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Class Claims Uber Charged Bogus Airport Fee

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A class action claims Uber fraudulently charged a $4 "Airport Fee Toll" in San Francisco, before there was any such toll from the airport.

Lead plaintiff Vamsi Tadepalli sued Uber Technologies in Wednesday in Superior Court, alleging fraud, conversion, breach of contract and other charges.

"Uber vehicles transporting passengers to and from San Francisco International Airport ('SFO') charge a fare, plus an additional $4 fee for a so-called 'SFO Airport Fee Toll,'" the complaint states.

But Tadepalli claims that neither the airport nor the California Public Utilities Commission charged Uber any fee or toll for airport pick-ups or drop-offs until Nov. 25.

On Nov. 25, the San Francisco airport announced it would charge ride-share services $3.85 for each passenger, confirming "that SFO has not been charging Uber the so-called SFO Airport Fee Toll," according to the complaint.

Tadepalli claims he used Uber to get a ride to the airport on July 23, and paid $27.57 for the trip, including the $4 toll.

"Uber has imposed the fictitious 'SFO Airport Fee Toll' upon tens of thousands of passengers, and continues to do so," Tadepalli says in the lawsuit. "Although SFO announced that in the future it will charge Uber $3.85 to pick up and drop off passengers, Uber's $4 SFO Airport Fee Toll will still be excessive and result in customers paying more than they should pay under the circumstances."

Uber and has been sued repeatedly around the country by cabdrivers who claim it undercuts prices by ducking the costs of licensing and regulation. It has been fined, banned and barred from several European and U.S. cities. It made unwanted headlines in November when a senior vice president suggested the company could spend $1 million to dig up "opposition research" on journalists who wrote critical stories about the company.

Tadepalli seeks class certification, an accounting, restitution and compensatory and statutory damages. He is represented by Todd Schneider with Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky & Wotkyns.

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