules that only benefit them.
Sheila Demons
prefix 7 months ago
Uber display opportunities and then when I succeed my trips before the dates they advertised l never recieved the money for 50 trips or 60. 90 trips my points was over 200pts. My points were 396pts. I believe. I never gotten paid periodt.
Sheila Demons
Sheila Demons
prefix 7 months ago
Hi ! I'm Sheila Demons and l was an Uber Driver and my account was deactivated for no legitimate reason, and I asked why was my account deactivated they said my ratings were low. I don't agree with that because l had been driving for a month and it's not right for them to only take the riders word and not hear my side of story before you deactivate my account. They deactivate my account before and I had to pay $60 for a course that they wanted me to take just so l can get my funds that l already accumalated, and I couldn't have access to the money until I pay for a course. I had just made about 3-4 pick ups and drop off on the date of 09/30/2023 and when l went off line an gotten to my location, and then I tried to do instant cashout they had deactivate my account without informing me first and telling me why ? I asked for an appeal and they still wouldn't reactivate my account , and they decision was not to reactivate my account, and I didn't by that rating excuse because l was getting so many people who enjoyed my service. The GPS they use weren't 100% accurate because 90/100 it send me to the wrong address or have me going in circles, and being late picking the riders up so the rider blames me and Uber did to when l had no control of where the GPS leads me. So l'm being rated low because of that so Uber deactivate my account, and the riders 💯 % of the time are not outside or at the location where they suppose to be picked up at when I arrive. Uber got it bad about deactivating the drivers account for no legitimate reason and they deactivate the account w/o informing the driver first and it's not professional to the drivers, and then when you appeal it they still won't reactivate your account. I was so mad because l needed my money to pay my bills and the representer told me l can't do instant cashout because they doing maintenance work. Lied to keep me from having access to my money that saturday on 09/30/2023. She said l had to wait until that Monday and l still didn't have access until that Tuesday. The contract with Uber was wrong how they just drop me for no proper cause l didn't by that rated excuse not one bit. The riders l picked up enjoy me and my services l was just lied on by people because l wasn't able to locate their location. Please Review ! Sheila Demons
Olatunji
prefix 7 months ago
We drivers need justice this is how uber deactivated my account too because I rejected a lady that wanted smoke weed in my car
James Craig
prefix 7 months ago
I have been an Uber driver for years, involved in multiple lawsuits against Uber to never see any justice. The way the world works.
Noorullah
prefix 7 months ago
why uber doing wrong thing many drivers bought very expensive car and after two weeks his system locked by uber please bring this complaint in Australia too I knew many drivers they the same problem here .
Skip
prefix 7 months ago
I've had over 60,000 people in my car over 8 years with Uber and Lyft. Uber pulls tricks on me all the time: I finished using the bathroom and I got back to my car and turned on the app in the middle of a $6.50 bonus area. The algorithm gave me a passenger outside the bonus area and I didn't get the bonus. Which means some computer geek decided to set the algorithm up to where the driver thinks they're going to make $6.50 extra because they're in the bonus zone, where it was requested that they need more drivers there to begin with. Another time I was sent nine minutes away to get a passenger at 3:03 in the morning. When I got to the passenger's front door, I was told it was a scheduled pickup to get that person at 3:30. So nobody in my car for 9 minutes to go get the person and then I have to wait 17 more minutes; I've lost a half an hour. Lyft doesn't notify me of scheduled rides, it just gives me the next available person that's closest. Scheduled ride or not. So I made a little chart where I wrote down all the distances I traveled for Uber. 17 minutes to go get a person here 22 minutes to go get a person there lots of times it was 11, 12, 15 minutes. Almost everyone of the rides for one week of lift the passengers to pick up were 4 minutes away for one week on Uber, I lost 88 minutes traveling further to get a passenger we're on the Uber app then I did on the Lyft app. I lost an hour and a half on Uber. What's interesting when you do the math, because there's no way around the math.
Sy xad
prefix 7 months ago
Hi. I am in the same boat as Uber deactivated me for their own fault 5 years ago and court proceeding is still on for this time long
Uber Driver
prefix 7 months ago
This doesn’t surprise at all. It’s the same everywhere in a corporatocracy where individuals need knowledge or access to knowledge of the law on par with the entire legal teams contracted by corporations, and that’s just for a chance of a fair trial. Most people have no chance. I drive for Uber but never pay for their service because of how they treat me. So far this has taken three years of these drivers and Uber may still appeal making it take even longer.
Nat Asmai
prefix 7 months ago
There's no chance to use UBER's platform and NOT pay. There is, embedded solidly into UBER's app, fee after fee that UBER collects prior to you ever beginning a ride...These jerks (UBER), are shameless hacks who lack principles and operate in a predatory manner and seldom are called to task on their malignant actions.
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