The feds are probing accusations that Uber has been bilking customers because the ride-sharing giant winds down its “Uber Rewards” loyalty program, The Post has learned.
In August, Uber said that starting Nov. 1 it can scrap Uber Rewards — a program launched in 2018 that uses a free, points-based system to dole out perks like complimentary rides and discounted food deliveries — to concentrate on its paid subscription service, Uber One.
The Federal Trade Commission, nevertheless, has launched a casual investigation into complaints that Uber is making it difficult to redeem Uber Rewards points ahead of expiration, sources near the situation told The Post.
The corporate in August sent customers an email announcing it was ending this system, in line with a report. But some said they never received any emails and “didn’t even know” it was ending. One source who has amassed greater than 20,000 points — value nearly $150 in rides — said he was repeatedly met with a message saying, “Sorry, something is fallacious — please try again later” as he tried unsuccessfully to redeem them.
The Federal Trade Commission has launched a casual investigation into complaints that Uber is making it difficult to redeem Uber Rewards points ahead of expiration.Universal Images Group via Getty
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is laser focused on Uber’s bottom line.Getty Images
“Uber just desires to apologize for an error — not actually pay out the cash,” the irate customer told The Post.
By the top of the month the agency could announce a more formal investigation into Uber ending its perk program, a source near the FTC told The Post. The source added that Uber should extend the chance for users to redeem points because of this of the glitches.
Uber users who tried to redeem points repeatedly got a screen that read, “Sorry, something is fallacious.”
The FTC probe comes as Uber’s former chief security officer Joe Sullivan last week was slapped with criminal obstruction charges for failing to report a cyber hack to federal authorities. Sullivan, who paid a $100,000 “bug bounty” to a hacker in 2016 to guard users’ data tried to forestall regulators from checking out concerning the payment, the FTC alleged. Sullivan could face eight years in prison.
“The feds have been playing close attention to Uber — from the continued hacks that risk consumers’ personal information to this scam-like rewards program nonsense,” a source near the FTC added. “Bottom line is that there’s an Uber ‘pool’ of problems the corporate is facing internally.”
While it’s not clear how much money Uber could save by ending this system without properly paying out points, people near the FTC imagine it could possibly be within the tens of millions.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg in August that his focus at the corporate is “profitability” as the corporate’s stock has tanked greater than 35% over the past 12 months. People near Khosrowshahi say he has checked out each piece of the corporate — including rewards program — and whether it helps the corporate’s shareholders.
Starting Nov. 1, Uber will offer all customers a free monthlong trial of Uber One. However the high-quality print reveals that enrolling users will routinely be renewed unless they opt out, putting them on the hook for a $9.99 monthly fee.
While it’s not clear how much money Uber could save by ending this system without properly paying out points, people near the FTC imagine it could possibly be within the tens of millions. Getty Images
Protecting users from glitchy rewards programs has been a spotlight for the FTC over the past decade. In 2010, the agency implemented a rule that ensured corporations needed to honor gift cards for no less than five years and that the cash on those cards couldn’t expire before then.
An Uber spokesperson didn’t reply to requests for comment.
An FTC spokesperson declined to comment.