The Uber taxi service was ordered in absentia by the Amsterdam District Court to allow the driver to return to the platform. The man, Appie Omar, has been falsely identified as a fraud by the company’s automated system. The problem is much broader, says his lawyer and the FNV Syndicate.
Omar was active as a driver in the Eindhoven region. He and five colleagues from the United Kingdom filed a case against Uber. Other drivers’ accounts must also be restored.
Since it is a default judgment, which means that Uber was not present at the hearing, the judge did not consider the substance of the case. The verdict was issued at the end of February, but has only been published today. Omar’s lawyer says the account has not yet been recovered.
Playing since 2019
The recall sent to Uber, which is in the hands of NOS, shows that the Dutch driver has been in trouble since the end of 2019. In December of that year and in March 2020, Omar’s account was deactivated and then restored because it was a bug. A month later this happened again, and then it was never restored again.
Omar’s attorney, Anton Ecker, wrote in the summons that only after a summons was an answer received from Uber. “The fraudulent activities committed by Mr. Omar consist of performing a relatively large number of flights without paying the passengers,” the statement reads. Omar and his lawyer tell NOS that this is an incomprehensible explanation for them.
“My experience with Uber has been very bad,” Omar said of the case. “I invested a lot of money to be able to drive my Uber.” Since Uber has deactivated his account, he is unable to drive for a year now.
A broader problem
According to his lawyer, the problem is broader. “Dozens of drivers have called me in recent months, and they’re all saying the same thing,” says Ecker. “They indicate that they don’t understand what’s going on and they don’t know what they’re accused of. If there is a response from Uber, it’s often a normal message or they’re in contact with an employee who doesn’t know anything about it.”
The FNV trade union has recognized Omar’s story and has been receiving reports about it since 2018. “The accusation is often made very quickly via the app or email,” said driver Amrit Siogobind. “Once the driver continues to wonder what exactly happened, there will be no clear answer. In the end, it will not be undone. As a driver, you are in fact without rights.”
In response, Uber said it was only notified of the ruling last week. According to the group, proper legal procedures were not being followed. Uber intends to take over the case after all.
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