An Australian court has ruled that a ride-sharing app is in breach of consumer protection laws by misleading customers about illegal travel charges.
An Australian court has fined Uber Technologies 21 million Australian dollars ($14m) for threatening to pay unpaid fines and overcharging for other vehicles.
The penalty announced on Wednesday was less than what race officials had wanted.
The Australian group of a US car-sharing program breached consumer law by misleading customers with warnings that they would be fined for stopping rides from 2017 to 2021 and using a faulty taxi fare comparison app that was offered until August 2020, the Federal Court has ruled. it decided.
Uber said in a statement on its website that it apologized to Australians “for the mistakes we made, and we have quickly made changes to our platform based on the concerns raised”.
Judge Michael Hugh O’Bryan said in a written decision that by providing wrong information on its smartphone app, Uber “must lead many consumers to change their minds without continuing to stop and possibly prevent future stops”, while undermining the importance of its service.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which filed a case against Uber, and the technology company have already agreed to a fine of 26 million Australian dollars ($ 17.39m) but O’Bryan told the court that the evidence presented by both sides is. “insufficient”, which leaves him to think about harming consumers.
The evidence presented showed that less than 0.5 percent of Uber customers went ahead with a ride because of concerns about the fines. UberTaxi’s algorithm outperformed 89 percent of the time, but less than 1 percent of all Uber passengers used the service, the judge said.
ACCC chairwoman Gina Cass-Gottlieb said in a statement that the fines “make it clear to businesses that misleading consumers about the value of a product or service is a serious matter that can attract serious penalties”.
The judge made it clear that the lesser penalty “should not be understood as limiting the court’s discretion in imposing appropriate penalties … to deter breaches of Australian Consumer Law”, Cass-Gottlieb added.