Like most people I enjoy the fruits of competition. Uber has brought some competition into this nice little monopoly. I prefer to pay 28€ to go to the airport instead of 45€. So up until this weekend I was happy with Uber, that is, until they sent me an email with an 8-page updated contract. I read it through and laughed. Who are these people?
They claim that they are only offering a piece of software and no transport facilities. They bear no responsibility for passengers, drivers or third parties. Then they say that I am not at liberty to disclose any part of this contract to anybody without their permission. I have not disclosed any part of the contract – I have just commented on it as a concerned customer. The contract is written under Dutch law and they reserve the right to change it when they want. Huh!
Uber most certainly offers me a ride. I have no idea who is driving the car. I have no contract with the driver. Uber has my credit card details. They provide a service by making sure that a nice car with a competent driver arrives at my pickup point. I assume that Uber checks that the driver has a driving and taxi license, that he has the proper insurance and that he knows how to operate a GPS router. I have no way to check this and I rely on Uber to do their job. And when the trip is over I pay Uber. I get an invoice from HELP.UBER.COM and not from some driver.
Now, of course I believe that Uber offers a taxi service and that they have a reasonable duty of care. If they send a drunk, unlicensed, uninsured driver to my home and who smashes into another car which causes me injury then who is responsible? The penniless driver, the lawyers, my wife, my employer or Uber? So let the courts and the lawyers have their day in court. If big companies want to write lies about what they do, then they must suffer the consequences of being ridiculed by treating us as fools.