Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial August 27. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taxi Leaks Editorial August 27. Show all posts

Monday, 27 August 2018

Thousands of Uber drivers set to get $75, before lawyers’ fees, in settlement

Lawyers representing over 4,500 Uber drivers who claim they were consistently underpaid by the company have now asked a federal judge to approve a settlement.

If US District Judge William Alsup agrees, Uber will pay out $345,622. When divided amongst the group, that will result in approximately $75 per person, before attorneys' fees are calculated.

The suit, Dulberg v. Uber, was filed in February 2017 in federal court in San Francisco. The suit alleges that Martin Dulberg and other drivers like him are consistently underpaid based on the company's own formula.

Since nearly the beginning, Uber has paid its drivers 80 percent of a given fare. However, in the lawsuit, lead plaintiff Martin Dulberg claims that the company has now changed the way it calculates what that fare is. The result is that the company consistently pays between 70 and 80 percent—but not the full 80 percent—of what the fare should be.

This, plaintiffs claimed, is in violation of the December 2015 work agreement (known as the Technology Services Agreement, or "TSA") that they and many other drivers signed. As they opted out of arbitration, they can sue and band together as a class.

The case largely turned on a difference of interpretation in the work contract.

As the motion for settlement approval, which was submitted on Friday, states:

According to Dulberg, the TSA contemplates only one Fare: the Fare determined by the Fare Calculation. It ties both drivers' payments and Uber's Service Fee to that Fare. Dulberg contends that Uber performed one Fare Calculation based on actual inputs for time/distance at the end of each ride until it implemented upfront pricing. Passengers paid that Fare, Uber calculated its Service Fee based on that Fare, and class members received the remainder of that Fare. When Uber implemented upfront pricing, its practices changed. It began doing two separate Fare Calculations, one upfront to charge passengers (with estimated inputs for time/distance) and another after the ride (with actual inputs for time/distance) to determine class members' compensation. Dulberg claims that practice breached the TSA.

On the other hand, Uber asserts that it "introduced upfront pricing to create more certainty for riders to enable better informed choices that fit their needs—not to undermine driver payments or earnings." (Dkt. No. 71 at 6.) Uber maintains that, regardless of upfront pricing for riders, a driver's Fare Calculation remained constant under the TSA. (Id.) Moreover, as discussed above, most drivers benefited financially from Uber's practice.

Because of this realization, the final number in the affected class was cut from around 9,000 to around 4,500.

To be clear, the alleged violations of the TSA are the only issue at hand: the case does not turn on whether Dulberg and the other drivers were properly classified as contractors or employees, as numerous other cases have.

Uber did not immediately respond to Ars' request for comment. The two sides are set to meet before Judge Alsup on October 29

Source :  Arstechnica

from Taxi Leaks

Comprehensive Guild To Joining The UCGup Twitter Jim Thomas

One of the best resources we have in our trade, to help drivers maximise their working skills is the free UCGup account on Twitter. And yet, only around 10% of drivers are using it. 

There are a lot of older drivers like myself who sometimes need help with technology. So I've put together this guild to show how simple it is to get on the UCGup account.

UCGup, was born out of need to reverse the elitist  attitudes that saw our trade divide and devastated for the best part of a decade. 

In a politically motivated move against certain new boys on the block, a number of high profile drivers were expelled from the Tweet a London Cab "CABup" account. 

The UCG then decided to set up and sponsor their own account. 

It was decided from day one, to make the account non political and available free to every driver in the trade, regardless of which org, Union or group the driver supports.  

So, what are the attributes of being on this service?

Work updates. 

The whole service depends on the actions of all the subscribers. If Paddington/Kings Cross/Waterloo etc...need Taxis, the observing driver sends a direct message to the app. This is then sent out as an update to all the subscribers. 

Same thing with ranks at Hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, in fact anywhere people are seen looking for Taxis.

Traffic updates:

Then their are the traffic updates, jams, roadworks and RTAs. 

After being on the service for just a few days, you'll find it will become an essential piece of kit to make your working day/night easier.

So how do you get on this service?

First, you need to have a Twitter account installed on your smart phone. But don't worry, you don't have to follow anyone except UCGup, it's your call.

Once on Twitter, you will need to search for the UCGup account and click on the follow button. You won't be accepted straight away. 

Next, you need to send a photo of your Bill and Badge and Twitter ID to

Once accepted you will have to ability to start receiving regular up dates from UCGup.

Once you get the hang of things you can advance to rhe next level and start receiving notifications on your phone without actually having the app on screen. 

       Image shows iPhone settings 

Go to notifications on your phone and choose Twitter, click on allow notifications. 

You can also choose to turn on the sound alert and notification centre, but that's optional.

Now go to the UCGup Twitter page click on the settings wheel and turn on notifications. 

And basically, that's it. 

You will now receive notifications from UCGup, regardless of whatever program is running on your phone or tablet. You will even get updates while the phone is in lock screen mode.

Finally listen to this short sound clip: 

The Ucgup welcome Speech

And that's it, it's that simple! 

But then to be honest, the best solutions normally are the simple ones. 

from Taxi Leaks

Uber Drivers Knowingly Accepting Fraudulent Journeys For Share Of Cash, Says Security Expert.

Turning virtual cash into real money without being caught is a big problem for successful cyber-criminals.

They often have to get creative when "cashing out" or laundering the money they have stolen, according to a security expert.

Ziv Mador, head of security research at Trustwave SpiderLabs said that credit card thieves, for example, have limited time to profit, because at some point the victim will put a stop on their card.

Tens of thousands of stolen card numbers are traded daily on the Dark Web's underground market that Mr Zador and his colleagues have monitored, collating details taken from compromised websites or databases.

"They can try to sell the card, which is not a big money earner because they only get a few dollars for each one," he said.

Instead, he added, they are more likely to use them to buy more valuable assets like iPhones or Macbooks, which are popular because they tend to hold their value when resold, or turn into cash using fraudulent journeys with crooked Uber drivers.

"They do not buy 100 or so iPhones at once," he said. "They use a lot of different cards at different times."

Mr Mador said the crooks use randomisation tools to thwart anti-fraud systems that would spot if all the purchases, even those made with different cards, are being done on the same computer.

Another "cashing out" technique uses gift cards from big retailers outlets . 

This technique involves buying the gift card with the stolen credit card and then offering it for sale at a big discount.

Then there are the more creative scams that seek to use Uber and other ride-hailing firms to launder cash.
Mr Mador, and others, have seen adverts seeking Uber drivers who can take part in the scam.

"They are looking for Uber drivers to take the fraudulent payments, from people who register with the Uber app using stolen credit card details and do fake rides," said Mr Mador.

The driver's account is used to launder the cash generated when stolen credit cards are used to pay for the fictitious journeys. Drivers then get a cut of the money as a payment.

It's worrying that the company (Uber) doesn't pick up on what's happening and when card holders complain, Uber support help dissipates, telling victims their Terms and Conditions relinquish Uber from any responsibility over the fraud. They advise victims to take it up with the drivers.

It's this Uber market that forms the backbone of the cyber-crime world, said Dr Mike McGuire, a criminologist from the University of Surrey, who has studied this shadowy community.

Source : BBC news 

from Taxi Leaks