Earlier this month, the US Justice Department sued Uber for overcharging disabled users. Riders with different disabilities who require more time to get into vehicles are charged extra even though “a passenger’s need for additional time is clearly disability-based,” according to statements from the Justice Department .
The Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, Stephanie M. Hinds, said “Uber’s wait time fees take a significant toll on people with disabilities.”
According to statements, Uber violated the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2016 when the company began charging these fees in target markets, which are now being charged across America.
“This lawsuit seeks to assist people with disabilities to live their lives with independence and dignity, as the ADA guarantees.” The US Justice Department is seeking unspecified damages for those “subjected to the illegal wait time fees” and requesting the court to instruct Uber “to modify its wait time fee policy to comply with the ADA.”
Stephanie M. Hinds
Uber has since released a statement that read, “We fundamentally disagree that our policies violate the ADA,” adding “We recognize that many riders with disabilities depend on Uber for their transportation needs.” The statement described the lawsuit as “surprising and disappointing.”
The company defended the fees saying, “Wait time fees are charged to all riders to compensate drivers after two minutes of waiting, but were never intended for riders who are ready at their designated pickup location but need more time to get into the car.”
Uber stressed that no wait time fees are charged for passengers who request wheelchair accessible vehicles, WAV or use Uber Assist.
“It has been our policy to refund wait time fees for disabled riders whenever they alerted us that they were charged.”
Source: NBC News