Limo Rental Smartphone App
It looks like Uber’s legal troubles are continuing, this time in San Francisco. The maker of the smartphone application intended to help passengers find taxicabs and limousines in large U.S. cities is the target of a new lawsuit filed on behalf of San Francisco taxi drivers. You may recall that we have posted blogs in recent months about similar lawsuits filed against the request-a-ride service in New York City and Chicago. The suits claim that the application creates an unfair competitive environment by steering customers toward companies that don’t adhere to state and local regulations that govern taxi and limousine services.
Attorney Gary Oswald recently filed the suit in a San Francisco court and issued a press release in which he had less than flattering things to say about the smartphone app.
“Uber is brazenly violating this statutory scheme without even bothering to offer a pretext for their overtly illegal actions just as they have in New York City, Chicago and elsewhere,” Mr. Oswald said in the release. “By ignoring the law, Uber is putting at risk the livelihoods of hardworking men and women who drive safely and follow the rules.”
Mr. Oswald claims that Uber attempts to cover up its true nature in order to avoid all regulations governing limousine and taxicab companies and that these illegal acts also interfere with chauffeurs’ and taxi drivers’ relationships with their clients. He also claims that Uber uses illegal metering devices and charges unauthorized rates for its services. He closes the press release with a strong statement that suggests that Uber forces chauffeurs and taxi drivers to break the law, saying that “by written contraction between Uber and its ‘partnered’ Black Car drivers, such drivers are required to operate in violation of the San Francisco code.”
As we’ve stated before, we don’t mind competition, it inspires us to continue striving to offer the best San Francisco limousine experience for our guests for the best rates. However, we don’t care for any measures, digital or otherwise, that compel Bay Area limo services, chauffeurs, taxi drivers or anyone else to operate outside rules and regulations put in place to protect the safety of all Californians. Bay Area residents who want to reserve one of our limousines or other luxury vehicles can use their smartphones, but they don’t need to download an application to make it easier. They can simply give us a call at NLS Limo at 800-339-8936 to speak with one of our reservation specialists!
It’s been a rough couple of months for San Francisco software company Uber, the company that built a smartphone application that allows users to arrange and pay for taxi and limo rides with their phones. This month, the company’s attempt to add New York taxi service in addition to its limo services was swatted down by that city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Uber was also recently sued by taxi and limousine services in Chicago for “violating numerous local and state laws regarding public safety, consumer protection, and fair practices.”
Some say that Uber’s problems can be traced to the brash tactics and harsh criticism of city regulations of its CEO Travis Kalanick. Many cities have taken issue with Mr. Kalanick’s outspoken contempt “of any regulation (of his industry) in general,” saying that they are in a much better position to dictate policy in their cities than he is.
The lawsuit filed recently in the Northern District of Illinois claims that Uber’s pricing policies are predatory, especially the 20 percent gratuity surcharge for its e-hail and payment service. Uber has announced that they plan to implement a similar surcharge for New York customers. The suit alleges that while customers are charged 20 percent for a gratuity, only half of that money goes to the driver, with the other half going to Uber. The suit also claims that the company charges more than the established rate for taxi meters and charges customers for credit card processing costs, a violation of Chicago ordinances.
The suit also claims that Uber’s actions are unlawful, as they arrange fares without the knowledge or consent of taxi and limousine companies. The complaint states that the smartphone application gives users the “false impression” that it is in association with transportation providers. It says that this false impression gives Uber “the aura of legitimacy,” with the public while avoiding “the costs and time necessitated by compliance with the laws and regulations.”
As you might guess, we have our own perspective on this application. We feel that there is a far simpler method of arranging limousine rides, at least in the Bay Area, that doesn’t require a smartphone app or a smartphone. People who need to rent a San Francisco limo for an upcoming event can use any kind of phone to call us at 800-339-8936 and speak with one of our reservation specialists. A smartphone app may be slick and fast, but it can’t answer questions, greet you warmly, help you decide which Bay Area limo rental is best for you and your group or help you in many other aspects. If you prefer genuine customer service over cutting-edge technology, call us at NLS Limo today, and let us help you choose the San Francisco limousine that will be perfect for your special occasion!