A Southern California man has filed a lawsuit against Uber for the ride-sharing app's price claims and regulation of free ride vouchers, which he hopes to make a class-action lawsuit.
Sennett Devermont is the creator of Mr. Checkpoint, an app that notifies its users of DUI checkpoint locations. He said he has taken nearly 500 rides with Uber in the last two years, and regularly recommends the service through his app to encourage drunken drivers to get home safely.
"I personally use Uber every day. I think it's a good service that can benefit people," Devermont said. "They just need to not mislead people and do what they promise."
Local news from across Southern California
Devermont doesn't believe Uber's claim on their website that UBERx rides are cheaper than they would be in a taxicab. He has filed a lawsuit against the company that he and his attorney Michael Cohen hope will become a class-action lawsuit.
The Uber Android app reads, "It's easier than a taxi and often cheaper!" while the iPhone app doesn't mention the price difference. Yet, Uber's website describes UBERx as, "Better, faster, and cheaper than a taxi."
"If they tell me it's going to be cheaper than a cab, that is what needs to occur," Devermont said.
Devermont has also found issue with the "free ride" vouchers granted for referring a new Uber user to the app, because he claims the app failed to notify users that the voucher expired in three months.
Uber allegedly only notified the user that the voucher, for up to $20 toward a free Uber ride, could not be used for Uber Taxi, he said.
"Lots of people tell their friends about Uber and share with their family for the free rides," Devermont said. "I don't think they know the rides expire."
Devermont said he used to stock up on vouchers from his referrals because the emails containing his vouchers said nothing about an expiration date. But the emails he gets now include that the vouchers expire, he added.
"If they say they're giving me a credit for getting a user, let me keep that credit," Devermont added. "If you're saying I'm going to get home cheaper than a cab, make sure I'm getting home cheaper than a cab."
Devermont's attorney said their goal is to return money to other people who feel they have been cheated in a way similar to Devermont.
"But ultimately the court will have to decide if it can be a class action," Cohen said.
Until then, they are hoping more people will come forward so they can gather evidence toward the lawsuit. Whether or not it can be a class-action lawsuit will likely be decided on by the Los Angeles Superior Court in the next few months.
"We've already had people come forward saying they've had the same experience as Mr. Devermont. And we'd like to have more," Cohen said.
Uber officials said they don't comment on pending litigation.
For those wanting to share their Uber stories for the class action lawsuit, here's a link www.CohenMcKeon.com.