NEW DELHI: A week after Uber came out with a set of guidelines for “ideal” behaviour of riders in its cabs countrywide, an Uber cabbie allegedly harassed a woman passenger and asked her to get out of the vehicle midway to her destination.
In a social media post that has since gone viral, the woman alleged that the cabbie first chatted her up and then started harassing and intimidating her during a ride on Wednesday. Her ordeal did not end with getting thrown out of the cab. The woman said the cabbie then started following her till she managed to scare him away with some smart thinking.
Uber said that it had barred the driver from accessing the app and was inquiring into the matter.
The woman said the ordeal took place during her ride from Mehrauli to Gurgaon, where she works.
The post says the driver was initially overtly friendly. His personal questions soon made her suspicious. He allegedly kept prodding her with persistent questions. “Madam, where do you stay and where are you from? Do you stay alone? Aap Delhi se nahi lag rahe ho. Itni bhi kya narazgi hain, aap kuch bhi nahi bol rahe ho (You don’t appear to be from Delhi. Why are you so cross that you aren’t saying anything).”
This forced the woman to start talking on the phone to avoid the conversation. The post goes on to say that after the woman started ignoring the driver, he raised the car radio volume and start driving rashly. Finally, he asked her to get off the car in the middle of the road. He continued following her till she pretended to take down the car number, which made him flee.
On complaining to Uber on the app, the woman says she was assured that she would get a call back. Insstead, what she got was a call from an unknown number. “I asked the person if he was from Uber. He was first confused and then told me he was from head office. When I was about to complain, he interrupted me and told me that the driver had made a complaint against me,” she wrote. When she got a friend of hers to call back on the same number, the person claimed he was in fact an Uber driver.
The woman ends her account with two pertinent points. One, how safe was she if the driver came back to harass her? And two, the behaviour of the driver suggested that he didn’t seem to care if she complained to Uber or not.
This statement doesn’t make sense — “He continued following her till she pretended to take down the car number, which made him flee”
In response to the incident, an Uber statement said, “The driver has been barred from accessing the app and we are investigating the matter.” The statement added: “There are certain inaccuracies in the rider’s Facebook post. The initial call received by the rider was not from Uber. It seems the driver tried calling her, posing as an executive. We have suggested police assistance and support in the matter as the rider may deem fit.”
Uber said their support team contacted her separately and action was taken against the driver as soon as this was brought to their attention. “We have been in touch with the rider and notified her via email as well as calls of the driver being barred as well,” they said. In August 2016, police arrested an Uber driver on the charges of molestation after another rider’s social media post narrating the gruesome experience of her friend went viral.