Thanks to YouTube, Uber is having a hard time these days. More than once, videos of Uber outrages went viral. There was the totally bad tempered Uber driver who drove a woman to a California hospital and went nuts when she didn’t get out of the car fast enough. The YouTube video (and a couple of very funny remixes) made the rounds. Then there’s the totally funny one of a (probably drunk) Miami doctor attacking an Uber driver. But, there is a dark side: Uber drivers accused of r*pe, assaults and threats. Then there are the s*x offenders who have inexplicably passed background checks and became Uber drivers.
Have a license and a car? You too could be an Uber driver. You could even lease a car and an iPhone. Want a cheap taxi? Call Uber and hope for the best. It’s like flying with the cheapest budget airline and then being surprised with the shoddy planes, poor service, and a bad safety record. Here are 15 Uber horror stories, told from both the passengers’ and drivers’ point of views. Sometimes you may laugh at how ridiculous it all is. But sometimes you will be surprised that Uber can get away with it. It’s a simple fact: whosdrivingyou.org has logged hundreds of incidents against Uber and Lyft, from deaths to sexual assaults, felons behind the wheel, DUIs, and imposters posing as Uber drivers. Read on and get educated.
15. Get Out Of My Car
Uber driver and passenger arrive at a California hospital. The woman is calm, polite but insistent. She simply is not sure where she is in the hospital complex. She wants the emergency room. His response? He yells. He swears. He calls her a “f***ing moron”. He just keeps yelling “Get out of my car”, again and again and again. Uber suspended the driver pending investigations of the episode. It seems totally obvious what the outcome should be. The whole episode ended with someone offering to walk the passenger to the emergency room. The driver later said that the woman had kept him waiting too long when he went to pick her up. We’ll admit it: Her dogged persistence might get up your nose, but the guy just totally lost it. The whole thing went viral fast. Then disappeared.
14. Passengers Go Nuts: California Executive And Miami Doctor Attack Their Uber Drivers
It’s like a bad reality show. Anjali Ramkissoon, a Miami neurologist, was suspended for attacking an Uber driver. She jumped in his car demanding he drive her. Only thing was another person had actually booked the ride and the whole thing got recorded on her cell. The doctor went nuts, throwing papers out of the window, yelling, screaming and reportedly scratching the driver. Much was made of the fact that the doctor specialized in headaches and ended up with one. She was totally embarrassed afterwards. Then there was the viral video that showed a California executive repeatedly whacking his Uber driver. The former Taco Bell executive (he got fired after the incident), Benjamin Golden, was arrested. Here’s one for the books: Golden is suing the Uber driver for $5 million, saying the recording of his violence was illegal. Like losing his job has nothing to do with him.
13. Harley Quinn Smith – Actress Almost Kidnapped
She’s called “Harley Quinn” Smith because her dad is Kevin Smith, producer of TV’s Comic Book Men. Harley Quinn as in Suicide Squad. Our Harley is a teenage actress. Well, what else would she be? Well she was, totally Hollywood, standing outside a Starbucks in Brentwood waiting for her Uber. Then, according to People magazine, a large beige car with an Uber sign on it drove up and two guys claimed to be her Uber drivers. But, this is why it is good that bad guys are so often dumb, they didn’t have the Uber app on their phones and they could not tell her the name of the person they were there to pick up. “Get in the car,” they insisted. She called them disgusting and posted to her Instagram feed. Afterwards, she kicked herself for not taking a picture of them or the car’s license plate, saying she was totally scared. Always check for the Uber app and make sure they know your name.
12. Drop Your Passenger At The Airport And Then Break Into Her Home
The Washington Post reported the story: Back in 2015, Gerald Montgomery, an UberX driver dropped a female passenger off at Denver International Airport and had a not-so-bright idea. The lady was on a plane. Why not nip back to her place and steal a few things? So, that’s what he did, but, as he and his burglary tools were breaking and entering via the backdoor, the woman’s roommate heard and saw what was going on and called the cops. Surprise, surprise, Gerald you are hereby arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary. Here’s where we sing the praises of smart phones, because they managed to catch the guy because his passenger had taken a screenshot of her receipt complete with Gerald’s picture on it. Uber deactivated the guy. A little late, you might think. Oh yeah, they gave the passenger a refund. Yeah, but did they dock her membership reward points?
11. That Shooting In Kalamazoo
It’s February of 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and forty-something Timothy Dalton is driving for Uber. Then the shooting spree. The former Uber driver is accused of killing six people and injuring two others in what was apparently a random spree at a housing complex, a car dealership, and outside of a restaurant. Reportedly, after he finished off shooting his victims, he took an Uber fare, but he was driving so erratically that the passenger got spooked. Dalton was arrested and charged with murder and assault. His defense team plans to use legal insanity as a defense. Could Uber have seen it coming? Apparently he had received counseling at the insurance company where he worked for anger issues and some reported that in the time leading up to the shootings Dalton had been depressed.
10. Uber Drivers Viciously Attacked By Regular Taxi Drivers
We all know the French take to the barricades and get nasty. Remember the French Revolution? Well, not too long ago, French taxi drivers took exception to Uber and did what any self-respecting French man would do: Attack the drivers, their cars, and anything they could get their hands on. It got nasty and loud, fast. Well, we know the French are a little testy. But, Toronto? Much the same thing happened in 2015 when Uber drivers were attacked by regular Toronto taxi drivers because Uber was taking food out of the mouths of their little ones. One part-time driver, a student, talked to the news camera, claiming his 15 of fame, saying he was frightened. Regular taxi drivers also cooperated with the TV reporter, saying they had a right to defend what was theirs. Yeah, but easy on the violence, guys.
9. Florida Uber Driver Accused Of R*pe
In August of 2016, police in Florida arrested a man who drove for Uber and accused him of sexually assaulting several Florida women. It’s a sign of the times that the arrest of Xolani Mtsitsha from Boca Raton was posted on the police’s Facebook page. The thing is, you can’t dismiss this kind of thing as a one off. Uber horror stories crop up with alarming regularity: Uber driver goes on shooting spree. Uber driver terrorizes women. Uber driver slits a throat in the subway. The simple fact is that Uber does not have a very good track record and its vetting procedures have been called “sub-par”. Their tactics are often reactive, rather than proactive. If you doubt, check out whosdrivingyou.org. The list just goes on and on (and on).
8. The Truly Scariest Thing About Uber
This is clearly a disaster waiting to happen. The above message was reportedly posted to Whisper, the anonymous messaging and confessional App, by an Uber driver who claimed to work for their Los Angeles branch. Gawker called it “a corporate culture of laissez-faire gone wrong”. See, after you fill in an online form and the so-called background checks are done, that’s it. Regular taxi companies usually require drug screening and fingerprinting with local police. So, if they haven’t been convicted of anything, druggies are apparently cool in the world of Uber. It gets worse; drivers reportedly share accounts. According to Gawker, the unnamed Uber driver said once you got one driver approved, then others could share his account, with no background check or screening. So, when you get in an Uber car, is it the legit driver or his buddy? Maybe it doesn’t matter. They both could be druggies.
7. The One About The Botched Background Check
This Uber driver took private to a whole new level. ABC7 reported the story. Seems Uber Chicago approved a guy to drive and missed the fact that he had a string of crimes and traffic violations. It only came to light when a female passenger accused the driver, Adam Stevenson, of exposing himself to her (as in private parts). What then came out was a history of running red lights, speeding and (worse) misdemeanor battery and possession of cannabis charges. Oops, Uber said. A member of their security team said, “I tend to think, ‘Who would I feel comfortable with driving my wife…'” Would that be a guy with a string of traffic tickets and assorted battery and possession charges?
6. The S*x Offenders Who Passed That Uber Background Check
It’s the Summer of 2016. Never mind that Uber Boston missed the fact that the guy didn’t have a valid license or insurance. Let’s focus on the fact that he was a convicted s*x offender. Of course, local news channel Fox25 totally jumped on the story. Turns out Ronald Deluca is a Level 2 s*x offender with eighteen pages of driving records detailing speeding, license suspension, and lots of traffic violations. The only person not talking to the news channel was the driver. Police were talking. Shocked residents were talking. And Uber, in true reactive mode, suspended the guy. They were last seen “reaching out to local law enforcement”, offering to assist in their investigation. Like maybe advising them on how NOT to do a background check. A couple of months after the Deluca case, another Level 2 s*x offender talked to Fox25 and revealed he still had an active Uber driving account. Not for long, buddy.
5. San Francisco Got So Made That They Sued Uber
There was the alleged hammer attack on a passenger by an Uber driver in San Francisco. Then there was the woman who was driven to an isolated spot and found herself locked in the car with an angry driver. Enough was enough. Back in 2014, the San Francisco District Attorney sued Uber, saying that flaws in the company’s background checking system allowed some 25 drivers with criminal records to drive for Uber in California. The suit was eventually settled, but Uber seems to do little these days other than fight suits all over the globe. It may be worth billions, but with the horror stories coming thick and fast, some wonder if the whole operation could be derailed. Some would say about time. Oh, by the way, Uber can no longer say its background checks are “gold standard”. Like we didn’t already figure that one out.
4. UK Uber Driver Accused Of R*ping Passenger When She Couldn’t Pay Fare
A UK Uber driver, Mahammad Rahman, was charged with r*pe of a passenger who couldn’t pay her fare. His story? Well, he said she forced him to have s*x and threatened to scream unless he complied. He was accused of tearing her clothes off and r*ping her. He also said it took about two seconds and that he was too ashamed to report the incident to the police. The Mirror also reported that he also testified that the woman bragged that she had paid her Uber fares, “so many times like this”. He said he was shocked. The court obviously believed his version of events, as he was acquitted of r*pe and walked free.
3. He’s Had How Many DUIs And He Was Still An Uber Driver?
The Naples Herald ran the story under the headline, “Man Faces Fourth DUI Charge While Working as Uber Driver”. The police rolled up to a Florida shopping mall after someone reported an out of control driver who was being aggressive and trying to “ram” someone’s vehicle. The driver, Alvaro Gutierrez, managed to tell the officers that he was an Uber driver and there to pick up some passengers. Not only did he flunk field sobriety tests, but he could not produce proof of insurance. How could the guy be driving for Uber, get himself arrested and charged four times, and still be driving? The Naples Herald didn’t seem to understand how that could happen, either. Twitter went a little nuts over it, too.
2. Drivers With Thieving In Their Hearts
Or in this case, don’t give rides and still get cash. If you are wondering why we haven’t given female Uber drivers a chance, here are a couple of female villains. Only they weren’t real Uber drivers, but rather two women from San Diego, California, who pretended to be Uber drivers. They spotted a victim and lured the guy into their car. Then their two male “colleagues” did the deed. They pretty much took everything, including his phone and cash, before pushing him down, and driving away. The victim was not really hurt and the evil doers were collared pretty quickly. Maybe we have found something more dangerous than Uber drivers: People pretending to be Uber drivers. Seems like a no-win kind of thing to us.
1. UK Driver Leaves Threatening Voicemail After Ride Was Cancelled
Anna Kealey was having a nice weekend and was about to meet friends for Sunday brunch. She booked an Uber ride, but decided to walk and cancelled the ride only a few minutes after booking it on her smartphone. She decided to walk, she told The Washington Post, because for some reason she was feeling anxious. She so totally had a right to be a little nervous. Days later she retrieved a voicemail, a creaky voice, that at first she thought was a joke. It was her almost-Uber driver and he was mad. “You bring me here and you cancel.” He called her an idiot and added “do that again, and I’ll cut your neck.” It was then she remembered the cancelled Uber ride on the previous Sunday. She filed a complaint with Uber, notified the police, and took to Tweeting about the outrage. She’s giving the Uber thing a rest.