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Old 25th May 2016, 15:59   #16
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

You did good!

I'm surprised at Uber's reaction about making sure the amount you paid was settled; they probably assumed you'd be more worried about getting back the money you paid for his medical expenses than the driver's well being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantbhatia84 View Post
- Drivers / Partners aren't Uber employees, so technically Uber ain't responsible in any way : It's just an Aggregator connecting riders with drivers!

- We humans love exploiting stuff, so an emergency Uber hotline, in case it's started, would eventually get bombarded with stupid calls for booking enquiries and complaints.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Uber is not technically an employer but an aggregator so I don't think they have any liability in such a scenario
Okay; let's leave out the liability part (our cynicism tends to make responsibility seem as liability). But shouldn't Uber at least have a helpline number; for emergencies such as this, where they can immediately provide the driver's details such as emergency contact or next of kin?

They may be just an aggregator but they are enabling a service on their platform and they ought to make sure emergency services/police at least have their contact information immediately available.

The least we can expect from Uber is providing a quick response on who one should contact if any of their drivers has an accident or causes one.

And misuse shouldn't be used as an excuse for not providing a service at all.
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Old 25th May 2016, 16:11   #17
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Okay; let's leave out the liability part (our cynicism tends to make responsibility seem as liability). But shouldn't Uber at least have a helpline number; for emergencies such as this, where they can immediately provide the driver's details such as emergency contact or next of kin?
Nishad- let me clarify: my use of "liability" was not meant in cynical vein at all. As a business one needs to look coldly at issues of liability. "Responsibility" is a much broader term with different implications altogether.
In response to your second point, I am *assuming* Uber has a detailed driver database and will be able to reach the next of kin of any of the drivers on their rolls when they are alerted to an emergency like this (and they were...and responded within an hour, which we shouldn't lose sight of).

Quote:
They may be just an aggregator but they are enabling a service on their platform and they ought to make sure emergency services/police at least have their contact information immediately available.The least we can expect from Uber is providing a quick response on who one should contact if any of their drivers has an accident or causes one.
Absolutely agree with this. In fact, there is an Help button (Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service) enabled for the passenger while the ride is in progress. OP mentioned that the driver had ended trip already or it may have been possible to use this. Please check that link because it does everything you would expect to deal with the situation on the ground (direct phone call to the police, SOS alerts going to the police, even an emergency reaction team in place etc.) Am not defending Uber or even saying that this system works, but that's what they have claimed!
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Old 25th May 2016, 16:47   #18
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
In response to your second point, I am *assuming* Uber has a detailed driver database and will be able to reach the next of kin of any of the drivers on their rolls when they are alerted to an emergency like this (and they were...and responded within an hour, which we shouldn't lose sight of).
But there isn't a mechanism to get that information from Uber on an urgent basis, is there? I don't know of anyone who has used the SOS button (which is available only when you're on the trip) so can't comment on how effective that is.

From what I read, this is Uber's response; not sure if I missed any response within the hour.

Quote:
5. Uber reached out after two hours of the incident with a "canned" response stating they were taking "measures to see the driver is not able to use the app to drive with Uber till he produces a Fitness certificate" THAT IS NOT MY CONCERN. My concern was to reach out and get help to the driver in distress! Is THIS how Uber takes care of their drivers and (heaven forbid) customers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Absolutely agree with this. In fact, there is an Help button (Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service) enabled for the passenger while the ride is in progress. OP mentioned that the driver had ended trip already or it may have been possible to use this. Please check that link because it does everything you would expect to deal with the situation on the ground (direct phone call to the police, SOS alerts going to the police, even an emergency reaction team in place etc.)
But again, it'll work only when you are on the trip. In such a situation or one where a driver in between trips, there's no way to seek immediate help.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 25th May 2016 at 16:48.
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:06   #19
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Let's assume Uber did have a hotline for this; would you have been able to reach someone immediately? A common scenario with such hotlines is that you would have to firstly wait until an automated voice response system leisurely greeted you to their services and gave out a L-O-N-G drawn list of options you could use to get some service.

It gets more frustrating specially when they fore-warn you that they have recently updated their list of options, so you better listen to what the new list of options are (kind of like saying - shut up and listen - you do not have an option).

Ah, after about 3-4 minutes, you would finally approach a menu when you are given an option to speak to a customer care executive and once you press that, what happens? Obviously - all their customer care executives are busy at the moment and they are so thankful to have you as a privileged customer (and they say this in a tone that is equal to your own weight in gold!) and you are put into a queue where you are required to listen to some looping music that gets embedded into your nerves by the time someone actually speaks to you. If you are lucky, you wont be put on hold until they verify who you are and in the process, your call gets disconnected and you repeat the entire process all over again!



So what would you have done in such cases? Wait for the person on the other end, or do what you did in the time of emergency?

All I'm saying is this - What you did was right - you gave medical aid in time - and probably saved the driver's life. That's what counts in this case. Hats off to your presence of mind.

Businesses will be businesses and they will treat customers as customers - at the end of the day, its profits v/s losses and I don't see why any aggregator service would change any business model for such incidents.
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:16   #20
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Even if I were to agree that they aren't legally liable, what did Uber do first when the frantic OP finally managed to contact them? They offered to refund his money and also promised to ensure the driver 'doesn't touch the wheel before producing a fitness certificate' !!!

Isn't this heights of insensitivity?
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:45   #21
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Even if I were to agree that they aren't legally liable, what did Uber do first when the frantic OP finally managed to contact them? They offered to refund his money and also promised to ensure the driver 'doesn't touch the wheel before producing a fitness certificate' !!!

Isn't this heights of insensitivity?
Have you seen an Ambulance on the road really struggling to find way simply because majority of the road users don't give a rat's behind about the Ambulance or the patient in it.

Majority wouldn't do what the OP did. Majority of us Indians would be interested in getting a refund if they were in OPs place.

Uber's reaction was to the actions they've suffered at the hands of majority. Absolutely not their fault!

Within the last 2-3 weeks there have been at least 2 news that I've read where accident victims were left lying on the road for 20 minutes, yes sir 20 minutes!! Uber's response was to that breed of people.

EDIT: Please read this. http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle7306011.ece

Do you think the sequence of events would've changed a bit if there was a helpline number that existed (assuming it didn't exist). The emergency service helpline (police or ambulance) is a joke in our country and not even Uber can do much about it unless they form a Paramedics fleet themselves. I mean are we really saying that Uber can persuade an Ambulance or Cops to reach a place faster than an individual at the scene or a witness.

Last edited by fine69 : 25th May 2016 at 17:50.
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Old 25th May 2016, 17:47   #22
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Uber is merely a platform for drivers and riders that's it. They are not obligated to be responsible because they are not employers. That said, considering the sheer popularity of Uber slowly pushing out regular Taxi operators, and slowly becoming the sole option people have left to take, certain services must be looked into as being mandated in such cases.
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Old 25th May 2016, 18:05   #23
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Even if I were to agree that they aren't legally liable, what did Uber do first when the frantic OP finally managed to contact them? They offered to refund his money and also promised to ensure the driver 'doesn't touch the wheel before producing a fitness certificate' !!!

Isn't this heights of insensitivity?
I would guess that Uber's action point to usual typical customer's expectations in such cases.

A usual customer would:
a) be wary of "heart attack prone" driver losing control of vehicle and crashing therefore requiring a fitness certificate
b) want "his money" that was spent on emergency expenses back, since the medical insurance of the driver should actually take care of such cases

So what Uber did was perhaps based on what they have experienced in the past, perhaps globally.
I would say it is most humans who are becoming more insensitive with each passing day.

Come to think of it: The easiest path for Uber would have been to neither refund the money spent on hospital/transportation, nor care about the fitness certificate.

Last edited by alpha1 : 25th May 2016 at 18:08.
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Old 25th May 2016, 18:41   #24
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by afunnynut View Post
While in the midst of this:

1. I frantically searched around in the Uber App for a "help desk" number I could call. The driver seemed to have "ended" the trip at the point where he collapsed. So the app just showed a "help" link. No phone numbers or any other contact details I could actually reach out to!
Really appreciate your efforts in today's time when most of the people simply would walk away from a situation like this.

While you are on a trip, there should be a option for SOS under your ongoing trip. I remember seeing it. What i understand is that if you use this SOS feature it not just sends a message to contacts in your emergency contact list but also to uber and local police.

Here is their blog about it along with a video:

https://newsroom.uber.com/india/safety-v2/
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Old 25th May 2016, 18:42   #25
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantbhatia84 View Post
We humans love exploiting stuff, so an emergency Uber hotline, in case it's started, would eventually get bombarded with stupid calls for booking enquiries and complaints.

To sum it up, such instances are rare and the best thing to do here is what afunnynut already did : i.e. To take the patient to a hospital - doesn't matter whether it's an Uber driver or an auto driver.
Your other points are sound but this last one about exploiting stuff is untenable. Using that logic, no government should have a public helpline service (fire, medical, police etc.).

Uber and other ride share providers have mechanisms and complicated algorithms to not match you with a driver if you've rated him/her below x stars or match you with your favorite ones and so forth. How complicated would be it be implement an abuse prevention system of the mythical panic button? That panic button would not be available publicly - it would be visible only if you're in the middle of a ride. The simplest use case of that panic button would be to alert the nearby state run emergency services. When an emergency happens, not everyone is able to apply the mind with the same efficiency as the OP did (which, btw, is a job well done. Kudos to the OP).
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Old 25th May 2016, 19:03   #26
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Even if I were to agree that they aren't legally liable, what did Uber do first when the frantic OP finally managed to contact them? They offered to refund his money and also promised to ensure the driver 'doesn't touch the wheel before producing a fitness certificate' !!!

Isn't this heights of insensitivity?
Not really. From Uber's point of view, the customer has called them with a complaint. There is nothing that the customer care executive can do to help the driver medically. The best he can do in that situation is assure the customer that:
(1). He will not be charged for a ride that was obviously not completed
(2). The driver (who is NOT the customer in this case) will only return to duty after being declared medically fit so that other customers are not affected similarly.

It is a perfect response. You are looking at it through the lens of context.

Slightly off-topic but relevant: A furore erupted when a BA customer care rep asked cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for his full name on Twitter following a customer complaint. What is conveniently forgotten is that the CC rep apologised and asked for all details relating to the lost baggage incident. Perfectly fine as per SOP. There is no reason to assume the customer's name just because he is a superstar.
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Old 25th May 2016, 19:31   #27
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post

Uber's reaction was to the actions they've suffered at the hands of majority. Absolutely not their fault!
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post

So what Uber did was perhaps based on what they have experienced in the past, perhaps globally.
I would say it is most humans who are becoming more insensitive with each passing day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Not really. From Uber's point of view, the customer has called them with a complaint. There is nothing that the customer care executive can do to help the driver medically.
Guys, I am only asking them to be a little empathetic. A simple response like "We are trying to contact the driver's family/acquaintance and we are doing all we can to help the driver at this unfortunate time " - Is this too much to ask?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Come to think of it: The easiest path for Uber would have been to neither refund the money spent on hospital/transportation, nor care about the fitness certificate.
If they did that, I don't think they can be in business in any country.
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Old 25th May 2016, 20:17   #28
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Firstly, a big thank you for being kind hearted for what you've done.

Taxi aggregators, with their aim to build a non human system that can someday be made to work almost completely with artificial intelligence, follow a very inhuman method of running the business.

They may be building brands with wide advertisements, but they shockingly take NO responsibility. The ONLY reaction (not help, basic meaningful 'reaction') one gets is much much after everything goes wrong.

And they're all mindlessly harsh on drivers. They'd penalise or even ban drivers just based on any false allegation.

Believe me, silicon valley has its fair share nuts who mindlessly believe that everything can be done based on flowcharts.

Thanks for bringing this flaw to light, customers & drivers should unite & demand that they make their business model in line with how the world works, not how their computers work.

Recently my cab guy mentioned that the drivers wanted atleast something like the recent New York machinists (non-union) agreement with Uber, so as to provide drivers the ability to discuss local workplace issues with the company (and also allow drivers to make an appeal if the company blocked them from the app).

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 25th May 2016 at 20:22.
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Old 25th May 2016, 21:03   #29
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

The OP did the right thing, however Uber being an aggregator, it is not responsible for the well being of the driver or, for that matter, the passenger.

This may be a bitter pill to swallow but it's basically a plaform.

Also from the screenshots posted, I see Uber team reaching out and mentioning that their executive will be in touch. Reimbursement of the fare as well as any expenditure incurred by the OP for the driver's treatment in fact also shows that they did the right thing.

For a helpline number, how many of you have actually tried the police helpline 100? It is so pitifully slow and takes so much time to connect to an actual policeman that it's as good as useless.

So even with a helpline there is no guarantee the driver will get timely help.

I once saw a Meru cab driving away in a hurry and its rear tyre deflated. I could just get the last 4 digits of its numberplate. I called up Meru helpline and passed on the last four digits and told them the car had a flat and the driver didn't seem to be aware. That's that. Dunno if the call centre representative could reach the driver or if he did.
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Old 25th May 2016, 21:24   #30
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by afunnynut View Post
Note: Long post!

I took an Uber ride
@afunnynut: Firstly Hats Off ... Not many would have done what you did. For that - Salute.

The subsequent discussion has people taking both sides, and both are right in their own assessment and opinions. Like they say - To Each his Own.

But if we look at it 'dispassionaltely' - I dont think Uber has a liability here. Lets look at Uber is more of an Quickr or Olx. You have buyers of a taxi service and you have suppliers of taxi services. Uber comes in and makes a marketplace / platform for the suppliers and customers. I know the parallel may not be an exact match in terms of legalities etc, but it is exactly that - A platform for suppliers and customers. If I get into an Ola or Uber and lets assume the driver mugs me on the way and runs away with my belongings - can I sue them ? I dont think so. Yes Ola and Uber are liable to share the information they have about the driver on their records with me so that I can raise my case against the said driver. So that said, what Uber did here was correct from their standpoint.

Now coming to the counter point - Lets assume Uber does have a Hotline number.. A lot has already been said that they would not have been able to get help any faster than what @afunnynut did.

But would it not have been easier for @afunnynut to just look at the drivers phone / glove box etc and get some info on the driver? Agree the drivers phone may be locked etc - but definitely worth a shot. I think I read it as someones signature - GTO, if I recall correctly that said something that ' In retrospect we are all wiser .. ". At that point in time, @afunnynut was not in the right frame of mind, but that may have been a much faster way of reaching some next of kin.
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