Renato Castello, The Advertiser
March 9, 2017 9:11pm
AN Uber car operator has threatened to sue the ride-sharing company for more than $26,000, claiming its “deceptive” conduct has left him out of pocket.
Zac Taylor, 29, of Salisbury has issued Uber with a letter of demand for the repayment of $26,196 for losses he says he incurred.
He alleges the company breached his contract by transferring him from its premium UberBlack service to its illegal UberX service “without his consent”.
Mr Taylor said that in March last year, he paid for small passenger vehicle accreditation and bought a seven-seater Ssang Yong vehicle, following advice from Uber that the car would be suitable for its Uber Black service because it was on the Transport Department’s list of approved vehicles.
But he said that four days later, he was told the car was no longer suitable for the Uber Black service and that it would be transferred to Uber X.
“This action meant that we were transferred to an illegal platform that we were not accredited, insured nor had we even agreed to. This also meant a significantly less income source,” he said.
“I entered into a contract with Uber in good faith, I acquired what they and the DPTI advised was a suitable vehicle and I have done nothing but the right thing from beginning to end.
“I am now in a financial and stressed position where had Uber not given false and misleading information, and deceived me, I would not have been in.
“I am now paying an inflated amount in insurance, car repayments and general business operating expenses as a result of their actions.
“I think this is class-action worthy and should be fully endorsed by the South Australian Government as I certainly will not stand for a company that make as much as it does to sit back and steamroll its partners and the legislation that applies to this great state.”
Uber Black drivers are accredited by the Transport Department and charge a higher fare than the illegal Uber X service.
Mr Taylor said he was liable for more than $40,000 in vehicle purchase, insurance, registration and accreditation costs over the life of the car loan.
He said the initial demand for $26,000, served at Uber’s Grote St office last Friday, was “a start”.
He said he would take legal action if he was not satisfied with Uber’s response.
A spokesman for Uber said the company “appreciated” Mr Taylor’s concerns and is reviewing them carefully