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Home / Business / Former Uber employee says "Safe Rides Fee" Was the rip-off you always suspected

Former Uber employee says "Safe Rides Fee" Was the rip-off you always suspected



Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez (Getty)

Throughout its 10-year history, Uber has been the subject of a large number of public scandals – from sexual harassment and data security in the workplace to work strikes and myriad other controversies. But thanks to an upcoming book about the beleaguered company, employees had a chance to whine about one that some of us may not remember: the outlined ass Safe Rides Fee.

This special public relations failure – one related to a policy the company originally announced in 2014 – was resumed this week with the permission of an article adapted from Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber an upcoming book from New York Times reporter Mike Isaac, who spoke to staff working on the project.

"We increased the margins and said our rides were safer," the former told Isaac last year while researching his book. "It was obscene."

At that time, and following a wave of customer complaints about the service, Uber said it would tackle a $ 1 Safe Rides fee at uberX prices. The fee – the company said in a blog post that has disappeared since the site – will cover costs related to ongoing efforts to improve service security, including "an industry-leading background check process, regular motor vehicle inspections, driver safety education, current and future safety features development in app, and insurance. "

The small" security "fee – which Bloomberg reported has jumped to as high as $ 2.50 in some areas in the past – is said to have generated nearly half a billion dollars for the company. However, a lawsuit against Uber later claimed that despite the charges against the riders, "Uber's background check procedures and security measures are woefully inadequate and well below what is required for other commercial transport providers."

Uber spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on the Times report. However, the company eventually reached a settlement of around $ 30 million over Uber's security requirements. But to think – then everything else happened. It's almost like technology companies learn practically nothing every time they're caught with their pants down.

This failure is just a drop in a very big bucket full of Uber controversy, and a reminder that Uber was – and no doubt continues to be – just as bad as you suspected.


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