Man Starts Uber Black Business Has Account Shut Down for Suspicion of Fraud After Spending $180K
It seems like Uber has some serious beef with Black employees and drivers of color.
After a report showed Uber and Lyft have been deactivating Black driver accounts with little to no explanation, more drivers are coming forward to talk about their experience with the company.
Miguel Abreu drove for Uber for seven years but wanted to take things up a notch.
According to MarketWatch, he decided to purchase a Chevy Tahoe and Mercedes for $90,000 to start a luxury Uber Black, a premium service the company offers to customers. After spending $10,000 on a commercial license, the Massachusetts resident found himself unable to log into his account. Uber Technologies had deactivated his account because he was suspected of splitting his account, or having two drivers using one account.
According to recent reports, 40% of drivers said they weren’t given an explanation of why they were fired. Abreu said he wanted an explanation. “How could that be?,” Abreu said he questioned Uber. ” You know I’m an Uber Black driver. I bought this expensive car, got my commercial license. I shouldn’t just be deactivated.”
In order to be an Uber Black driver, drivers must have higher ratings, the required license, and newer cars – so nothing should have gone wrong for Abreu. However, federal regulations tell a different story.
The state of Massachusetts conducts additional background checks for drivers, on top of ones run by the hiring company – the only state in the United States to have such rule.
That could be the reason behind the deactivation, as he recently became an official U.S. citizen. Uber claimed Abreu’s account had been reinstated and was only deactivated because of suspicion of fraud. “We approach any deactivation decision with caution and consideration,” Austen Radcliff, Uber spokesperson, said.
“Drivers are also able to appeal eligible deactivations, which includes submitting additional evidence.”
When he went to Uber to make an appeal, the company told him one was already in motion, but he had never sent one in. Abreu’s experience is similar to difficulties faced by other drivers, who had actually submitted an appeal, only for the company to say otherwise. Abreu is telling his story in hopes that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“What happened to me shouldn’t happen to anybody else. We need protections.”