Bengaluru: Taking an Uber cab is now quite the norm in the city. But a group of friends, who took a cab midnight Friday in the city had a far from enjoyable ride as the driver turned abusive and threatening.
“We told the driver to go straight ahead and not take a turn and in response he got angry and started abusing and threatening us. He stopped much before our drop point and told us to get out, refusing to drive further," recounts one of the passengers, Kiran.
His friend and co-passenger, Madhu recalls that when the driver stopped the cab, he started shouting and getting the attention of passers-by, making it seem like they had abused him. “Thankfully the people were helpful. We were okay as we were a group of guys and girls. I shudder to think what would have happened if it was just the women," he adds.
According to the duo, the driver only laughed when the group warned him of filing a police complaint. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident as Kiran had a similar experience while travelling alone a week before too.
"I booked a ride to Indiranagar, but the driver stopped at the beginning of the road, instead of the end and told me to get out. I flatly refused after which we just stayed put for 15 minutes. He then started abusing me and tried to drive in another direction," he recalls.
Kiran believes the insufficient wages over which the drivers recently went on strike could be one reason for the hot-headedness of some. But an Uber spokesman dismisses the theory, pointing out that Uber India president, Amit Jain had in a blog said the company was watching carefully to ensure drivers did not have difficulty with vehicle financing, especially after the recent violence and intimidation which prevented many partners from using the app.
The spokesman claimed grievance redressal was also a priority. "We encourage riders to use the SOS feature to receive immediate assistance. The 24/7 response team constantly monitors all feedback and takes action in real-time,” he added, pointing out that the company’s customer care unit located in its ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Hyderabad, focuses on support for critical incidents that require immediate attention via multiple channels like email, phone and social media....