We see the good, the bad and the ugly of Uber and Lyft in this week’s roundup as we see drivers have medical episodes, managers defending wheelchair accessible programs, Uber putting on a coat drive with the Salvation Army and more. Sit back for the roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins.
#Curbivore returns! On 3/4 in DT LA, get ready for a conference like no other. Join leaders from food delivery (@UberEats) and tech (@upfrontvc) worlds to discuss how the curb is changing – & how it can work for everyone.
— Harry Campbell 🇺🇸 (@TheRideshareGuy) January 27, 2022
Snoop Dogg Calls Out Uber Eats After Driver Didn’t Deliver Food Because ‘This Is Not a Safe Place’ (Complex)
Summary: Snoop Dogg has a beef with Uber Eats.The rapper took to Instagram to post a video of him messaging a driver with the service who didn’t want to deliver his food…
The driver apparently messaged Snoop saying he arrived but didn’t know where exactly to deliver the food. The driver then wrote, “This is not a safe place.” Snoop responded and gave the driver better directions, writing, “Yes it is pull up to the gate” and “the black gate n drop off the food I paid 4.”
My Take: Count me very skeptical with this news. First of all, would you say “no” to delivering at this house, which, from what I can tell, is still Snoop’s current house? On one hand, it can be very annoying to deliver to gated communities (the drive is usually long, takes you far away from a delivery zone, etc.)
On the other hand, is this just a way for Snoop Dogg to get publicity? The article does mention Snoop’s interested in starting his own hot dog brand…
Woman survives Uber with ‘unstable’ driver and his ‘crazy’ girlfriend (NY Post)
Summary: Talk about a white-knuckle ride.
A woman named Kiara narrowly got away with her life after being trapped in a car for more than an hour with an “unstable” Uber driver who confessed to previously being jailed for choking his girlfriend. To make matters dramatically worse, the driver proceeded to pick up his girlfriend in the middle of her trip.
“Last night I took an Uber alone and it was the scariest experience ever!,” penned Kiara, 27, in the caption of her trending TikTok testimonial, which has fetched over 425,000 views.
In the viral video, a seemingly unnerved Kiara, from Southern California, records herself taking deep breaths and nervously laughing in the backseat of a car while a man — presumably the Uber driver — is heard ranting about his “reckless” girlfriend, off-camera….
My Take: So, let me get this straight. This Uber driver is talking to his passenger about how he went to jail for choking his girlfriend (who he later picks up as part of the trip???), and yet he’s allowed to be on the Uber platform? I thought they had background checks for this purpose. How is this even possible that this driver got behind the wheel as an Uber driver?
In a statement to The Post, a spokesperson for Uber said: “The concerning behavior the rider describes is against Uber’s Community Guidelines. We’ve removed the driver’s access to the app while we look into this incident.”
This is the kind of thing that gives all drivers a bad name, and leads to us good drivers being looked at suspiciously by passengers. Also, with all the drivers RSG has heard from being deactivated for truly ridiculous reasons, this guy is able to get through?
Lyft passenger forced to stop car after driver suffers fatal medical episode (NBC)
Summary: A Lyft driver suffered a medical episode on Interstate 75 causing his passenger to take the wheel, dial 911 and perform CPR.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the unidentified 66-year-old North Fort Myers man was driving his passenger on southbound I-75. While driving, the man suffered a medical episode.
The passenger in the 2019 Volkswagen then gained control of the vehicle and applied the emergency brake. After bringing the vehicle to a safe stop, he dialed 911 and performed CPR on the driver until Emergency Medical Services arrived.
The driver was taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead….
My Take: How scary and so sad. I’m grateful the passenger was able to safely stop the vehicle and avoid any accidents with other vehicles on the road. It could have been so much worse. But, of course, I’m deeply saddened the driver did not make it.
Let Uber help you give an old coat a new life! (Uber Newsroom)
Summary: To you it may be an old coat, but it can make a huge difference for someone else in your community. That’s why we’re teaming up with The Salvation Army to launch a 3-day coat drive, making it easier than ever for you to donate your gently used coat.
Consumers in select cities will be able to donate gently used coats through Uber Connect, our same-day local delivery solution. Uber will then cover the trip (up to $25*) to deliver your coat to a participating Salvation Army* location in your city, starting on Thursday, January 27 to Saturday, January 29, from 10:00am to 5:00pm (local).
The coat drive will be available in 20+ Salvation Army locations in New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco. The donated coats will be sold at Salvation Army Thrift Stores to support their Adult Rehabilitation Center operations which help people of all backgrounds build work and social skills, regain health and stability, combat substance abuse and restore families….
My Take: According to the article, here’s how to donate:
- Apply the promo code to your Uber Wallet (see promo below)
- Place your gently used coat in a bag
- Select Package 📦 in the Uber app, tap “Send a package”, and enter your location and your nearest Salvation Army (list below)
- Tap Choose Connect 📦
- On the Review Order screen under the Dropoff section, update the delivery method to Meet at Door and add a note for the driver: “For Salvation Army Coat Drive”
- Follow along via the in-app instructions and watch as your coat gets delivered in real-time!
It’s available in New York City, Atlanta, and San Francisco. What a great opportunity to give. For drivers in those cities, if you’re asked to pick up a coat, this is what it’s for!
Uber manager sobs on stand during trial over wheelchair accessibility (Courthouse News)
Summary: An Uber manager cried on the witness stand Monday when confronted with claims that the ride-hail giant doesn’t care that much about making its service accessible to people who need motorized wheelchairs to get around.
“I think that’s untrue,” Uber’s manager for premium products Connor Fagent said, choking back tears. “I’ve devoted most of my time at Uber working on the program and putting a lot of effort to try to make it work … and I take a lot of pride in my work.”
Fagent testified on the last day of a virtual bench trial that will determine if Uber’s failure to introduce wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) programs in New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA requires companies make reasonable efforts to provide “equivalent” service to what’s offered to able-bodied customers, but Uber claims it would cost too much and be utterly unreasonable to make it offer accessible rides in the two Gulf Coast cities….
My Take: It’s difficult to feel bad for Uber here. Sure, they spent nearly $57 million to operate WAV programs in 11 U.S. cities and Toronto in 2020, but they say it’s inconvenient to do it in other cities?
What about the inconvenience caused to the wheelchair users that want and deserve access to the Uber platform, just like able-bodied individuals? In the end, Uber may argue the law inconveniences them, but ADA requirements have now been with us for over 30 years.
I’m sure many companies tried to argue it was ‘inconvenient’ or ‘expensive’ to put in accessible ramps and other equivalent services, but they did it – or went out of business. Surely Uber can cough up money for this required-by-law service.
What’s your reaction to the “inconvenience” of adding WAV programs in other cities?
-Paula @ RSG