The passenger says the Uber driver disagreed with the address of her destination and suddenly pulled the vehicle over, grabbing her arm to forcibly pull her out of the car. According to the passenger, she tried to document the incident with her smartphone, causing the Uber driver to take her phone and hurl it into the street.
Police have cited the UberX driver with three misdemeanors including battery, malicious mischief and vandalism. He was allowed to leave the scene and remained an operational Uber driver for a full 20 hours, almost an entire day, until Uber representatives finally contacted the passenger about the alleged incident.
It’s important to note that Uber does not provide customers with a telephone number to call in case of emergencies, or even in the case of lost items. Most taxicab companies are required to have just such a line, typically manned round the clock in a local office, for emergencies. But Uber is all about cutting costs and undercutting public safety. Instead of a telephone line, the company provides passengers with an email address which—by many accounts—is responded to much too slowly.
Earlier this month, ‘Who’s Driving You?’ issued a press release describing Uber’s lack of responsiveness to customers facing a variety of pressing concerns, from theft to drunk driving to assault. Many of these Uber customers sent multiple emails to the company with no response. In our release we stated: “This unresponsiveness could easily turn into the company’s next tragedy.”
Because Uber was so slow to respond to this incident, the driver in question was able to remain operational for nearly 24 hours. The driver must have been upset; knowing trouble with the police would likely mean getting deactivated by Uber. Luckily, he didn’t take his frustration out on additional passengers before Uber finally rescinded his ability to drive for-hire.
The next time might not be so lucky.