Uber and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have today reached an agreed settlement position regarding two historical issues. The final resolution of the matter will be subject to the determination of the Federal Court.
We value the important work the ACCC carries out and have cooperated with the ACCC throughout its two year investigation, including proactively making changes to our platform based on the concerns they raised.
The first issue relates to UberTAXI, which was introduced exclusively in Sydney in 2013 and discontinued in mid 2020. This option allowed users to book a Taxi via the Uber App. However following the introduction of UberX in 2014, the UberTAXI option was not well used or promoted. In 2018, a change in the fare estimate formula resulted in the upfront price estimate being higher than it should have. UberTAXI trips have always been a small portion of trips on the platform in Sydney, regardless we apologise for this.
The second matter related to cancellation messages to the effect of “You may be charged a small fee since your driver is already on the way”. However no cancellation fee would apply if the cancellation was requested during time periods set out in our terms and conditions. Notwithstanding the cancellation warning, almost all riders chose to cancel their trip in any event.
Since the ACCC raised this, we have worked to streamline our in-app messages to make it clear exactly when cancellation charges will or will not apply, per occasion, so that riders always have certainty. The ACCC has not alleged that Uber was charging cancellation fees in circumstances where no fee should have applied. You can read more about how cancellation fees work here.
Since UberX was launched in Sydney in 2014, Australians have embraced Uber’s rideshare platform as a safe, convenient and reliable way to get from A to B.
Over time we have constantly evolved our offering, looking for ways to create better customer experiences, trial new products and invest in our technology. We are committed to continually raising the bar – for ourselves, our industry, and most importantly for the people who use our services.
As always, we will continue to listen to feedback from driver-partners and riders to make sure that the service we are offering continues to meet their needs. With more than 3.8 million Australians regularly choosing to take rides with the Uber app, we are committed to constantly innovating and investing in our technology and customer support to deliver an excellent experience for all of them.
Uber and the ACCC will jointly seek orders from the Federal Court, including for Uber to pay $26 million in penalties. The Federal Court will decide at a later date whether the orders sought, including the proposed penalties, are appropriate.