Uber - www.uber.com

Contract Title Uber - USER
Contract Website www.uber.com
Contract Application Uber mobile app & website
Contract Type app with website
Contract Date 12/13/2017
TOS Website uber.com/legal/terms/us/
Total Rating 53.33

Total Page Count 30

Terms: 10 pages; Privacy: 9 pages; User Guidelines: 11 pages, Plus so many other policies. The worst is the unsolicited idea policy, which absolutely no one reads, and yet everyone is bound by.

The Right to Privacy 1 out of 5

Dated 11/1/17. In the USA, data controller is Uber Technologies in San Francisco; Outside the US, the data controller is Uber B.V. in the Netherlands. Collects transaction info, device info, log data.

BAD ASPECTS: No cell phone porting warning or discussion about account recovery. Doesn't explain what a data controller is. Keeps the content of all text messages you send via the system. They collect the names and contact information of your entire address book. On p5, legal proceedings, it's way too broad, allowing them to share your private information with law enforcement without a subpoena. P7: "If we believe it is required by applicable law, regulation, operating agreement..." No, we don't care what you 'believe'. ONLY if it is required by law. Otherwise, no. Regulation? Operating agreement? Way too murky. There's also a link for additional information: "Uber Guidelines for Law Enforcement Authorities", so the entire privacy policy is actually not all contained in the privacy policy.

GOOD ASPECTS: Can download the previous policy, but what about the ones prior? The privacy policy (apparently) is for all users worldwide, despite having a different TOS for virtually every country. They use good bold-faced bullet points (which is good), but alas, the bullet points themselves say nothing. They appear to be just glorified headers. You can opt-out of text messages, but this was found on page 6 of the TOS--it should be in the privacy policy, if the policies are going to be separate.

The Right to Equal, Fair, & Reasonable Expression 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: They use undefined words like 'nuisance', 'annoyance', inconvenience', 'property damage' etc as reasons for being kicked off. But what is a nuisance? An annoyance? To whom? What defines property damage--if someone spills coffee by mistake on some papers, that person just caused property damage. Is that grounds for termination? It is so incredibly unclear what you can be kicked off for. In certain places, they repeat the same information over and over, i.e in the user community guidelines (which is also a part of the TOS). There is a strict no gun policy, which in theory seems like a good idea, but is that going to prevent criminals from bringing them in cards? Further, this is an absurd policy when it's a constitutional right to bear arms. Consider this: if someone has a right to carry a pistol in his or her city, that person is legally allowed to take the pistol in a normal tax cab, also on a public bus, and walking around on the streets, but not in an Uber? Where is the sense in that? So basically, someone can be kicked off the service for legally carrying a firearm.

GOOD ASPECTS: They are trying to make it clear what you can be kicked off for, but they do not do a good job unfortunately.

The Right to Control My Intellectual Property 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: "Your submissions and their content become the property of Uber, without any compensation to you." By the way, this is on a separate document called "Unsolocited Idea Submission Policy". Did they tell you about this in the terms of service? No, they did not. It's also egregiously unfair. On page 10 of the TOS, there is an external link. Shouldn't be there--the information should be right there in the agreement. "Uber may make, use, sell..." blah blah anything you write or submit. They also use "transferable", "sublicensable", "modify", and "royalty free". This language combined with their 'unsolicited idea submission policy' basically ensures that they own absolutely anything you submit. Be sooooo careful. Not cool.


The Right to Sue 1 out of 5

Laws of California. Choice of law provision confusing.

BAD ASPECTS: Except for small claims issues, all lawsuits are barred. Liability is greatly limited.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can sue in small claims.

The Right to Low-Cost Arbitration 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: The mandatory arbitration clause is bold and on the 1st page, but could be clearer with a heading called: "Forced Arbitration". If you win, your legal fees are paid for. If Uber wins, you don't have to pay their legal fees. Allows consumer arbitration rules. Arbitration happens in the county where you reside! This is the first agreement that actually does what we expect in the TOS Fairness Bill of Rights. Good job Uber--on this point. If your claim is less than $10,000, then arbitration is conducted simply via documents. If greater than $10,000, your hearing rights are determined by AAA (American Arbitration Association) rules.

BAD ASPECTS: This is apparently only for those who live in the USA. All others must read a country specific TOS, which is a great burden. Their liability is greatly limited. There is a huge indemnification clause, and it's not clear to the average reader if this is 3rd party indemnity, or a full indemnity. AAA rules are forced, and so is the FAA (Federal Arbitration Act). If they ever change the terms, you have a 30-day right to refuse any changes to the arbitration agreement, but this is stupid: a) who reads these agreements and knows about this, and b) if Uber changes it in their favor, if you don't exercise this right, then you lose the protections previously afforded. Not cool.

The Right to Join a Class Action 0 out of 5

Fully waived.

The Right to No Hidden Terms or Fees 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: On page 4, section 3, Uber states that they are not a provider of transportation, logistics, or delivery, and are not a transportation carrier. Okay, then what are you? Are you trying to get out of every bit of responsibility? On page 5, the section called "User Conduct", it's just one paragraph. However, they fail to mention that there is an 11-page 'Community Guidelines' section that explosively expands the demands on you as a user. Also, they are not guidelines, because if you violate them, it's grounds for termination of your account. They are clearly not 'guidelines'--they are hard and fast rules to be obeyed. Oh, and they don't tell you this up front either: if you bring a legal gun into the vehicle, that's grounds for account termination. Not cool--to be penalized for abiding by the law. You are responsible for any use of your account, even if maliciously hacked by someone else. You have no right to assign your account privileges but they can assign all of theirs, without your consent. On pages 78, there is talk of many fees: cancellation fees, etc. A complicated big paragraph that should be disclosed up front.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can opt-out of changes to the agreement within 30 days, but they don't clearly make you aware of this.

The Right to Fair Process & To Be Heard 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: No due process. No warning process. No opportunity to correct. No defense period. No fair and impartial decision-making process.

GOOD ASPECTS: In some rare cases (see p.2), they MAY contact you to investigate any allegations against you before kicking you off the platform, but there is no clear policy or obligation to do this.

The Right to Appeal & The Right to Return 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: No clear policy. Nothing is mentioned about an appeal process for users.

GOOD ASPECTS: On p6, User Community Guidelines, there appears to be some form of limited appeal process, but this only applies to drivers.

The Right to Reasonable Terms 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Too many policies, and they are all separate. Incredibly confusing. It's perplexing to believe that they actually expect users to read all these agreements; even more perplexing that users are expected to find them all. The firearms policy is absurd, particularly since they don't tell anyone about this when you sign up. A better policy: no illegal firearms. It's outrageous that someone will a legal firearm (i.e. a security guard going to work, an off-duty copy, a mother taking her kids to a soccer game) will be kicked off the platform for abiding by the law. On page 9, it states that "the entire risk" is taken on by a user, i.e. Uber will accept no responsibility if you are raped, robbed, mugged, spit on, murdered, etc while using the service. That's good to know! And finally, there is no contact info anywhere. Just one random email address that is clearly not the legal department or customer service.


Historical Fairness 5.33 out of 10
Historical User Ratings 10.0 out of 10
Historical Lack of Lawsuits or Arbitrations 10.0 out of 10
Public Placement of TOS Fairness Score & Link 20.0 out of 20
Total Rating 53.33 out of 100
Additional Note

Emails: change-dr@uber.com Couldn't find any others in the TOS, and a user shouldn't be forced to find it anywhere else. User community guidelines dated 10/17/17.

Ways to improve

1. Combine all policies into ONE!
2. Get rid of your "Unsolicited Idea Policy", or modify it to be more reasonable.
3. Explain the cell phone porting and email recovery system better. Make it clear what happens if they lose access, and offer more and multiples ways to regain account access.
4. Fix your law enforcement request policy.
5. Create a more objective system to determine a TOS violation, particularly as it pertains to free speech
6. Your gun policy needs to go. If I can ride in a taxi with a legal concealed firearm, then I should also be able to ride in an Uber. MAYBE: You must disclose any legal firearms upon entry into any Uber. Not a blanket ban.
7. Allow users to sue you from their home city, with no limits on recovery.
9. Allow users to file arbitration using any arbitration organization. Do not force them to use AAA. Do not force users to conduct arbitration via documents if they wish to be heard live, in person.
10. Allow users to join a class action of any sort.
11. Explain why you need a different TOS for every country. Does that mean that when an American goes to France, he or she is now subject to an entire different terms of service? That's not cool, and 100% not clear... to anyone.
12. Create fair process and a right to be heard.
13. Create a right to appeal and the right to return.
14. Post your score and link on your site.

Review Status Completed

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Reviewed by the following attorneys and/or law students:

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First Name Last Name Country Last updated
Monroe Mann USA - NY 05/29/2018
Monroe Mann USA - NY 05/29/2018
Monroe Mann USA - NY 06/01/2018
Monroe Mann USA - NY 06/01/2018