Uber charges some passengers with disabilities extra fees and the DOJ isn’t having it
The DOJ says Uber needs to pay fines and damages for charging these fees that violate the ADA.
Uber has become the target of a recent federal complaint from the Department of Justice. Apparently, the ridesharing app has been charging some customers with disabilities a ‘wait time’ fee for the extra time that it takes for them to get in a vehicle.
The complaint, initially reported by Gizmodo, details two different Uber customers who had been charged extra for situations like this. The first customer, a person with quadriplegia, noticed in August of 2020 that they had been charged this wait time fee for every ride they had taken since May of the same year.
The second customer, who also uses a wheelchair, noticed the fee way back in September of 2018. Apparently, the company had been charging that customer a similar fee since January of the same year. The second customer was able to obtain refunds for some of the fees before Uber told them that they had been refunded the maximum possible amount.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says Uber has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by charging these wait time fees to disabled individuals. The DOJ says Uber should pay damages to any disabled individuals that it has targeted with these fees, as well as additional fines for breaking the law.
An Uber spokesperson told Gizmodo that these fees are charged to all users, but that there was never any intent to apply the wait time fees to disabled users who have a legitimate need for more time. Still, the company dropped the ball with these fees.
Hopefully, Uber does the right thing and pays the required fines and damages as well as adjusts its policies so this doesn’t happen anymore.
The ridesharing platform does offer a great service that gives disabled users an alternative form of travel, but charging extra wait time fees to people who need the extra time is absolutely ridiculous.
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