Uber Pays Woman $31 After Driver Sexually Harassed Her
A London woman says that in March an Uber driver offered to pull over and perform what he called “sucky sucky” as they were en route to her destination. The woman, who remains unidentified, contacted Uber after her ride and told the company that the “driver was very forward and quite creepy. Asked me if I wanted him to go down on me. Not cool.”
A marketing manager responded to her complaint by apologizing and labeled her experience with the driver as an “intrusive experience.” The marketing manager also noted that the company already investigated the occurrence with the driver and the necessary actions will be taken so an incident like this would never happen again. The marketing manager concluded the email by thanking the woman for bringing the issue to Uber’s attention.
The woman was not content with the response and told Newsweek in an exclusive that she wrote another email, detailing her experience with the driver: feeling ill, she moved from the backseat to the front, which is when the driver began asking inappropriate questions. She became scared once the driver suggested pulling over to perform oral sex on her. She concluded her second email to UBER, by stating:
“I am aware that this kind of thing becomes very much a he-said, she-said kind of deal, but I did want to make you aware of it as I feel that people really trust the Uber name (as I do) and my trust was completely violated. I am pretty relaxed and outgoing and I feel that I can take care of myself, and if I felt so uncomfortable I dread to think how a more timid girl would have felt. I won’t be taking this any further but I do implore you to take this quite seriously as I worry for other women who could find themselves in a similar situation.”
A different Uber marketing manager apologized for her experience with their driver. This time the marketing manager said that “while things like this should definitely not happen in the first place, in the unlikely event that they do occur we have the full details of the driver, trip and rider on our systems so that we can immediately investigate any concerns raised.” The woman was refunded for her ride and given a £20 credit ($31) in the hopes she would give Uber a second chance.
Newsweek contacted Uber and inquired about the company’s sexual harassment policy. An UBER spokesperson told Newsweek: “We take all allegations incredibly seriously. Any driver who is accused of acting inappropriately is suspended from the platform while an investigation is undertaken. We would of course refund a trip if an incident had occurred or the rider was not happy.” Uber could not confirm if the driver had been fired.
Uber’s company policy states they don’t release “the measures taken in relation to either driver partners or riders on the Uber system.”
This is not the first time Uber has paid off customers who have complained about drivers’ misconduct. In New York City, one woman reported a driver who cursed her out because she canceled a ride after her cancer treatment. The driver also left her a voicemail calling her an animal. More recently, a woman was raped by an Uber driver in New Delhi. Since then, the Uber has been banned in the Indian city and Spain, Thailand and the Netherlands have followed suit by prohibiting the app. In many cities or countries Uber has violated taxi permit laws such as driver screening, insurance coverage and vehicle inspections.