Uber fined $14 million for misleading on fares and cancellation fees in Australia
ReutersAn Australian court fined Uber Technologies Inc A$21 million ($14 million) on Wednesday for threatening cancellation fees it never charged and overstating fare estimates on some rides.
The penalty was less than a regulator wanted.
The Australian arm of the U.S. 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.
Uber said in a post on its website 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”.
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.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought the case against Uber, and the tech firm had already agreed on a fine of A$26 million, but O’Bryan told the court the evidence provided by both sides was “grossly inadequate”, leaving him to speculate on the harm to consumers.
The evidence supplied suggested less than 0.5% of Uber customers had gone ahead with a trip due to concern about cancellation fees. The UberTaxi algorithm overshot the fare estimate 89% of the time, but less than 1% of total Uber rides used that service, the judge said.
ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said in a statement that the fine “clearly signals to businesses that misleading consumers about the cost of a product or service is a serious matter which can attract substantial penalties”.
The judge had made clear that the lower penalty “should not be understood as any reduction in the court’s resolve to impose penalties appropriate to … deterring contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law”, Cass-Gottlieb added. ($1 = 1.4945 Australian dollars)

NEWS RELATED

Crowdfunded DNA effort helps identify woman found murdered 50 years ago

A community-funded DNA project has helped detectives identify a murdered woman whose remains were stuffed in a canvas sack and dumped in the Arizona desert more than half a century ago. Authorities named the victim as Colleen Audrey Rice, who was born in 1931 in Ohio, and would have ...

View more: Crowdfunded DNA effort helps identify woman found murdered 50 years ago

US House panel to vote next month on possible nationwide ban of popular short video app TikTok

The United States’ House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote next month on a bill aimed at blocking the use of China’s popular social media app TikTok in the US, the committee confirmed on Friday. The measure, planned by the panel’s chair Representative Michael McCaul, would aim ...

View more: US House panel to vote next month on possible nationwide ban of popular short video app TikTok

S’pore-based social networking app Bondee hit with allegations of credit card misuse, refutes claims

SINGAPORE – Days after the rapid rise of Singapore-based social networking app Bondee, users have grown hesitant about keeping the app after allegations that Bondee had misused credit card information surfaced online earlier this week. The app, which blends together elements of the metaverse, online gaming and messaging, crossed ...

View more: S’pore-based social networking app Bondee hit with allegations of credit card misuse, refutes claims

Twitter says users will be able to appeal account suspension

Twitter logo is seen through broken glass in this illustration taken on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters) LONDON: Twitter users will be able to appeal account suspensions and be evaluated under the social media platform's new criteria for reinstatement, starting Feb 1, the company said on Friday. Under the new criteria, ...

View more: Twitter says users will be able to appeal account suspension

Britain’s investment law ensnares Chinese deals amid broader reviews of foreign transactions

From a French billionaire to a Dutch semiconductor maker whose parent firm is Chinese, dozens of businesses have found themselves caught in the cross hairs since Britain enacted a new law last year to protect investments and purchases in sensitive sectors, such as defence and technology. The 2021 National ...

View more: Britain’s investment law ensnares Chinese deals amid broader reviews of foreign transactions

Peloton instructor Leanne Hainsby, 35, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer after a doctor told her not to worry about a lump in her breast

Breast cancer is most common in women older than 50, but screenings in younger women can help with early detection.Jecapix/Getty Images Peloton instructor Leanne Hainsby said she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35. She wrote on Instagram that she noticed a lump in her breast, but a ...

View more: Peloton instructor Leanne Hainsby, 35, said she was diagnosed with breast cancer after a doctor told her not to worry about a lump in her breast

FTX creditors list includes more than 50 Hong Kong institutions, including regulators HKMA and SFC

A broad list of potential creditors to collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX includes more than 50 Hong Kong entities, with two government bodies that regulate virtual assets, in a display of the one-time crypto giant’s extensive reach. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) ...

View more: FTX creditors list includes more than 50 Hong Kong institutions, including regulators HKMA and SFC

ChatGPT creator OpenAI might be training its AI technology to replace some software engineers, report says

OpenAI might be training its AI to replace some software engineers.Maskot/Getty OpenAI has quietly hired hundreds of international contractors to help train its AI tech, according to Semafor. Some are teaching software engineering to AI, potentially paving the way to replace some human coders. OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, already threatens ...

View more: ChatGPT creator OpenAI might be training its AI technology to replace some software engineers, report says

EU to stand with US in ‘depriving China of the most advanced chips’, trade official says

Two companies race to deploy robotaxis in San Francisco. The city wants them to hit the brakes.

Amazon to start charging delivery fees on Fresh grocery orders under $150

Joe Biden wins deal with Netherlands and Japan on China chip curbs

Apple leads China’s fourth-quarter smartphone sales as market posts fifth straight year of decreased consumer demand in 2022

After TikTok’s success, can Chinese firm ByteDance challenge the dominance of Meta’s Quest in the virtual reality world?

Alibaba denies reports it is building a global headquarters in Singapore, saying development is for its Lazada subsidiary

Egypt's oldest mummy found 'covered in layers of gold' following year-long excavation

Asteroid the size of an elephant passes Earth in one of closest encounters ever

The race to make the world’s thinnest watch: how Richard Mille’s US$1.88 million UP-01 Ferrari inched the record from the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra and Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept

US-China tech war: brace for Beijing retaliation over chip export curbs, lawmaker tells Japanese firms

Scientists solve mystery behind 17th-century warship wreck found off Sussex coast

OTHER NEWS