US Billionaire Bill Ackman Accuses Uber Of “Ripping Off” Cab Driver, CEO Reacts

US Billionaire Bill Ackman Accuses Uber Of 'Ripping Off' Cab Driver, CEO Reacts

Uber was quick to react to Mr Ackman’s accusations.

American billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman recently accused Uber of “stealing tips” from its driver, before retracting his statement after getting clarification from the company. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Mr Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, said that he took an Uber ride in New York City because he thought “good for Uber supporting the cabbies”. However, during his ride, the driver told him that even when the passengers tip him, Uber “kept the tip for itself”. 

To put the driver’s claim to the test, Mr Ackman said he added a $5 tip for the driver when his ride finished. “His screen showed that I paid no tip,” he wrote. The billionaire added that the driver was right and that Uber was “massively increasing its margins and profits” in New York by “ripping off NYC cab drivers”. 

In his post, Mr Ackman said that he then texted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, about the issue but did not receive a response immediately. “I texted 
@dkhos Dara from Uber midday today and sent this photo of the driver’s screen. He did not respond. I like Dara, but this is really bad. I can only assume that Dara is unaware of this,” Mr Ackman wrote. 

He further demanded that Uber “immediately return the stolen funds with interest to the NYC taxi drivers and to other drivers in any other markets where they are doing the same” and that the company “should deeply apologize”. He also called on Uber to “restate its earnings to reflect this overstatement of margins and profits.” He then tagged New York City Mayor Eric Adams in the post, adding that “I am sure he agrees”. 

Uber was quick to react to Mr Ackman’s accusations. Responding to his post, Uber’s communications team clarified that the company passes 100% of the tip to their taxi partners “and they are required to pass the tip to the driver, usually within a day or so”. 

“The tip isn’t showing on this screen because passengers tip after the trip ends, and this screen doesn’t refresh. That’s why the screen says ‘tip may be added by passenger after trip completion’ and ‘check trip history for final Grand Total amount,'” the company wrote. 

“It’s not as clear as it should be for taxi drivers,” Uber said, adding, “This is a relatively new product for us, and we’ll work with our partners to improve this screen.”

Mr Ackman then thanked Uber for the clarification, but added, “That said, I paid the tip first and then the driver’s screen that I photographed appeared afterwards.” “The drivers definitely believe that they are not being paid and they have no ability to audit whether the passenger has paid a tip or not. This seems like an easy problem to fix,” he wrote. 

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Mr Khosrowshahi also responded to Mr Ackman, writing on X that the Uber taxi pilot was “still in test/learn mode” and that the company has sent “1.5 million trips to NYC taxi drivers so far.”

“More to do, including improving this console screen w/our partners at Curb – team is on it,” the Uber CEO wrote.

Mr Ackman then posted an update saying he had heard back from the CEO of Uber. “I was glad to learn from Uber that the drivers are receiving their tips. That said, the taxi drivers themselves believe that they are not receiving them because their dashboards show no tips from Uber riders,” he wrote. 

“I spoke with Dara today and he confirmed that a fix is immediately underway. As I said in my initial post on the subject, I am an Uber and Dara fan and am confident that this will be rectified shortly,” the billionaire added. 

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