It has not even been 24 hours since I first reported Uber’s initial response to the incident in Delhi where an Uber driver allegedly raped a passenger, which amounted to nothing more than “we have suspended the driver’s account” and how it is still a safe and reliable service. And the more I hear from the company, the more it disgusts me. Also Read - Uber cab service resumed in 31 cities in India with new Lockdown 4.0 guidelinesAlso Read - Uber launches 'Uber Connect' package delivery service to rival Dunzo and Swiggy Genie
So far Uber hasn’t addressed how it vets drivers on their system. Do they get police verification done to check if there are any criminal records against the driver? Uber hasn’t responded to how it tracks cars that are plying on its system. Do they rely solely on the driver’s phone to get the location – which is idiotic considering Uber won’t know anything about the car’s whereabouts when it is doing a trip facilitated by the company if the driver’s phone is in a place with no data coverage? Uber says one can share the trip details with anyone who can track it remotely. But the implementation is shoddy at best. Also Read - Uber to operate 'Essential' cab service to hospitals and pharmacy stores in 4 cities
But what sickens me the most is how Uber is trying to brush the incident under the carpet and hopes things will be back to normal soon. It took Uber over 24 hours since it came to know about the incident to come up with a detailed response. It has put it up on its blog but unless you have the specific permalink to the blog post, you won’t see it anywhere. It is not publicly visible neither on its blog homepage nor on its Delhi blog.
So for someone who is new to Uber and comes on its blogs to find out more about the service, there will be no mention about the incident. It is as if the never happened. Anyway, the post doesn’t help build any confidence in the service – the areas where it is broken, remain broken.
The only call to action Uber says in the blog post – “We will also work with the community, with government and the technology industry to find more ways to promote safety in transportation, particularly for women both here in Delhi and throughout India.” And here I was, hoping that a young company valued at $40 billion would have thought about safety first.
Since you won’t be able to find the post on Uber’s blog, here’s the text for the record.
DECEMBER 7, 2014
This is an abhorrent crime. Our thoughts remain with the victim who has shown tremendous courage under the circumstances.
Upon being notified of this incident, our team immediately provided the local authorities with all relevant details, including:
- driver (name, age, photo, complete driver s license details, bank verified address)
- vehicle (license, registration, insurance, state-issued driver permit)
- trip details (trip data, route, pick-up & drop-off location)
Safety is our #1 priority and in India, Uber exclusively partners with registered for-hire drivers who have undergone the commercial licensing process, hold government issued IDs, state-issued permits, and carry full commercial insurance. Uber also has a GPS trace and record of all trips that occur on the platform information that has been shared with the authorities. We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in their investigation to bring this crime to justice.
We will also work with the community, with government and the technology industry to find more ways to promote safety in transportation, particularly for women both here in Delhi and throughout India.