UBER allows driver to register with fake insurance/registration documents

Nearly an entire YEAR after the Guardian discovered it was possible to register on the Uber platform using fake insurance documents , Ride Safe Madison replicated the same investigation.

To our shock, not only did Uber clear our mole driver with a fake insurance and vehicle registration but they accepted over four different versions of these fake documents.

While Uber and their pundits are not the sharpest people compared to other confidence and pyramid scams I’ve dealt with, they have much more PR spin capital and a relentless will to use it.
At each and every stage of uncovering conclusive evidence that Uber technologies is actively promoting and profiting from insurance and consumer fraud, the company has been able to shrug it off and continue winning the hearts and minds of customers, media outlets and politicians on every side of the spectrum around the globe.
On the municipal level, Uber was unable to win support in Madison.
However with the support of the walker administration, Republican Majority leaders in the state senate and assembly, The Koch industries lobbying front Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and even some Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly, Uber lobbyists were successful in handing off two scripted pieces of legislation which entirely supplanted municipal transportation regulations state wide.
Senate Bill 106 and Assembly Bill 143 grant Uber and other TNCs (Transportation Network Company) the ability to operate state wide in Wisconsin with with virtually none of the regulatory oversight that Taxi Cab companies are mandated too and absolutely no municipal oversight.
The passage of both bills fit a common theme of commercial deregulation and consumer protections deconstruction that the Walker administration has practiced regularly in the legislative process.
Not long after the passage of 106 and 143, I was inspired to do a deeper investigation of Uber to test a theory about the background check and driver application process the company uses.
The investigation
Using Uber’s own driver application process, an individual would apply to be an Uber driver using the company’s online and app based application process. Fake insurance and registration documents would be uploaded to Uber along with the individual’s actual driver’s license. It took some time to find the right individual to volunteer for this but last month I found a person willing.
The application
Over three weeks we submitted four different fake insurance and registration documents.
**Portions have been covered in order to protect the identity of the mole driver.**

Third and final version of fake registration that was accepted.
The documents did not look real to the naked eye and contained several discrepancies that would be simple to detect for anyone actually looking. Despite the obvious lack in veracity of the documents and deception in their content, Uber accepted them and the individual applying as a fully certified Uber driver.
Uber did not even inspect or ask for pictures of the vehicle listed on the fake documents. Though a vehicle did exist, is was not in working order and had been out of registration for months before the application was submitted.
At any point during the application process, any one of the uber techs who spoke with the individual applying or myself could have easily checked either of the fake plate numbers we provided with Wisconsin’s free public DOT plate search service. The service requires no registration or payment to use and takes under 15 seconds to enter and be provided results for any plate number listing the vehicle’s make, year and model as well as notification for the plate being in registration or not.

The first plate number we submitted on fake documents to Uber. Comes up on WI DOT is not a registered plate.

The Plate number on the current vehicle registration Uber accepted and currently has as active on the driver’s profile. The registered vehicle on Uber is a 2001 Buick, the registration is for a 1994 Ford.
The “Driver”
After the driver was activated on Uber, we began a series of test runs to verify that they were in fact activated on the app, available to Uber customers and able to engage rides with customers through the app. We then performed a series of fake ride engagements with volunteer Uber users who knew the driver was registered without proper documentation. The driver canceled each of the ride requests in order to prevent the Users being charged or incriminating themselves as an actual Uber driver.
Our mole driver active on the Uber app (video): https://youtu.be/17VSk9UAj2U
Inside Uber’s office on Whitney Way

601 N Whitney Way Suite C – Uber’s second Madison Office.
After our ride request recordings, we decided to have our driver visit the Uber offices at 601 Whitney Way. During this visit the driver wore a recording device. Much of the conversation between the driver and the “operations manager” “Paul” (no last name listed on company profile), was fairly innocent.
However when asked if the driver should contact their own insurance company to advise them of the driver using their vehicle for Uber, Paul became somewhat vague on the subject and referred the driver to a state farm agent who was actually stationed at the Uber office.
State farm is currently offering rideshare drivers an insurance coverage policy that charges the driver a considerable amount more than a standard liability policy while not actually covering their driving as a rideshare and limiting the number of hours they can drive as a rideshare. State farm has yet to provide the public with any hard numbers that these kinds of policies are actually being sold to rideshare drivers in numbers that represent more than a very small percentage. While the conversation with the Operations manager Paul and the State farm agent were only somewhat unnerving for the driver, a conversation picked up on the recording between Paul and another Uber driver in the office beforehand was much more interesting. Apparently this other Uber driver had been allowed to provide more than 500 rides to customers with a vehicle that was not properly registered on the Uber application.
***Recording provided to the Wisconsin DSPS and FTC for further investigation before release***
A near pinch
During the application process in a live chat conversation with Uber techs, I was asked to upload the insurance document to the tech in real time through the chat service so he could verify it. The tech noticed that the Vin number for the vehicle we submitted was different from that of the first version of the fake insurance policy I uploaded.
**From transcript provided by Uber’s online driver tech support chat service**

(08:05:14)Estepenson VL: Great, I have all the information now.

(08:05:36)mole: sooooooooooooo, how long do i have to wait now?

(08:05:45)Estepenson VL: By the way, it looks like the vehicle registration and vehicle insurance didn’t match.

08:06:03)mole ???

(08:07:05)Estepenson VL: The VIN of the vehicle registered in the registration does not match with the VIN registered in vehicle insurance.

(08:07:51)mole that cant be, it is the same vehicle(08:09:01)Estepenson VL: My apology about the confusion.

(08:10:23)mole: One sec, I just noticed the VIN, it is from my old car, my agent didnt update the VIN on the policy

(08:10:41)mole: Im starting to wonder if anyone ever does their job anymore

(08:10:51)Estepenson VL: Yes, mole.

(08:10:55)mole: ok,… I have to call my insurance agent

(08:11:09)mole: aaaaaand get a new policy update

(08:11:18)mole: ……………great

(08:13:24)Estepenson VL: Yes mole, I will also refer your account to our Advance Team to update the result of your background check status. I see here that it is still on process status and yet you have already received the result.

I thought for certain the next question he would ask is if the policy was fake.
Which he did not. I immediately explained the discrepancy away as our fake insurance agent having forgotten to update the Vin number on a recent policy change from one fake vehicle to another. While the Vin number on the next policy version I provided Uber was for a real vehicle, the registration on the vehicle had been out for nearly a year and also originated in another state with the plate number which was also out of registration. Through out the entire process of dealing with Uber’s online driver tech support chat It was very simple to convince Uber’s tech support with the fake documents. Never once were either myself or the driver questioned as to the documents being fake.
The aftermath and why Uber is stuck using uninsured and fake drivers.
A similar investigation had been done by The Guardian nearly a year ago in Britain.
However that investigation used a currently registered uber driver who uploaded a fake insurance policy as a replacement to his existing one registered on the platform.
The fake insurance document provided was also much better looking than the one we provided.
However Uber obviously did nothing in the way of actually verifying the insurance policy or it’s source. Nor has Uber since remedied the problem or made any public statement that the discrepancy The Guardian investigation discovered would ever be remedied.
Again, this was a year ago.
In our investigation all but the driver’s license were entirely fake and fabricated documents. This investigation took place right here in Madison, Wisconsin.
Uber not only accepted the documents but they made no effort to verify that the insurance company, the insurance policy or the vehicle registration were actually real despite the availability of easy to access and free to use open public records which would have verified any of these documents.
The reason why Uber can not change or this system of driver application or actually verify the documents they are given is because it would force Uber to provide protections and liability for their customers and drivers that the company can not afford. Uber profits by using individuals with their own vehicles and their own liability for operating those vehicles.
In both the Uber driver contract:
&
Uber customer TOS (customer contract for using the service):
It is stated and restated in the agreement terms that the Driver and Customer are waiving their rights to the provision of liability by Uber for the Insurance and safety of the service.
This keeps the insurance policy Uber claims to provide in an easily deniable situation of liability which falls to the drivers and the customers to endure when and if there is an accident or situation that would normally fall to the liability of the transportation provider to cover as with Taxi Cabs, buses, trains, air transportation, water taxis and any other vetted and properly regulated transportation service.
This explains why the majority of Wrecks with uber and other TNC companies like Lyft go uninsured.
The majority of Uber and Lyft drivers also fail to acquire their own commercial insurance to perform rides for hire or even inform their own insurance provider that they are using their own vehicle for commercial purposes as an Uber driver.
Insurance policy terms very clearly indicate that failing to inform your insurance provider of commercial activity with a personal vehicle is a violation of the policy which will entirely invalidate coverage.
Uber advertises the notion of using your own vehicle as a commercial service with their app but they openly discourage and fail to advise drivers that they must either inform their own insurance provider or obtain their own commercial insurance policy in order to maintain proper insurance while driving people for hire.
The rideshare insurance packages offered by companies like state farm also fail to entirely cover drivers while they operate for Uber and other ridesahres.
If Uber drivers were actually aware or considerate of the insurance shortfall with the platform, Uber would lose too many drivers to maintain business and profit.
Uber relies on drivers who are ignorant to the ramifications of driving without insurance or knowingly supply the service without proper insurance for their customers.
This model of business provides a large and irresistible profit margin for Uber. This is why Uber can not and will not change this method of driver application.
This is why Uber has refused to provide service in any city, state or country that has demanded their drivers directly contact and verify contact with their own insurance providers and regulatory bodies before providing services through uber.
In light of the evidence we collected, it is impossible for uber to deny that their platform and method of application is in fact failing to ensure drivers are properly insured or operating vehicles that are properly registered.
The current state law in Wisconsin regarding TNC companies has placed the regulation of these companies with the DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services) which must answer for this flaw in the application process with Uber, Lyft and any other TNCs operating in Wisconsin.
It should be within the power of DSPS to require TNC drivers to verify their insurance status and make the proper notifications to their own insurance providers in order to insure actual insurance coverage for their customers.
Either that or yet another piece of legislation passed by the Walker administration should be facing Judicial oversight for the obvious danger it is now putting Wisconsin residents in.
Before Bills 106 and 143 were passed, I provided a full presentation of the dangers these bills presented to each of the state Assembly and Senate members.
I provided clear warnings for things that have since come to pass not only here in Wisconsin but world wide because of the uninsured operations of ridesahre companies. These were not mystic predictions or anecdotes but rather the simple facts of what would and has come to pass as the cause and effect of allowing the uninsured operations of a company with no regard for public safety or proper insurance liability as a means of doing business.

-Justin La Plante, Ridesafemadison.net

 

Uber should be held Liable for wrongful deaths in passenger assualt incidents including Kalamazoo mass shootings

It should be noted to the families of those slain in the recent Kalamazoo shootings as well as other victims of passenger and also driver assault with the Uber service that Uber technologies has had in place since October of LAST YEAR, a LIVE 1-800 number for reporting drivers and customers.
This 1-800 service was not discovered until March of 2016.
The company was keeping this service a secret and claimed that the 1-800 number was not for “emergency” use.
Though the release of the 1-800 number was for “limited areas” the number can be accessed nationally and the representatives available have access to Uber driver and customer information NATION WIDE.
The system operates by putting the caller in touch with a live Uber representative who has access too:
-Active and inactive Driver and passenger records.
-DIRECT Communication with uber representatives who are able to track and locate drivers in real time through the app’s “god mode”.
Shortly before the Kalamazoo shootings began, an Uber customer who had riden with the shooter Jason Dalton, posted the following picture and warning to facebook after getting no direct response from Uber for his complaints through the app reporting service until hours AFTER the shootings had occurred.
If Uber had made their passengers aware of the 1-800 service this incident could have undoubtedly been prevented. Uber customers had been complaining to uber through the app about Dalton’s erratic and dangerous driving for hours before the shootings began.
Traditional taxi companies are constantly in contact with their drivers and maintain full knowledge of their current location. If an incident is reported with a taxi driver a live dispatch is directly in contact with the customer and direct reports are called into the police for incidents concerning dangerous driving and assaults.
Uber’s method of customer incident reporting through the app exchanges text messages and emails which typically take Uber several hours to respond to.
Since October of 2015 when uber established the 1-800 number there have been over 41 incidents with Uber drivers, all of which could have been either prevented or directly responded to by law enforcement if Uber had been properly relaying incident reports on behalf of their customers and drivers.
Take into account the circumstances of wrongful death lawsuits:

In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:

The death of a human being;

Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm;

The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death,….

A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, such as in the following situations:

Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;

Automobile or airplane accident;

Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;

Criminal behavior;

Death during a supervised activity.

 

A simple break down of the factors that indicate Uber is liable:
– A system of safety or safe guarding that was in place at the time of the incident that could have prevented the incident but was either not employed by operator (in this case Uber) or not properly made available to the customer or general public (in this case the 1-800 number that was active at the time but not included in Uber’s available forms of communications to customers or the general public).
– A series of early warnings and complaints submitted by customers INDICATING A CLEAR DANGER TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AND A DANGER TO THOSE NOT USING THE SERVICE (the general public) which were submitted HOURS BEFORE the incident but not acted upon by the operator (in this case uber) until HOURS AFTER the incident.
– In these circumstances when these factors existed in previous wrongful death suits and civil actions the companies were very clearly found liable.
– These factors hold Uber liable that they were submitted and held complaints indicating a clear public danger AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY BEFORE the shootings took place.
Since Uber DID in fact have a system in place that could have prevented many of these incidents or at the very least hurried the response time of law enforcement to them, the liability does rest with Uber for not having the system made available through the app to it’s customers and with open notice the general public through it’s website and not acting upon complaints which were submitted HOURS before the shootings took place.

Facebook Removal of content concerning Uber Lobbying in Queensland Australia (video)

Ride Safe Madison founder Justin La Plante’s facebook profile was suspended from posting or communication through the social networking site today.

A recent post made by La Plante, (now removed by facebook) contained publicly available information regarding an Uber operations manager working in Queensland and an Uber lobbyists also working in eastern Australia.

Video:

 

Original content of post removed by facebook:

Queesnland! here are your power players with Uber:

Uber Queensland and Sydney representatives and influence.

Chad Hardy

queenslandubermgr01

Operations & Logistics Manager at Uber

Brisbane, Australia

This is THE regional operations manager for Queensland. He calls the shots and makes the dirty deals.

Outreach Coordinator
Out for Australia
Out for Australia is an organisation that seeks to support and mentor aspiring LGBTIQ professionals as they navigate their way through the early stages of their career. 

Likley manipulating the LGBTIQ community of Australia for marketing with Uber.

Jessica Morton
ubersydneylobbyist
Strategy & Planning at Uber

Sydney, Australia

This is a lobbying manager and likely has been taking several meetings with your elected political representatives.

Previously employed by Goldman Sachs. These people are leeches.

Both have worked in administration and councils with the University of queensland.
Uber seems to be hiring directly from the university of queensland.

Response Statement from La Plante:

Hello all,

I’ve asked Sean Stultz to mirror this post for me.  Thank you very much Sean for the assist.
As we have seen in the past (VERY rarely), if a taxi company, news organization or lobbying effort ever had something false to claim about Uber, Uber has been all over it to use it as a means to damn their detractors and claim that taxi companies do nothing but lie and endanger the public.
In my case, Uber tries their hardest to ignore the things I uncover as they can not deny them.
Today something entirely different happened.
I had been researching the recent lobbying efforts of Uber in eastern Australia.
A general manager for Uber in Queensland by the name of Chad Hardy and  lobbying representative by the name of Jessica Morton came up.  I’ve found very little information on the special interest connections with these two individuals while trying very hard to navigate Australia’s current political map.
One thing I did notice was Chad hardey’s involvement with ‘Out for Australia’ an Australian LBGTQ Rights group.  As we have seen int he past Uber likes to manipulate community interests like these to co-opt their own agenda.  This is the reason for the suggestion that Mr. Hardy may be manipulating Out for Australia for the Uber agenda.  One would think that such a suggestion would have been a viable source to accuse defamation or slander if it was in fact false and leave it for all to see in order to retract what I was saying.
Instead the posts were removed by Facebook after several take down requests were made.
This may be from the automated system taking the post down from a certain volume of take down requests or a direct petition with live support having done the take down and suspension.
Or it may simply be that the large amount of shares from the original post lead to a large amount of facebook uber shills reporting it.  However if negative reports on my Uber content lead to such a thing, I would have been banned from facebook long ago.  Even facebook maintains some level of respecting truth in journalism and free expression.
In any case I am blocked from posting, communicating or doing anything but only seeing the content of facebook currently and for the next three days.
There are several things that perplex me about Uber’s political relationships in Australia.  It is far more secretive and less reported than anywhere else I’ve seen the company operate.  The fact that Uber has gone this far in getting content removed and maintain silence indicates that I am on to something they do not want in the public eye.
I know many of you are messaging.  i can not respond, “like” post, reply or so much as friend request until the block is lifted in three days.
Sincerely,
Justin La Plante

Madison Uber driver claims Uber advised him to defraud his insurance and customers (video).

Full Video: Uber driver defrauds insurance and customers.

Meet Mark Grassman of Stoughton, WI.  Like so many other Uber drivers and customers who have recently called our support line, he did not read any of the content on our web pages, facebook pages or any disclaimers on our ‘Uber of madison’ Facebook page.  These disclaimers and the obvious content of our facebook and web pages state clearly that we are in no way involved with uber Technologies and we advise strongly against the use of these services for clear insurance and safety issues.

But for some reason mark assumed we were somehow involved with Uber and would help him with his issue of customer ratings that he feels were unfair.

Mark operates his mercedes in Madison, WI for Uber and does so while clearly defrauding his own insurance provider and customers by not properly reporting to his insurance provider that he is using the vehicle for for hire use as an Uber driver.

Because of Uber’s shady contracting terms, a driver who lies to their own insurance provider will not be covered by Uber if a wreck occurs.   In many cases Uber’s insurance has failed to deliver even when the driver is not at fault and has properly informed their own insurance provider.

But as you can hear from the video, mark has no concern to the safety of passengers or the general public outside of his vehicle while he drives.  He just wants better ratings from customers.

Mark claims that Madison Uber representatives advised him NOT to inform his own insurance provider.

Like them or not, Taxi cabs carry real insurance that you never have to worry about not being there if your driver happens to mangle you in a wreck.

With Uber,it took a year long lawsuit just for the company to pay out in the case of a six year old child that one of their drivers killed.

We have since made sure to inform Mark’s insurance provider and carfax of the vehicle’s use as a commercial provider.

When you drive human beings around for money, you should have insurance to protect those people.  Anything less, is entirely criminal.  Simple as that,

Illegal open bottle service in your Lyft car

Meet Megan Swanger, A Lyft driver in Citris Heights California.

Like so many other Lyft and Uber drivers, Megan has yet to address the open bottle law.

We don’t know if Megan is still working for lyft after this post which came up on her PUBLIC facebook stream three days ago.  It would not be very surprising if she was still driving for Lyft and/or Uber.

 

 

 

11141171_10206275938051133_6915114082750651328_n

 

megammoronlyft023

 

Here is the national database for state laws concerning  ALCOHOL in vehicles.

In California:

 Cal. Vehicle Code §23220 et seq.
(a) No driver shall drink any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle upon a highway.
(b) No passenger shall drink any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle upon a highway.

Cal. Vehicle Code §23223
(a) No driver shall have in his or her possession, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of §23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle, containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(b) No passenger shall have in his or her possession, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of §23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

Cal. Vehicle Code §23229
(a) Except as provided in §23229.1, §23221 and §23223 do not apply to passengers in any bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority, or the living quarters of a housecar or camper.

(b) Except as provided in §23229.1, §23225 does not apply to the driver or owner of a bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority.

And as we all know Lyft and Uber vehicles ARE NOT cabs, limos or busses or given any permit in california that makes them exempt from the no alcohol statute.

Madison Rideshare (Uber & Lyft) drivers behaving badly Part 1

List of current Madison Rideshare drivers with false plates, no registration or no valid insurance on the vehicle:

None of the vehicles on this list have commercial insurance on the vehicle or proper notification to insurance provider, lein holders, warranty providers or service plan providers *invalidates Uber and Lyft policy coverage*.  Meaning NONE of these vehicles have proper coverage of their own or from Uber or Lyft for transporting customers.

Lyft Toyota Corolla 2005 113-HXE
Uber Toyota Matrix 2003 739-GEG (confirmed still active) 
Uber Saab 9 – 3 2004 643-UAY
Lyft Honda Accord 2002 457-VGD Registration is not valid.
Lyft Chevrolet Aveo 2007 592-NES Registered to black 2005 Pontiac
Uber Nissan 2010 487-SZB
Lyft Toyota Rav4 2014 119-MKX
Lyft Chevrolet HHR 2007 974-HZE
Lyft/Uber Hyundai Sonata 2011 432-VTN
Lyft Mitsubishi Galant 2006 G0T T0YZ
Uber Saturn Vue 2006 496-HBU
Uber Subaru Outback 2011 595-PGA
Uber VW Golf 2012 806-MCU
Uber Scion xD 2011 282-KRP
Uber VW Jetta/Passatt ADZ6403 Washington State 
Lyft Mazda Mazda3 2011 946-TAF
Lyft/Uber Toyota Prius 2010 721-VDV (confirmed still active)
Uber Chevrolet Sonic 2013 723-WBT
Uber Honda Civic 2006 219-VWS
Uber Toyota Avalon 2006 G1FT 4 U
Uber Toyota Yaris 2008 927-VLA
Uber Toyota Corolla 2006 704-VHW
Uber Toyota Highlander 2008 798-RPU
Uber Honda CR-V 474-VTH Registered to white 2007 Toyota
Uber Chevrolet Traverse R77 2672 Illinois
Lyft VW Jetta 2009 962-UHT
Uber Toyota Camry 2010 788-SGB
Uber Toyota Corolla 2007 883-PRH
Uber GMC Yukon 2007 403-ECW
Uber Lincoln Town Car 2004 420-WKY
Uber Ford Escape 2009 608-VVP
Uber Nissan Versa 2013 433-WCJ
Uber Toyota Rav4 2009 634-UKD
Uber Toyota Highlander 2008 877-MDT
Uber Saturn Vue 2006 496-HBU
Uber Toyota Sienna 2004 278-URK
Uber Toyota Corolla 2011 144-SEV
Uber Toyota Camry 2013 218-SUY
Uber Toyota Corolla 335-WWS Registered to green 2002 GMC
Uber Toyota Camry 2009 555-VHG
Uber Mazda Mazda5 2008 868-UTK
Uber BMW 3-series 2006 394-SRP
Uber Nissan Altima 2005 912-PKP
Uber Toyota Camry 2009 537-RGG
Uber Toyota Camry 2012 716-RGN
Uber/Lyft Toyota Rav4 2014 520-WML
Uber Honda CR-V 2007 626-UNN
Uber Ford Focus 2012 990-WZB
Uber Toyota Matrix 2009 968-SGR
Uber Chevrolet Aveo 2009 422-TUT
Uber Toyota Prius 2012 425-WLB
Uber VW Routan 2010 733-TSY
Uber Toyota Prius 2010 483-PPU
Uber Volvo XC70 2004 318-ACV
Uber Cadillac Escalade 2007 JH4012 WI Truck plate
Uber Hyundai Elantra 2013 292-TLA
Uber Toyota Camry 2008 850-XCD
Uber Toyota Camry 2014 781-WWH
Uber Toyota Rav4 2004 554-RTU
Uber Toyota Prius 2011 626-CRT
Uber Honda CR-V 2010 34212U WI UW-Madison plate, registered to black 2010 Mazda
Uber Buick Lucerne 576-KBW Registered to grey 2006 Volvo
Uber Nissan Rogue V94 3934 Illinois plate
Uber Kia Sportage 2008 355-NES
Uber Chrysler Pacifica 929-SWN Registered to white 1996 Dodge
Uber Pontiac Vibe 2006 752-TVJ
Uber Mitsubishi Raider 2007 JH1743 WI Truck plate
Uber Toyota Camry 2014 714-WML
Uber Honda Civic 2012 811-WZH
Uber Infiniti G35 VVY995 Indiana plate
Uber Chrysler 300 2006 970-NUY
Uber Chevrolet Traverse 2009 680-TZN
Uber Nissan Cube 2011 609-WUU
Uber BMW 3-series 2013 491-VUW
Uber VW Tiguan 2013 451-TXB
Uber Toyota Corolla 2003 257-THK
Uber GMC Yukon 2015 632-WMK
Uber Nissan Altima 2011 642-VTA
Uber Chrysler Town & Country 2014 495-VRS
Uber Mercury Sedan 2004 414-XBC
Lyft Honda SUV (Pilot/CR-V) 2007 626-UNN
Uber SUV 667-XWD black, no registration found
Uber Sedan W0JCH black, 0 with slash, likely Iowa plate
Uber Honda 2009 605-VJL
Uber Chevrolet 2002 5772B If WI plate, 2002 green Chevrolet special collector plate
Uber Toyota 2013 121-UTD
Uber Dodge 2004 394-SRB silver
Uber Toyota 2005 543-RLG gray
Uber Toyota 2008 699-MJS gray
Uber Toyota 2014 714-WML gray
Uber Lexus SUV 2014 609-VXG black
Uber Kia 2008 355-NES white
Uber Chrysler SUV 2007 929-SHN silver
Uber Toyota 2005 562-VUM grey, plate lookup also gave “inspection required” warning
Uber Nissan SUV 2014 310-SBR red
Uber Honda 2013 435-VUU
Uber Ford 705 9480 Kentucky plates, black hybrid
Dodge 2009 500-SKX black
641-HRC Registered to 1989 Chevrolet (wouldn’t be allowed by Uber)
Dodge 2010 399-UKL black
Dodge 2010 927-TVJ grey
Lexus 2009 683-TCN red
Dodge 2007 756-XBW blue
Chrysler Town & Country V50-733D White IL plates
Hyundai Elantra 790-WLH Silver
Dodge mini-van 756-XBW dark
Toyota Matrix 810-VMT Silver
Toyota Corolla 883-PRH Dark blue
Toyota Sienna 543-RLG Silver with dent in rear bumper
hatchback 299-WHT White
Toyota Prius 955-RXY On State St. making U-turns
Toyota Sienna 114_NEJ Dark
Pontiac Vibe 488-AHJ white
Nissan Sentra 299-VHT might be VGT on State St.
Honda CRV 750-WNC Red

 

Presentation for Wisconsin Senate and Assembly rideshares

To all Senators and Assembly representatives of Wisconsin.

From:

Justin La Plante

499 Blackbird Ln

Madison, WI 53704

Email: colitisscope@gmail.com

Phone: 608-886-5302

Concerning:

WI, Senate Bill 106 Link:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/sb106

WI, Assembly Bill 143 Link:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/ab143

Rideshare/TNC companies operating in Wisconsin.

Due to the information I have collected over the last year concerning TNC companies Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Zimride, I believe the allowances provided by this proposed legislation would be severely damaging not just to the commercial transportation industry but to consumer protections and consumer confidence state wide with regard to commercial transportation. I have collected and am providing to you undeniable proof to that effect.

On March 30th, 2015 I was contacted by an Uber driver wishing to provide testimony concerning the business practices of Uber Technologies in the Madison Area which he believes to be deceptive, fraudulent, illicit and unfair not only to Uber’s drivers but their customers and the general public as well.

The Uber driver’s name is Paul Reznikoff

He can be contacted for further questions and information.

His contact information has been provided to each State Senate and Assembly office.

Paul Reznikoff has provided to the public record the actual Uber driver contract titled ‘Rasier Software Sublicense & Online Services Agreement’. This is a document that has been previously unavailable.

Rasier LLC is a Delaware company which defines it’s relationship with Uber Technologies as:

‘Providing lead generation to the transportation Provider comprised of requests for transportation service made by individuals using Uber Technologies, Inc’s mobile application (“Users”).”

-From ‘Rasier Software Sublicense & Online Services Agreement’

(contract Uber drivers operate under)

Please reference Uber’s actual driver contract agreement.

Uber’s Driver contract agreement:

https://uber-regulatory-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/country/united_states/p2p/Rasier%20Software%20Sublicense%20Agreement%20June%2021%202014.pdf

This contract contains several waivers, liability statements, conduct rules and insurance statements which contradict information that has been provided by Uber representatives and Lobbyists.

1- There is no clear definition or code of conduct defined in the document. Rather there are clear waivers of liability with regard to Uber and Rasier’s liability concerning the conduct of Uber drivers.

2- The terms of insurance coverage in the Rasier contract for uber drivers clearly state that it is the Uber driver and the driver alone (not Uber Technologies or Rasier) who is ultimately responsible for any and all damages caused to customers using the service. This clearly nullifies the liability of Uber’s surplus line policy, Making their obligation to cover any damages and incidentals purely voluntary.

Link to Uber’s ‘James River’ surplus line Insurance policy:

http://www.whosdrivingyou.org/ubers-leaked-insurance.html

Uber’s customer service term agreement:

https://www.uber.com/legal/usa/terms

This agreement reflects the same liability waivers as those in the terms of the Uber Drivers contract.

Most notably with respect to Insurance, codes of conduct and the liability of Uber to compensate or cover any damages or incidentals stemming from the driver’s activity using the app.

Furthermore, it waives the liability of Uber, its associates and employees to maintain any accountability with respect to their own advertising, guarantees and their advertised level of safety and insurance to customers and drivers.

Problems with Insurance companies that now offer coverage to Uber drivers

This is a link to the recent program offered by Farmers insurance in colorado:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/farmers-insurance-one-of-colorados-top-insurers-enters-rideshare-insurance-market-with-introduction-of-new-option-for-colorado-drivers-300021370.html

Make note from the information provided in this release that these policies add an additional premium while also limiting the time a driver may use their own vehicle as a rideshare vehicle.

These policies also DO NOT cover the driver for times when customers are in the vehicle.

These terms have been the same with EVERY proposed policy offered by an insurance company to a rideshare driver for a non-commercial/livery grade policy.

Farmers and other insurance providers who have proposed policies like this one have made no proposals for a commercial/livery grade policy to cover rideshare drivers WHILE they are transporting customers.

Because Uber’s own customer and driver contracting maintains absolutely no liability to insurance coverage from Uber for any incident involving damages, this leaves it to each driver to acquire and maintain a commercial policy on their own vehicle will cover incidentals to the proper commercial level for transporting individuals for hire.

Discriminatory and selective coverage, surge pricing and Uber driver license plate fraud.

I have collected several screen captures of Uber’s app activity in the madison area over the past year.

These screen captures reveal that Uber’s services is provided in a very selective fashion with regard to geographic areas of the city.

Link to Uber and Lyft activity and screen capture data in madison Wisconsin over the last year:

http://ridesafemadison.net/the-uberlyft-bible-facts/

The surge pricing system is also used on a geographically specific basis. While surge prices are charged in more commercial and higher income areas during times which Uber claims there is a high volume of requests, more distant areas of the city are not charged surge pricing.

The surge pricing system is not accounting for actual needs in supply and demand but rather to simply price gouge.

During surge pricing intervals, while a few Uber drivers are able to charge customers a larger surge price, the surge will suddenly drop, leaving more of the Uber drivers still available at the same time and in the same area without the same ability to charge the same rate although the ratio of demand has not changed at all.

As licensed cab drivers and the public have been exposed to Uber and Lyft more and more in the Madison area, a number of traffic incidents and false plates being Used by Uber and Lyft drivers have been reported.

Please make note of the list of Uber and Lyft vehicle license plate numbers on this page

(plate list is located on lower section of this page):

http://ridesafemadison.net/the-uberlyft-bible-facts/

*I have also attached a copy of this plate list report below*

Make note:

1- Of the number of vehicles listed that are registered to a make and model OTHER than the one listed on the state DOT report for the plate number.

2- Of the Lyft and uber drivers photographed violating traffic laws, parking illegally, making threatening and obscene gestures to other motorists and the number of out of state plates listed.

Recorded Testimony of Paul Reznikoff and initial statement.

Statement from Paul Reznikoff:

Monday March 30th, 2015

MY name is Paul Reznikoff, I have been an Uber driver in Madison over the last year. I made the decision on Sunday March 29, 20015 that I no longer want to work for Uber. My reasons are far to many to list, but to sum it up in a clear sentence, I do not want to work for a company that is not 100% crystal clear with how their operations truly work. Working for a company that does not provide an emergency contact phone number is unacceptable to me, and somewhat suspect.

I have authorized Madison resident Justin La Plante (499 Blackbird Ln) to present my

documentation and recorded accounts I have provided to him to share with the Madison City Council, madison city attorney, Wisconsin state legislators of the assembly and Senate and the public record. The documents and recordings I have provided to Justin La Plante account for the business activities of Uber Technologies, which I believe to be deceptive, fraudulent, illicit, and unfair to myself, other Uber drivers and the general public.

Sincerely,

Paul Reznikoff

P.O. Box 658 Wyocena, WI 53969

Ph 608-697-3676

email: paulreznikoff@gmail.com

Recorded testimony of Paul Reznikoff:

*To listen to these youtube segments you must be listed via email, name or google circle for access.  If you are a Wisconsin State legislator, Police or Attorney working on the Uber lawsuit currently, you are likely listed.  If you do not have access email: colitisscope@gmail.com or leave a reply here to request access.* 

Part 1:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utVcwzob3zM

Part 2:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJv42UV30ek

Part 3 & 4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMDVBKMEpAI

Consequences of this legislation if passed

If Bills Senate 106 and Assembly 143 are passed in their current form there will be immediate and damaging effects to commercial transportation state wide.

1- Uber and Lyft drivers will continue to operate without actual insurance coverage for their commercial operations.

2- The incidental costs generated by uninsured accidents, denied coverage, invalidated insurance policies, invalidated warranties, violated lease agreements and service agreements on numerous vehicles will become the burden of Wisconsin Tax payers. This represents a clear case of Taxation without representation. The burden in auto insurance rates and the leasing market will inflate costs, sky rocket premiums and harden insurance provider terms adding to a national financial crisis.

3- The individual rights of cities through out the state will be replaced with a larger government system that will be more costly to the state and likely involve added cost and restructure in administration.

4- Cab companies will of course make the choice to alter their fleets and administrative structure to a TNC model as defined under these bills.

As a result they will be able to:

A- Deny any calls they wish

B- Drop their massive insurance coverage costs for the underinsured surplus line model that Uber and Lyft use.

C- Cause wrecks, kill or injure passengers and even kill pedestrians and only the drivers, not the companies will be on the hook for liability just the same as with the Uber and Lyft models.

D- Drop para-transit service.

E- Drivers will be allowed to discriminate, surge price and provide only selective service on the most profitable hours of the day as apposed to times when requests for cab service are low as Uber and Lyft do.

F- Allow THOUSANDS of daily requests for service state wide to go unanswered leaving the majority of those in your perspective constituency who would use commercial transportation without a ride or a logical explanation. Keep in mind that requests through the Uber and Lyft apps still make up the lowest cross section among those who use Taxis or rideshares since rideshares operate only during the busiest hours and discriminate against a broader spectrum of the general population.

The law makers who supported this legislation will of course be to blame.

This is not a choice any Madison cab company would prefer to make but a choice YOU would be forcing them to make in order to compete under the model YOU would be allowing state wide.

*This has already been discussed among several cab companies in Madison and state wide and WILL be an eventual reality if these laws pass in their current form.*

Suggestions to modify the proposed Bills in order to better serve the Public interest and eliminate the potential incidental Tax burden on Wisconsin Residents.

1- A simple mandate that each TNC driver acquire their own commercial grade insurance with proper notifications to their insurance provider and the state respectively that they are operating the vehicle as a TNC for the named TNC company and have acquired commercial/livery grade insurance for the vehicle to operate in this capacity.

2- A requirement for proper justification when using surge pricing on customers and a system for LIVE billing and conduct disputes with an actual phone number. Currently Uber has no such system.

3- A requirement that TNCs MUST provide an actual phone number for LIVE emergency communications in case of an accident or criminal incident concerning a driver or passenger. Currently Uber’s emergency response system is only over email and takes from 48 to 72 hours to respond.

4- A requirement that the TNC driver must register their own business license and insurance there of since both Uber and Lyft refer to their apps as only ‘tools’ and have repeatedly denied that they provide transportation services as a business.

These amendments would of course not stop taxi companies from reclassifying as TNCs. They would still be able to manipulate the law with respect to their own insurance coverage, para-transit service and the prevention of discrimination and selective service as Uber and Lyft do but it would at least eliminate much of the burden to TAX PAYERS.

Reported incidents of Uber and Lyft drivers getting in wrecks and the result & Uber and Lyft drivers seeking crowd sourcing online for uninsured wrecks.

Uber driver seeking funds for uninsured wreck:

http://www.gofundme.com/rachelandthecity

Uber driver kills 6 year old child between providing rides:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Uber-sued-over-girl-s-death-in-S-F-5178921.php

Seeking funds after an uninsured wreck.

http://www.gofundme.com/piscjg

Lyft driver seeking support after Excessive operating costs and wear on her vehcile.

http://www.gofundme.com/handygirlhybrid

Lyft driver uninsured wreck.

http://www.gofundme.com/4yeiic

Amir’s personal automobile policy did not cover the liability he paid for, Amir did not purchase collision insurance, but was very grateful that Lyft’s liability insurance did completely cover the other driver’s damages as well as all the medical expenses for the passengers. However, Amir was left with $16,000 still owed on a useless totaled car, and had to incur a new car loan of $9,000. To add to this financial disaster, he could no longer Lyft as the accident was found to be his fault, thus leaving him in further financial distress.”

My own experience riding with Lyft and Uber in Madison:

Madison Uber driver admits he is defrauding his own insurance policy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laGZzZUHIzA

Madison Lyft driver:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbmMkn1ryoc

I have provided you with several documents and links which will answer questions that Uber representatives WILL NOT be able to answer honestly.

Please consider the people of this state and the future of TNC companies.

Already there are TNC apps in development that outstrip the capability and safety of Uber and Lyft without violating a single current transportation ordinance in any Wisconsin city.

Let technology catch up to the needs of the people, not violate them.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Justin La Plante

Uber and Lyft vehicle plate list:

Company Make Model Year Plate Notes
Lyft Toyota Corolla

2005

113-HXE
Uber Toyota Matrix

2003

739-GEG (confirmed still active)
Uber Saab 9 – 3

2004

643-UAY
Lyft Honda Accord

2002

457-VGD Registration is not valid
Lyft Chevrolet Aveo

2007

592-NES Registered to black 2005 Pontiac
Uber Nissan

2010

487-SZB
Lyft Toyota Rav4

2014

119-MKX
Lyft Chevrolet HHR

2007

974-HZE
Lyft/Uber Hyundai Sonata

2011

432-VTN
Lyft Mitsubishi Galant

2006

G0T T0YZ
Uber Saturn Vue

2006

496-HBU
Uber Subaru Outback

2011

595-PGA
Uber VW Golf

2012

806-MCU
Uber Scion xD

2011

282-KRP
Uber VW Jetta/Passatt ADZ6403 Washington State
Lyft Mazda Mazda3

2011

946-TAF
Lyft/Uber Toyota Prius

2010

721-VDV (confirmed still active)
Uber Chevrolet Sonic

2013

723-WBT
Uber Honda Civic

2006

219-VWS
Uber Toyota Avalon

2006

G1FT 4 U
Uber Toyota Yaris

2008

927-VLA
Uber Toyota Corolla

2006

704-VHW
Uber Toyota Highlander

2008

798-RPU
Uber Honda CR-V 474-VTH Registered to white 2007 Toyota
Uber Chevrolet Traverse R77 2672 Illinois
Lyft VW Jetta

2009

962-UHT
Uber Toyota Camry

2010

788-SGB
Uber Toyota Corolla

2007

883-PRH
Uber GMC Yukon

2007

403-ECW
Uber Lincoln Town Car

2004

420-WKY
Uber Ford Escape

2009

608-VVP
Uber Nissan Versa

2013

433-WCJ
Uber Toyota Rav4

2009

634-UKD
Uber Toyota Highlander

2008

877-MDT
Uber Saturn Vue

2006

496-HBU
Uber Toyota Sienna

2004

278-URK
Uber Toyota Corolla

2011

144-SEV
Uber Toyota Camry

2013

218-SUY
Uber Toyota Corolla 335-WWS Registered to green 2002 GMC
Uber Toyota Camry

2009

555-VHG
Uber Mazda Mazda5

2008

868-UTK
Uber BMW 3-series

2006

394-SRP
Uber Nissan Altima

2005

912-PKP
Uber Toyota Camry

2009

537-RGG
Uber Toyota Camry

2012

716-RGN
Uber/Lyft Toyota Rav4

2014

520-WML
Uber Honda CR-V

2007

626-UNN
Uber Ford Focus

2012

990-WZB
Uber Toyota Matrix

2009

968-SGR
Uber Chevrolet Aveo

2009

422-TUT
Uber Toyota Prius

2012

425-WLB
Uber VW Routan

2010

733-TSY
Uber Toyota Prius

2010

483-PPU
Uber Volvo XC70

2004

318-ACV
Uber Cadillac Escalade

2007

JH4012 WI Truck plate
Uber Hyundai Elantra

2013

292-TLA
Uber Toyota Camry

2008

850-XCD
Uber Toyota Camry

2014

781-WWH
Uber Toyota Rav4

2004

554-RTU
Uber Toyota Prius

2011

626-CRT
Uber Honda CR-V

2010

34212U WI UW-Madison plate, registered to black 2010 Mazda
Uber Buick Lucerne 576-KBW Registered to grey 2006 Volvo
Uber Nissan Rogue V94 3934 Illinois plate
Uber Kia Sportage

2008

355-NES
Uber Chrysler Pacifica 929-SWN Registered to white 1996 Dodge
Uber Pontiac Vibe

2006

752-TVJ
Uber Mitsubishi Raider

2007

JH1743 WI Truck plate
Uber Toyota Camry

2014

714-WML
Uber Honda Civic

2012

811-WZH
Uber Infiniti G35 VVY995 Indiana plate
Uber Chrysler 300

2006

970-NUY
Uber Chevrolet Traverse

2009

680-TZN
Uber Nissan Cube

2011

609-WUU
Uber BMW 3-series

2013

491-VUW
Uber VW Tiguan

2013

451-TXB
Uber Toyota Corolla

2003

257-THK
Uber GMC Yukon

2015

632-WMK
Uber Nissan Altima

2011

642-VTA
Uber Chrysler Town & Country

2014

495-VRS
Uber Mercury Sedan

2004

414-XBC
Lyft Honda SUV (Pilot/CR-V)

2007

626-UNN
Uber SUV 667-XWD black, no registration found
Uber Sedan W0JCH black, 0 with slash, likely Iowa plate
Uber Honda

2009

605-VJL
Uber Chevrolet

2002

5772B If WI plate, 2002 green Chevrolet special collector plate
Uber Toyota

2013

121-UTD
Uber Dodge

2004

394-SRB silver
Uber Toyota

2005

543-RLG gray
Uber Toyota

2008

699-MJS gray
Uber Toyota

2014

714-WML gray
Uber Lexus SUV

2014

609-VXG black
Uber Kia

2008

355-NES white
Uber Chrysler SUV

2007

929-SHN silver
Uber Toyota

2005

562-VUM grey, plate lookup also gave “inspection required” warning
Uber Nissan SUV

2014

310-SBR red
Uber Honda

2013

435-VUU
Uber Ford 705 9480 Kentucky plates, black hybrid
Dodge

2009

500-SKX black
641-HRC Registered to 1989 Chevrolet (wouldn’t be allowed by Uber)
Dodge

2010

399-UKL black
Dodge

2010

927-TVJ grey
Lexus

2009

683-TCN red
Dodge

2007

756-XBW blue
Chrysler Town & Country V50-733D White IL plates
Hyundai Elantra 790-WLH Silver
Dodge mini-van 756-XBW dark
Toyota Matrix 810-VMT Silver
Toyota Corolla 883-PRH Dark blue
Toyota Sienna 543-RLG Silver with dent in rear bumper
hatchback 299-WHT White
Toyota Prius 955-RXY On State St. making U-turns
Toyota Sienna 114_NEJ Dark
Pontiac Vibe 488-AHJ white
Nissan Sentra 299-VHT might be VGT on State St.
Honda CRV 750-WNC Red

The Truth about Ridesharing Larry Kaufmann Refuses to Tell You

  • I recently read Larry Kaufmann’s, The Politics of Ridesharing in the Isthmus. As a former cab driver in Madison, I take issue with many errors in his article.

Graphic: David Michael Miller

Using the Uber app for payments

Firstly, Kaufmann claims that no money is changing hands between the passenger and driver using the Uber service. This deceptive talking point is often used by Uber’s own representatives to disguise the fraudulent nature of how Uber really does business.

While paper cash is not used in the transaction, money is being transferred directly from the customer’s debit or credit card account by way of the Uber app. The app requires a connected account before services can be provided. The funds from payments are then split at a rate of 80% for the driver and 20% for Uber. This method of charging funds limits a customer’s choice of payment method and automatically discriminates against those who are unable to use a credit or bank card, as well as those who don’t have a smart phone capable of running the Uber app. Uber drivers are also entirely cut out of the process of tipping.

Wait times with Uber and discrimination

Kaufmann claims that wait times for the Uber service are lower than those of traditional cab services. While he is right about the wait times, he fails to examine exactly why Uber drivers get to their preferred stock of customers so quickly.

screensScreen captures of the Uber app activity in Madison show that Uber is servicing barely 20% of the city’s geographic area. While other cab companies operate throughout Madison, Uber makes it clear that they will consistently deny and avoid orders for service in areas they deem too “poor” or “off-color.” Add to this the number of customers already denied service for being too poor to own a smart phone or to old or inexperienced to use one.

Uber relies on the reviews of those who use smart phones regularly. That makes up a good amount of UW students and the affluent of the Isthmus area. As you can see from this list of regular screen captures taken from September to December of 2014 on the Ride Safe Madison website, Uber maintains a consistent denial that the majority of Madisonians even exist.

Uber’s fare rates and fraudulent charges

Kaufmann claims that Uber’s fare rates are lower than that of traditional cab companies in Madison. That claim is only 50% true. While Uber’s current rates (dropped by $2 per fare in November of 2014) are cheaper than that of Madison Taxi or Union Cab, the average rates charged by Green Cab and Badger Cab are still $2 to $3 cheaper per fare than Uber.

Surge pricing

A recent post on Uber’s Reddit page detailing how Uber and their drivers manipulate surge pricing.

Uber regularly practices a system of over charging that they call “surge pricing,” which has already charged some Madisonians as much as $80 to go from Camp Randal to East Washington near East town Mall. Uber claims that surge pricing meets the needs of supply and demand during times of increased traffic and orders. However, app activity during surge priced times from the same list of screen captures show Uber is only activating the higher surge prices in specific geographic areas and then deactivating surge pricing after a few of their drivers have gotten fares at the higher rates. Meanwhile the majority of the city’s geographic area not in the surge price areas go entirely without service while Uber drivers avoid them.

Why would anyone pick up customers that would pay them only $5 when they can pick up customers who will pay them $25 for the same amount of time and distance? This system is not being used as a means of meeting supply and demand, but more to discriminate against lower-income residents while cherry picking the market to favor higher profits.

The Safe Rides Fee and bogus insurance

Another additional $1 fee that is charged to the customer and the portion of the driver’s cut of payments are what Uber claims as a “Safe Rides Fee.”

safeUber claims that the Safe Rides Fee is “a fee added to UberX fares on behalf of drivers (who may pay this fee to Uber) in cities with UberX ridesharing. This Safe Rides Fee supports continued efforts to ensure the safest possible platform for Uber riders and drivers, including a federal, state, and local background check process, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, development of safety features in the app, and more. For complete pricing transparency, you’ll see this as a separate line item on every UberX receipt.”

Why Uber charges this fee as a part of the service concerning the driver’s training, background check and checks of their vehicles is confusing. Uber performs no driver training beyond a series ofshort videos with no review or testing process, virtually no in-person vehicle inspections (Madison Uber drivers only send in pictures of their vehicles), and their background check process has already overlooked registered sex offenders. Convicted felons were allowed to drive on the UberX platform, the very service on which Uber charges the Safe Rides Fee.  UberX is the only Uber service offered in Madison.

It is even more confusing when you look at the insurance coverage Uber claims it provides for its passengers and drivers during rides. This insurance coverage has not turned up to compensatethose injured and even killed by Uber drivers, even when those people were customers. 

Since Uber does not require their drivers to maintain a commercial insurance policy to use the service, it is then left to Uber’s advertised insurance policy to be in place.

Section 5 of Uber’s own TOS clearly states that Uber maintains no liability for claims, damage or injuries suffered by those using the service. Uber’s current service term agreement section 5 fromwww.uber.com/legal:

5. DISCLAIMERS; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY; INDEMNITY

DISCLAIMER.

THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE.” IN ADDITION, UBER MAKES NO REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY, OR GUARANTEE REGARDING THE RELIABILITY, TIMELINESS, QUALITY, SUITABILITY, OR AVAILABILITY OF THE SERVICES OR ANY GOODS OR SERVICES OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SERVICES, OR THAT THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE. YOU AGREE THAT THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES, AND ANY THIRD PARTY GOOD OR SERVICES OBTAINED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, REMAINS SOLELY WITH YOU, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW.

THIS DISCLAIMER DOES NOT ALTER YOUR RIGHTS AS A CONSUMER TO THE EXTENT NOT PERMITTED UNDER THE LAW IN THE JURISDICTION OF YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.

UBER SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, PERSONAL INJURY, OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, EVEN IF UBER HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. UBER SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, LIABILITY OR LOSSES INCURRED BY YOU ARISING OUT OF: (i) YOUR USE OF OR RELIANCE ON THE SERVICES OR YOUR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SERVICES; OR (ii) ANY TRANSACTION OR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND ANY THIRD PARTY PROVIDER, EVEN IF UBER HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. UBER SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR DELAY OR FAILURE IN PERFORMANCE RESULTING FROM CAUSES BEYOND UBER’S REASONABLE CONTROL. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIRD PARTY TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION SERVICES REQUESTED THROUGH UBERX MAY OFFER RIDESHARING OR PEER-TO-PEER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES AND MAY NOT BE PROFESSIONALLY LICENSED OR PERMITTED. IN NO EVENT SHALL UBER’S TOTAL LIABILITY TO YOU IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICES FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES AND CAUSES OF ACTION EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED U.S. DOLLARS (US $500).

THESE LIMITATIONS DO NOT PURPORT TO LIMIT LIABILITY THAT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED UNDER THE LAW IN THE JURISDICTION OF YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE.

The other portion of the same document that is in all caps requires the passenger to agree thatUber isn’t even providing them with transportation services and has no liability with respect to any claims for how safe or reliable the service may or may not be.

In simple legal terms, this means that what Uber advertises as “safety” and “insurance” are instantly invalidated as soon as an Uber driver or customer switch on the app and hit the “agree” button.

Paul Soglin and Scott Resnick on Uber

Kaufmann’s opening comparatives on the political divide over Uber and other transportation network companies (TNC) between incumbent Paul Soglin and his mayoral challenger Scott Resnick produced a rather funny foot-in-mouth irony.

Kaufmann states:

Leading the charge is Mayor Paul Soglin, who treats Uber as if it were the spawn of Satan, or at least the Koch brothers.

afpShortly before a recent city Transportation and Parking Commission (TPC) council meeting, the Koch Brothers lobbying front AFP threw its hat in to support Uber with this email urging Madison residents to show up at a TPC council meeting and send emails to the city council in support of Uber’s efforts to do business in Madison.

Scott Resnick has since religiously avoided questions concerning the Koch Brothers involvement and support of Uber. Though Resnick had been attending TPC meetings in support of his own revisions to the city’s transportation ordinance, he skipped this meeting entirely. Paul Soglin did not. As a former cab driver himself, Soglin understands how taxis and peer-to-peer/point-to-point commercial transportation works and how it can be manipulated to favor certain customers over others.

Scott Resnick claims that companies like Uber, Lyft and other TNCs are here to stay. This is a regular byline of officials in cities that have given in to the massive deregulation and the discriminatory business model that companies like Uber bring to the table.

Both Soglin and Resnick have made proposals for changes to the city’s current transportation ordinances which would allow Uber to operate here while more or less adhering to basic rules of proper insurance and safety requirements. However, while Soglin’s proposals would require things like proper background checks and insurance coverage on the part of Uber and Uber drivers,Resnick’s proposals are a kind of “soft regulation” that Uber knows it could manipulate. With Resnick’s proposals, they could operate without full compliance, as they have done in several US cities that claim responsible allowances have been made for Uber and other TNCs.

A recent ordinance change in Milwaukee claimed to allow Uber to operate legally there. While Uber announced that their operations in Milwaukee were now legal, they have not fully complied with the vehicle inspections mandated by the Milwaukee ordinance, along with other key elements of the law.

Kaufmann claims that ordinances mandating insurance and safety would be unnecessary when applied to Uber because he claims the company:

… is a well-capitalized firm that can absorb potential liability from accidents.

However, there is currently not one US city or state that has not reported major problems with ordinance compliance from Uber after passing allowances for the company to operate. Uber has yet to pay compensation or even claim ethical liability for several injuries and two deaths caused by Uber drivers in the last year alone.

For all its claimed billions and from its own contracting, Uber has no interest in maintaining liability with respect to its own business. Unlike Kaufmann and Resnick, Paul Soglin knows this and has been trying desperately to end the madness of the so-called “sharing economy” before it takes root in Madison.

Kaufmann talks about reliability with the Uber service. And yet Uber is not mounting cameras in their vehicles to maintain that claim of reliability as companies like Green Cab do. There would be no need for speculative claims or a rating system when one can see and hear what transpires in and outside the vehicle.

Kaufmann’s Fake Facts

Kaufmann wraps this article with more of the economics and popularity of the “shared economy.” Mentioning companies like AirbnB, citing examples of the statistical popularity of Uber with “tech-savvy” students and the “millennial” generation, and a speculation that every Epic employee in the last ten years must also love Uber is entirely unsubstantiated. He again fails to be responsible about the facts behind these claims. He is talking about the the rich and tech-savvy young that Uber has easily exploited with social network manipulation, false advertising and lies. That is hardly a large or even remotely diverse cross-section of Madison or anywhere else for that matter.

Meanwhile, those who can read and understand a TOS agreement before hitting the “agree” button, are consistently denied service from companies like Uber for being too old, poor or non-white, and who would prefer to pay for a ride with a service that actually has insurance are not impressed. There are plenty who use Uber and talk about it online, but they are hardly the vox populi or even a remotely well-informed portion of society.

Kaufmann’s “credentials”

While Kaufmann claims to be an “economic consultant,” there is little that would support that.The Heartland Institute, the fake non-profit and lobbying firm which calls itself a “think tank,” notes Kaufmann as an “expert.” It is not surprising that the Heartland Institute has a close personal history with The Koch Brothers and AFP. It is clear what Kaufmann’s intentions were with his “article.”

The real economics of Uber and the Sharing economy 

Any legitimate economist with the least bit of ethics understands the kind of economic disaster that Uber represents. The company holds the majority of its assets in a fleet of drivers nationwide who are using their personal vehicles as a means of providing commercial transportation without proper notifications or arrangements with lease, warranty, service or their own insurance policies. They are providing those services under an insurance policy which Uber invalidates with its own contracting. This makes Uber’s incidental costs an exponentially growing behemoth that inevitably end up coming out of the pockets of taxpayers and insurance policy holders.

Those who tout Uber as some wonderful new idea forget that many large companies in the US once did business virtually identical to the business model that the shared economy proposes: before the great depression.

Every month we read about insurance, safety and ordinance violations committed by Uber. Communities that deal with the company have lost money and continue to suffer because Uber refuses to live up to its own claims or respect simple laws that would ensure their drivers and customers are not being defrauded or themselves defrauding others.

The idea of peer-to-peer ride share apps is not inherently fraudulent by nature. Already each of Madison’s local cab companies has either developed or is developing their own connection and ordering apps. Some cab companies and app development companies have even proposed creating a means to allow independent drivers the ability to operate as ride share vehicles without limiting how a customers pays, inviting discrimination and surge pricing, or operating without any real insurance.

But what Uber has done is to take a good idea and use it in the worst way possible.

That is not innovation, that is a confidence scam.

 

-Justin La Plante

Former Madison cab driver & Multimedia Engineer

Ride Safe Madison endorses Paul Soglin for Mayor & Rebecca Kemble for city council

Cab Drivers for Madison Safety and Ride Safe Madison are proud to endorse Paul Soglin for Madison’s 2015 Mayoral race.10957905_937559616255506_1715475698790446980_n

As a former cab driver himself, Paul understands Commercial transportation intimately. He knows what it means to work long hours behind the wheel and the measure of safety and accountability that must accompany any genuine cab driver.

When Uber and Lyft came to Madison it was hardly a surprise that the Koch brothers showed up to promote the mission of these companies to put uninsured drivers with no public accountability in uninspected vehicles on Madison streets just so Uber and Lyft could make a quick buck.
In the year that has passed since Uber and Lyft began operating illegally in Madison, they have shown this community time and time again that they are neither accountable or in the least bit ethical in their actions or methods of business.

Scott Resnick has shown Madison that he neither understands or values the idea of safe and accountable commercial transportation. Even when The Koch Brothers lobbying front AFP began promoting the efforts of Uber to defraud Madisonians and lie to the Madison city council, Scott Resnick still showed support for his own proposed changes to the Madison commercial transportation ordinance that would allow uninsured drivers with Lyft and Uber to operate without actual insurance, discriminate against Madison residents based on age, income and race and charge Madisonians what ever they wished with no justification or accountability.

The very purpose of Cab Drivers For Madison Safety and Ride Safe Madison is to protect and uphold Safety, Accountability and Fair service to ALL Madison residents. Paul Soglin shares that purpose.

Please turn out to vote on April 7th and show your support for Paul Soglin.

 

Cab Drivers for Madison Safety and Ride Safe Madison are VERY proud to endorse Rebecca Kemble for District 18 (North side) of Madison. 

10920907_549894568446395_440071943771635555_n

As a Madison cab driver, Rebecca knows the community well.  The 18th district faces challenges that Rebecca is more than ready to meet.

Please turn out to vote on April 7th and show your support for Rebecca Kemble.

Rideshare & Taxi safety resource for the Madison area