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After virtue-signalling with Zomato, Uber fails to help woman passenger stuck with abusive driver

After pressing the "safety button", Uber customer care called up the driver instead of calling the passenger Aparna

A female passenger named Aparna Balachander took to Twitter to narrate her horrific experience with a Uber cab on the night of August 3. She describes how despite making repeated calls and sending messages to uber customer care, Uber failed to help the woman in despair.

It’s ironic that a brand like Uber, who had recently come out to express its support and solidarity with Zomato, fails to help a woman stuck with one of its own abusive drivers.

During a recent incident, wherein Zomato, in an effort to grandstand had tweeted that ‘food has no religion’ after a Twitter user called Amit Shukla had announced that he did not want a ‘non-Hindu’ deliveryman since it was the month of Shravan and it went against his faith. It had created a quite a storm, and Uber Eats, the food delivery arm of Uber, had further fuelled the controversy by expressing its support for Zomato.

Aparna had booked her Uber Taxi from Kodhiali to Langford gardens in Bangaluru. She narrates that she got into her cab after dinner with her colleagues. She recollects that after she got into the cab she heard the cab driver speaking to his friend saying that the customer was ‘very bad’. Suddenly, he turned towards Aparna and told her that she should leave work before 7 pm and not go out drinking with colleagues.

Finding his interference unnecessary, Aparna asked the Uber driver to mind his own business. Irked with this, the driver started abusing the lady. Calling her a “slut” he furthered that she “cannot even be like his keep who cleans his shoes”.

At this point of time, the Uber driver started slowing down his car. Scared of all this Aparna used the “safety” button present in the cab.

All Uber Cabs have this so-called “safety buttons” which the customers can use to get in touch with the Uber customer care during an emergency.

However, Aparna recounts that after pressing the “safety button” the customer care instead of calling her up shockingly, called up the Uber driver, who in turn complained to the customer care that the passenger was extremely drunk.

Aparna started screaming so that her voice could be heard over the phone. Ultimately when she got to speak to the customer care official she was instructed to get down of the cab with an assurance that she would be booked on to another cab immediately.

Meanwhile, the cab driver threatened Aparna by saying things like “I’ll tear off your clothes if you don’t leave the cab now,” wrote Aparna. She was forced to get off the cab at 11.15 pm and after waiting for 15 mins and desperately sending messages to Uber customer care, no cab arrived. She had to ultimately call her friend to her rescue.

By sharing her terrifying experience Aparna wanted to apprise everyone of Uber’s callousness towards its customers.

This is, however, not the first time Uber has chosen to remain indifferent and muted. Uber had earlier too remained mum when ‘liberals’ had attacked the brand for one taxi sporting an ‘angry Hanuman’ sticker.

Update: Uber has responded to the story. Their spokesperson said, “What has been described is unacceptable and violates our community guidelines. We have been in touch with the rider and driver partner’s access to the app has been suspended until further investigation”. 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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