Car and taxi service Uber has seen its fair share of legal problems, and now Chicago can be counted among the cities in which the company is being sued.
If you haven't heard of Uber before, what they do is fairly simple: it's like another car service, except it's tightly integrated with apps for you Android or iOS device. Using the app you can request a car, see where it is while it is on its way and rate the driver. Uber even handles the payment details, so paying and tipping the driver are all done directly through the app.
Even though there are a lot of interesting things about the service, it receives its share of criticism and, not surprisingly, a lot of this criticism comes from other taxi companies and car services. Most recently, companies in Chicago are claiming that Uber is violating laws at the city and state level relating to safety and customer protection. Specifically, the charges being leveled against Uber claim that the company fails to properly inspect vehicles to make sure that they are up to code regarding city and state regulations.
The lawsuit also states that of the the 20% gratuity Uber charges, only half of it goes to the driver. Uber claims that the half of this gratuity going to them is a service fee, charged for bringing the driver business that they wouldn't see otherwise.
While it is understandable that companies who are losing business to Uber are pointing out possible misdeeds on Uber's part, it's also a shame that they seem intent on putting a stop to Uber instead of adopting its features for themselves. Ordering a car from an Android app and being made aware of any delays while it is on the way to you seems like the kind of thing that should have been around as soon as we had the ability to implement it, but other companies seem slow to pick it up for themselves.
While the validity of these recent claims as well as what they would mean to Uber if they are true is uncertain, it seems that they are on to a good thing, and it would be a shame to see them shut down before the full promise of what they're trying to do is fulfilled.
Do you think that the companies suing Uber are in the right here? Or do you think that they are trying to keep Uber from taking the lead while they try to come up with their own ways to add Uber-like features to their businesses?