In December, thousands of Uber drivers got this surprising message: “An incorrect payment was made to your account…and the overpayment amount will be subtracted from your balance.”
Translation: “We gave you too much money and now we’re taking it away.” As you can imagine, many drivers aren’t happy to be losing that money.
And it wasn’t an insignificant amount for every driver: The driver below is getting over $215 taken away from Uber. Ouch!
Here’s what happened: Due to a technical glitch, some drivers were overpaid for rides on December 6 and 7. The overpayment was an invalid ‘miscellaneous adjustment’ payment on some rides. Now, Uber is taking those miscellaneous adjustments back by deducting money from driver accounts.
For some drivers, the entire overpayment will be deducted from their balance in one transaction. For others, the amount will be deducted in several installments.
Many are now starting a new week with a negative balance. New earnings will pay toward the negative balance, and some will have to deal with the deduction installments for weeks.
First, drivers started getting unexplained ‘miscellaneous adjustments’
On December 6 and 7, drivers noticed a strange ‘miscellaneous adjustment’ in their earnings. One driver said, “Uber started adding a miscellaneous adjustment to all my rides today and itʻs made my earning on every trip just about double?”
Some thought it was a surprise bonus, but others were wise enough to see that Uber could take the money back if it was a mistake: “In 3 weeks, you will notice another “adjustment ” They will say that you were overpaid and they are taking it back.”
Then, Uber sent out a notice that they were taking the money back
The party ended on December 10th. Hundreds of drivers took to Facebook and Reddit to share the message from Uber that the miscellaneous adjustments from the previous week were being clawed back.
Drivers are upset at the lack of information
Drivers were not happy to wake up to a negative balance and the promise of future earnings deductions. Many didn’t notice the ‘miscellaneous payments’ from the previous week, and some think drivers shouldn’t have to pay for Uber’s error.
“Why am I being punished for Uber’s technical failure?”
“If they made a ‘technical error’ then that’s their fault, they should eat the cost of their mistake”
“Uber is straight up stealing money now”
But not every driver thinks that this was unfair:
“You ain’t being punished. They are just taking the money back that was paid in error, which is perfectly legal to do so”
“Because they gave you more than you earned, you owe them”
“You all knew this was going to happen. Now you’re mad.”
This has happened before!
This isn’t the first time that Uber has charged drivers for overpayments. In March and April 2023, some drivers received duplicate earnings for some rides and Uber ultimately took the money back.
During that time, some drivers were overpaid hundreds or even thousands of dollars because the mistake went on for weeks. This time, the mistake only occurred over a 24-hour period, so the deductions will be smaller.
As upset as drivers were about this mistake, it all appears to be within the terms of service and drivers don’t seem to have any immediate or easy recourse.
Someone might want to test Uber in court, but most drivers will take it on the chin and move on.
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