Uber admits it ‘misled’ millions of Australians and could face a MASSIVE $26 million fine
Uber has admitted misleading millions of Australian users with ‘free cancellation’ warnings, and is set to receive a huge fine.
The admission comes after the company was sued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The ACCC alleged between December 2017 and September 2021 users got shown a misleading warning if they tried to cancel a trip.
‘You may be charged a small fee since your driver is already on their way,’ the warning read.
Uber has admitted misleading millions of Australian users with ‘free cancellation’ warnings, and is set to receive a huge fine
This was occurring even when consumers were seeking to cancel a ride within Uber’s free five minute cancellation period, the ACCC said.
The ACCC’s chair Cass-Gottlieb said at least two million Aussies got mislead by the warning.
‘Uber admits it misled Australian users for a number of years, and may have caused some of them to decide not to cancel their ride after receiving the cancellation warning, even though they were entitled to cancel, free of charge, under Uber’s own policy,’ she said.
Uber also admitted that it misled customers of its ‘Uber Taxi’ ride option , by giving price estimates that were inaccurate and too high.
The app may have given customers a price estimate of $30 to $40 for its ‘Taxi’ option. But the actual fare paid by the customer would nearly always fall below that range, and could in fact be $25.
‘Uber admits its conduct misled users about the likely cost of the taxi option, and that it did not monitor the algorithm used to generate these estimates to ensure it was accurate,’ Ms Cass-Gottlieb said.
‘Consumers rely on apps to provide accurate information, and the misleading information on Uber’s app deprived consumers of a chance to make an informed decision about whether or not to choose the Uber Taxi option.
‘Digital platforms like Uber need to take adequate measures to monitor the accuracy of their algorithms and the accuracy of statements they make, which may affect what service consumers choose.
‘This is particularly important as online businesses often carefully design their user interfaces to influence consumer behaviour.’