As discussed in a blog post last year, Uber learned the hard way that with online agreements, it can take more than a simple provision stating “all disputes must be arbitrated” to ensure that your customers cannot sue you in a court of law. In a recent decision issued by the Massachusetts Superior Court (Good v. Uber Technologies, 2022 WL 10448746), Uber was foiled again – even though it had initiated what it must have thought were fool-proof protocols to prevent it from being hauled into court.
William Good had been an Uber user since August 13, 2013, and on April 25, 2021, he tried to order a ride but was blocked by a pop-up message stating: “We’ve updated our terms.” The pop-up message went on to say: “We encourage you to read our updated in Terms in full.” Among those terms was a provision stating that Uber’s customers were “required to resolve any claim against Uber … in arbitration.”
Second, Good was not required to click on the hyperlink before continuing and ordering a vehicle.
While Uber has appealed, and the refusal to grant Uber’s Motion to Stay and Compel Arbitration could be overturned, that may not happen for some time. In any event, there seems no reason for in-house counsel not to heed the Superior Court’s admonition and use a scrollwrap agreement to provide greater assurance that on-line contracts will be enforceable as intended.