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Uber gets app pulled from Google that lets drivers see if they are underpaid

Uber has previously admitted to underpaying drivers in the New York City area and to help keep the firm accountable, a programmer and Uber Eats driver designed the Chrome extension UberCheats.

The app allows drivers to determine if they have been underpaid by tracking tips and miles traveled, but Uber forced Google to remove it from the Chrome app store.

The creator of UberCheats Armin Samii shared on Twitter that Uber filed a false trademark against his app and it was soon taken down.

‘They claim that people might confuse it for an actual Uber product,’ Samii shared in the tweet.

 

UberCheats allows drivers to determine if they have been underpaid by tracking tips and miles traveled, but Uber forced Google to remove it from the Chrome app store

DailyMail.com has reached out to Uber for comment.

Samii launched UberCheats in August 2020, along with a video that provides insight to what inspired the app.

He worked an hour-and-half during the day and noticed Uber paid him $16.

‘I was doing UberEats deliveries by bicycle, and discovered they had underpaid me,’ Samii told DailyMail.com.

‘I investigated and discovered they paid me for 1 mile, when the travel distance was around 4 miles. 

‘They gaslit me on the phone and via email for hours until finally admitting there was a glitch and rectified it by paying me the difference.’

‘I knew many others were likely hit by the same bug, so I created an app to detect it for others.’ 

UberCheats launched in August 2020. Uber Eats drivers flocked to the new service, which revealed about 30% of drivers had been underpaid by 2.5 miles on average

UberCheats launched in August 2020. Uber Eats drivers flocked to the new service, which revealed about 30% of drivers had been underpaid by 2.5 miles on average

In a video, he states that after 14 emails and 126 minutes on the phone with Uber, the firm admitted that there was a glitch that underpaid him.

‘I’ve spent about six hours now trying to get four dollars back and if this is a systemic issue throughout all of Uber that every driver is going through, then Uber is essentially steaming money from their drivers,’ Samii says in the video shared on YouTube.

After his own experience, Samii decided to create UberCheats in order to determine if what happened to him was a widespread problem.

Shortly after rolling the Chrome extension out, a flood of Uber Eats drivers shared similar experiences- about 30 percent of trips were underpaid by about 2.5 miles on average.

However, UberCheats was short lived after it was spotted by Uber.

In the email Samii showed Motherboard, Google forwarded the original complaint it received from Uber.

‘The application uses, without authorization, the mark Uber, a trademark owned and controlled by Uber Technologies, Inc. Any use by the application of the Infringing Marks constitutes a trademark infringement under Section 32 of the Lanham Act,’ it said.

Uber filed a false trademark suit with Google, which resulted in UberCheats being shutdown. Uber said it could be mistaken for its own app

Uber filed a false trademark suit with Google, which resulted in UberCheats being shutdown. Uber said it could be mistaken for its own app

‘We ask that the app immediately cease using any Uber trademarks or any other name or mark which is likely to lead consumers to mistakenly believe that its products or services are associated with Uber or authorized by Uber.’

Samii does have the option of recreating his service under a different name, but told Motherboard he ‘plans to fight this.’

In 2019, Uber was accused of shortchanging its drivers in a new class action lawsuit filed in New York City.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, as many as 96,000 drivers could join in on the litigation against Uber.

The lawsuit claims that Uber stole millions from New York City drivers between November 2, 2013, and May 22, 2017.

Given the number of potential class action lawsuit members and ‘the fact that more than 10 per cent of each fare was illegally deducted from each of the drivers, the aggregate amount in controversy is over $5million’, the suit reads.

‘Uber bosses are raking in millions while drivers struggle to feed their families,’ Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the Taxi Workers Alliance, said in a statement.

‘Uber’s business model depends on exploiting vulnerable low-wage workers — including by stealing from driver pay. But time and time again, when workers fight back, we beat Uber even with all their billions,’ he continued.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk