Uber is a lot of things: tech disrupter, enemy of taxi unions, godsend after a night of drinking. And according to one new lawsuit in Miami, it's also the king of spammy text messages.
Last week, a Tallahassee-based lawyer filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Uber in federal court in Miami, claiming the ride-sharing company has sent a series of unwanted robo texts in an attempt to solicit potential riders.
The complaint names Florida resident Amanda Shaver as one of the victims of Uber's "invasive and unlawful form of marketing," saying she was annoyed and harassed by the texts. Under the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, auto-generated text messages, such as the ones Shaver claims Uber sent, are considered a nuisance and an invasion of consumers' privacy.
"[Uber] has invaded [Shaver's] privacy and caused her actual concrete injury by sending the unwanted messages to her cellular telephone," attorney David Healy writes in the complaint. The lawsuit seeks damages of $500 per text message and requests that Uber, like, stop already.
Uber has not filed a formal response in court, and the company hasn't yet responded to a request from New Times for comment.
Healy also declined to provide screenshots of the texts or say if he has been contacted by other people claiming to have been spammed by Uber.
The Miami lawsuit is similar to other class actions filed in Chicago and San Francisco. In Austin, the texts were apparently more than just run-of-the mill marketing spam — in that case, Uber is accused of not only sending robo texts but also using them to urge recipients to oppose city regulations regarding its ride-sharing services.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In Miami, Uber is at the center of a number of other legal controversies.
Last month, the taxi industry sued Miami-Dade County for supposedly favoring Uber and discriminating against cab drivers. And in March, a South Carolina nurse sued Uber after suffering massive brain damage in a crash during a ride in Miami Beach.
The company was also named in a lawsuit after a 20-year-old from Country Walk was killed after being trapped in his Uber driver's car in a fiery crash last December.