(Q24N) Peru’s National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Intellectual Property Protection, Indecopi, announced that it has sanctioned Uber for “not fulfilling its obligation to provide consumers with relevant information.”
The penalty imposed by the Consumer Protection Commission is $50,625 Peruvian soles, or roughly USD $15,464.
That’s mere pocket change for the global ride-sharing behemoth that has been valued at anywhere from USD $30 billion to $60 billion, but such regulatory events and legal challenges often set serious precedent as the disruptive new technology seeks to expand in new markets, and maintain its legality in existing ones.
According to Indecopi, Uber specifically did not comply:
“With its obligation to provide consumers with information relevant to making an informed decision during the contracting of the service offered by the company: the supplier has the obligation to offer the consumer all relevant information to make a decision on use of the good or service.”
The problem began after Indecopi verified that Uber‘s services “could be charged to credit or debit cards and that the financial companies issuing these cards could charge these rides in a currency other than that reported during the contracting of the service.”
Uber explained that “Uber Peru does not administer the application, it only provides administrative, logistical, marketing, and advertising support” and that “the app provides through its terms and conditions, information on charges via credit and debit cards and the possibility of fees with the currency conversions in question.”
The company added that Uber Peru will continue “working with the Peruvian authorities to find spaces for dialogue that will allow us to find alternative solutions for mobility issues for the benefit of Peruvians and the construction of sustainable cities.”
All in all the issue seems like a minor regulatory nuisance for the transportation company. However, it may actually benefit Uber by spurring them to offer more transparency worldwide when it comes to their policies for currency conversion on charges, and the associated fees they entail.