Uber has recently updated its terms and conditions, and for those of you who use the service regularly, you may want to pay attention, as apparently, the company has waived its users’ rights to sue them. They seemingly have also done it on the quiet.
It occurred this past Monday November 21st, where Uber added some text to its terms and condition that included an agreement to terms by users that they ‘resolve any’ claims against Uber individually in arbitration, via this ‘Arbitration Agreement’. It goes on to say the agreement prevents the individual from bringing forward a class, collective or representative, action against the company; as well as any current or future class against the company via someone else. This agreement falls under Uber’s classic services as well as other offshoots, including UberEats.
Interesting enough this update was not announced the day before it was released. In fact, should an individual not have read the updated terms and conditions, they are still bound to them by simply using the Uber service.
One can’t help but question the timing around all this. As a defendant in a multiple-class action suit, as well as individual lawsuits; it makes sense just why the company has decided on this current terms and conditions updated. Some of the lawsuits involve the issue around independent drivers as contractors while others are situations around sexual assault. Adding this Arbitration Agreement could help preclude any further such situations.
MSN reported that Uber has commented on the update stating that the agreement isn’t new, as past versions of their terms have always had some kind of class waiver. The company does note that they expanded their arbitration section to make it clearer and easier to read.
Waiving one’s right to sue in favor of arbitration is legal, as long as Uber users agree to the updated terms. When it comes to this company however, the terms are accepted when they use the service. When it comes to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, they don’t like arbitration that is forced, as it doesn’t hold any room as it relates to negotiation.
A dispute resolution that occurs outside a regular court system, arbitration places a group of arbitrators who look over evidence and come up with a decision on each case. It sometimes requires a hearing with both parties and other times it does not. Some outcomes are decided solely on evidence that is brought forward.