An Australian court has fined Uber Technologies 21 million Australian dollars ($14 million) for threatening cancellation fees and overstating fare estimates on some rides.
The Australian arm of the US ride-sharing app broke consumer law by misleading customers with warnings they would be charged for cancelling some rides from 2017 to 2021 and by using an inaccurate software algorithm to estimate fares for a taxi service it offered until August 2020, the Federal Court ruled on Wednesday.
Judge Michael Hugh O’Bryan said in a written ruling that by supplying inaccurate information on its smartphone app, Uber would be expected to lead a proportion of consumers to alter their decision and not proceed with the cancellation and perhaps deter future cancellations, while distorting demand for its service.
Uber on its side said that it apologised to Australians “for the mistakes we made, and we have since proactively made changes to our platform based on the concerns raised with us”.
The evidence supplied suggested the fare estimate 89 per cent of the time, but less than 1 per cent of total Uber rides used that service.
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