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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

AG HEALEY RECOVERS $210,000 FOR DRIVERS FROM UBER SUBSIDIARY

AG HEALEY RECOVERS $210,000 FOR DRIVERS FROM UBER SUBSIDIARY
Leasing Company Overcharged for Toll Fees

            BOSTON – Hundreds of Massachusetts Uber drivers have received more than $210,000 in reimbursements and account credits after they were overcharged by a car leasing service for duplicative and erroneous tolls and related fees, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Through an assurance of discontinuance, Xchange Leasing, LLC – a subsidiary of Uber – has reimbursed 336 Massachusetts Uber drivers for the full amount of the overcharges, including a 20 percent additional payment to make drivers whole for any time or effort they put into obtaining the refunds.

“Xchange Leasing promised to help drivers earn a living, but their shoddy conduct hurt vulnerable workers,” said AG Healey. “This settlement recovers all of the improper charges for drivers.”

Xchange Leasing primarily leases vehicles to individuals who want to drive for Uber, many of whom may otherwise be unable to obtain credit or lease a vehicle. Lease payments and related charges are typically deducted from the driver’s Uber earnings.

The AG’s Office began an investigation after the Metro West Consumer Assistance Office, one of the Local Consumer Programs funded by the AG’s Office, received complaints from several drivers alleging that Xchange Leasing was deducting excessive amounts from their Uber earnings for toll-related charges. The AG’s Consumer and Advocacy and Response Division received other similar complaints.

The AG’s investigation found that Xchange Leasing at times charged drivers as much as two or three times for each legitimate toll fee. In addition, improper toll-related penalties were being charged to drivers because the company failed to pay the actual toll charges on time, causing late fees to accrue. Xchange Leasing in some instances overpaid E-Z Pass and then failed to return the refunds to the drivers’ accounts. The company also failed to provide accurate records and account information to drivers about their charges and earning deductions.

The amount of each driver’s reimbursement is linked to the amount they were billed, averaging more than $600 per driver. Through this settlement, Xchange Leasing will also pay a $40,000 penalty to the AG’s Local Consumer Aid Fund, which funds the office’s Local Consumer Programs and Face-to-Face Mediation programs.

Xchange Leasing fully cooperated with the investigation. The company sent letters to the identified drivers outlining the refunds and credits and subsequently issued checks. Xchange Leasing has also implemented process changes and financial controls that will prevent these or similar violations in the future.

This matter was handled by Kim McDonald of the AG’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division and Gary Klein, Senior Trial Counsel in the AG’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau.