It’s been a few weeks since Uber last made headlines it would rather avoid, but here we are again. The latest scandal to hit the ride-hailing company involves it “mistakenly” underpaying its New York City drivers for two-and-a-half years.
The Wall Street Journal reports that following a nationwide driver agreement in November 2014, Uber was supposed to take a 25 percent cut from drivers’ fares after taxes and fees were taken into account. But New York drivers were being charged more – the company was taking its money without accounting for sales tax and a local injury compensation fund fee.
Uber admits the mistake and says it is prepared to fully refund all the New York drivers that lost out, plus interest. “We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed — plus interest — as quickly as possible,” Uber Regional General Manager of U.S. and Canada Rachel Holt said in a statement. “We are working hard to regain driver trust, and that means being transparent, sticking to our word, and making the Uber experience better from end to end.”
Each affected person should get around $900, which, given the number of Uber drivers in New York, means the firm could end up paying back over $40.5 million.
An accounting mistake on this scale is quite unusual for such a large company, but at least Uber has confessed and is refunding the drivers. Given the other controversies it has faced this year – sexual harassment accusations, Greyball, alleged self-driving tech theft, CEO Travis Kalanick’s behavior, the Hell software, etc. – this is probably one of the company’s lesser scandals.