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Old 25th May 2016, 21:34   #31
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Great Job, you did the right thing in the situation.

I think calling uber in this situation would have been pointless. You know the number of emergency services like ambulance and the police, so it's best to call them and let them handle the case. You could also search the drivers mobile for family contacts and inform them too.

Just a question: Do Uber (or app based cab drivers in general) drivers have regulated working hours?
Working for long hours in high stress traffic conditions without much rest can result in failing health.
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Old 26th May 2016, 00:06   #32
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Aren't these Taxi aggregators atleast partially liable for the drivers ? As in dont they guarantee that the driver has a licence, not a criminal etc ? Im just asking in case Indrani Mukerjee or someone turns out to be driving the cab and tries to murder the passenger do these companies go Scott free ? Im just trying to understand where these aggregators responsibility to the customer begins and ends because a lot of post seem to be like its not Ubers problem the drivers arent their employees
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Old 26th May 2016, 10:44   #33
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Just tweet the scenario to Minister Sushma Swaraj on MEA twitter account.

She is quite active in there and she might point you to the right direction for action.

Kudos to your efforts. God Bless You
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Old 26th May 2016, 12:11   #34
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Just came across this article where the passenger drove himself home after the Uber driver fell asleep.

Man Drives Himself Back Home As Cab Driver Falls Asleep While Driving

The interesting point in the article is towards the end where it reads:
"Uber did contact him and asked him to register a complaint and even stated that Gill shouldn't have driven the cab as it would have legal implications."

So does this basically means that Uber can consider it illegal if a passenger takes over the wheel of their cabs, for whatever reason? In the OP's case, would they have expected the OP to do nothing?

Last edited by DriverR : 26th May 2016 at 12:13. Reason: Additional sentence added.
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Old 26th May 2016, 12:30   #35
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Default re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Awesome job afunnynut. Your quick thinking and generosity probably saved that driver's life. Uber should really have an emergency number; they have one in the US.
I am looking at the Uber India website and apparently they have a "SOS" button:

https://newsroom.uber.com/india/intr...w-enforcement/

Can anyone confirm if this system is still active?
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Old 26th May 2016, 12:59   #36
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Hat's off, afunnynut! Take a bow, man. Good Samaritans like your good self make the world a better place. Just came off another nice thread and now this!

On the technicalities of whether Uber *must* have a hotline or not, we can all argue until the cows come home.

However, as a socially responsible organisation which I hope they are (note: I use Uber all the time), don't they have a moral obligation to these drivers who - at the end of the day - are the reason behind Uber's existence?

Second point, leave aside a hotline for the drivers. How about one for the CUSTOMER? I spend about 15 - 20 grand on Uber every year. Am sure a lot of you exceed that. But there's still no one a customer can immediately call in case of an emergency?

Wait until a city or state bans Uber for this. Then, the hotline / call center will come. Remember, the SOS button, enhanced driver verification, removing diesel cabs from Delhi, stopping surge pricing etc. all happened only after the public's / government's wrath was unveiled.
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Old 26th May 2016, 13:54   #37
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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

Just after crossing Silkboard, the driver collapsed with chest pain. After getting the other two passengers out of the vehicle, I took the driver to the Gangotri Hospital at BTM layout on the main road.

There, the doctor immediately requested for an ECG and treatment was started.
You did the very right thing mate!
It is because of people like you, everything goes smoothly in the world. You have saved a life at a critical point of time, and thank you very much for that!

The app-based call taxi businesses started as purely app-based, and they are just starting to experience various difficulties such as these. Hope they get the relevant partners to sort such things out. Keeping call centres to answer mechanically like reading machines doesn't help anyone.
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Old 26th May 2016, 15:05   #38
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Uber treats its drivers are contractors and not employees. No strings are attached in such relationship. What you did is commendable but I firmly believe every service provider should have a number to talk to "people" not autobots.
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Old 26th May 2016, 15:36   #39
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Any emergency, there should be one number. It should be a common number to any human being in this country. I think that is what is lacking. Searching for a helpline takes more time than dialling one single number.

Its the government that has failed in this aspect by not unifying emergency services and handling them based on the type of service required. There was a snake in our neighbourhood and we had to call BBMP (they have different numbers too) get the wild life guy's number and then call him. People dont even know what to do in case of emergency.

Last edited by srishiva : 26th May 2016 at 15:40.
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Old 26th May 2016, 16:53   #40
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

BHPians are turning saviors. This is the second post in the last few weeks where a BHPian has saved a life. Hats off afunnynut. What you did was great.

Coming the question of helpline. I think at most a helpline would do is to patch your call with the police or ambulance. Their direct help in this matter would have been inconsequential. The best response to the incident is what afunnynut displayed. I am assuming that Uber would have contacted the driver's kin. Truth be told, most businesses assume responsibility out of some liability.

Due to its business structure Uber is in a funny position. It is not employing anyone but has a lot of stakeholders. This position of vague liability/responsibility will take a while to be cleared. Authorities are still not sure how to deal with this business idea.

I would like that they have a helpline but the best way would be call the police or the ambulance and not wait for Uber to do that.
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Old 26th May 2016, 19:31   #41
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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 srishiva View Post
Any emergency, there should be one number. It should be a common number to any human being in this country. I think that is what is lacking.
Absolutely bang on! This is the need of the day.
Saw some news a few weeks back about the Govt trying to set up a unified emergency service. Didn't see a followup by any media.
However on the flip side with a country our size and population and complexity, setting up an unified emergency service would be too complex a problem to solve. But of course the same can be started in a smaller scale in a city as a pilot and then gradually over the years spread across the country.
We need a crusader to take it up with the Govt and push!
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Old 26th May 2016, 20:34   #42
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Hats off to you @ afunnynut

The one way of getting attention to the matter as stated above, would be an online petition thru www.change.org

There are many petitions that I have signed over the net for social causes etc. This certainly merits some such voice. Just my humble submission.

The driver carries a device given by the aggregator which can be used to contact (Uber or Ola) or whichever other service. But the case here was that the driver himself was unwell. He would have not realised that he could contact the company.

An emergency number like 911 seems like a possible solution to such situations. Surprising why we take forever to do things !
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Old 26th May 2016, 20:40   #43
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Take a salute, afunnynut!

You exhibited that extremely rare quality in today's time for which we are called human beings.

These taxi aggregators are becoming more and more irresponsible day by day. They are always asking us to contact via online channels. What if the area is not having mobile connection at that point of time when the incident occurred?

A mentioned by Ricky_63, a possible step might be an online petition.

Once again, hats off to you for helping a unknown person in distress. If there are people like you around, the world would surely become a more beautiful and safe place to live in.

Regards

Saubhik
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Old 26th May 2016, 20:52   #44
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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 from my workplace to my home yesterday...
That was very kind of you, I'm sure his family thanks you and may God bless. Feels good to know that we do have kindhearted people like you in our midst.
Your adrenaline must have been pumping and you have shown great presence of mind, but just curious, did you consider calling 108?
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Old 27th May 2016, 08:04   #45
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Default Re: Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them

Thanks all, for the comments - and while I could not reply back to all the threads - here is a brief with more details - and my responses to some of the questions:
  • Silkboard at peak time is jampacked. This was at 7.30 PM in Bangalore. The car was stalled in the middle of the road at the traffic intersection. Calling the ambulance would have been futile.
  • At that point, the only thing that came to mind is to get that fellow human being to safety passerbys told me that the Gangotri Hospital was just 200 meters from the spot
  • Same with the police. Has anyone tried calling 100? I tried calling once when I was walking from ITPL to Hilltop (Hope Farm) a long time ago (I had just moved to Bangalore) There was an accident, it was raining. Three bikes met with an accident. Took me 45 minutes to get through. This was at 11PM at night. Those three were (I later found out, when I was picked up by police for questioning) students of MVJ college of engineering. (Any MVJ guys around? You guys remember? This was I think sometime around 2008/9?)
  • The Uber App SOS application is "Hidden" under "Help" ONLY when you are in a trip. I took Uber again yesterday to check and had a long conversation with the driver (screenshot attached)

Uber needs a Hotline number! Driver has a heart attack and it's impossible to reach them-screenshot_20160525192841.png

Update from Uber at this point:
  • While the first conversation came across as just plain insensitive, Uber has since called back (again) to apologise but have mentioned that the Hotline number was still off and they could not comment either ways as to whether that would ever be enabled
While I see the point in terms of how Uber is a aggregator service, here is why I believe they need to get their act together (forgive some of the points here but this needs to be said)
  • This is not a question of mere "security". Have you ever come across instances where the cab you have booked has actually left without you (share) even though you are standing at the pickup spot? (Not happened to me personally but a few people have commented on my FB post that that's what happened to them more than once. There's no way to get through to someone at Uber
  • What if the driver has not picked you up but started the trip? How do you get support? Call police? 108? Call the transport ministry? PMO's office? Transport department? Honestly? Or the service provider who has created the service in the first place?
  • Heard about the rapes and other unsavory incidents on Uber not only in Delhi but almost everywhere that Uber operates? What about the US Indian girl who threatened the Uber drive and was videotaped doing so? Agreed the police were involved on this but as a service provider, is it not Uber's responsibility to ensure that we have a "human voice" to talk to and address "immediate" concerns? Agreed that this is more of a police territory - why are instances of assault lower on Ola/other taxi services (most private taxis are part of Taxi unions anyways, right, where the passenger does not have a say but the driver can secure help if there's an emergency?) I was once traveling in Himachal. Anyone been to Bijuli Mahadev? It's desolate, it's a dirt road, and as far away from assistance as perhaps being on the moon. Our Gypsy broke down. The driver called his "agency" (notice the CALLED) and a vehicle was arranged within the hour from Kullu. (Original vehicle was from Manali)
Now again, I am *not* biased against/towards any taxi providers or services and I do *not* recommend you run from pillar to post trying to get a local taxi after reading this, or switching from Uber to Ola (check the screenshot, I *still* took an Uber today) But should you run into an issue with say Ola:
  • driver refusing fare
  • driver cancelling fare
  • driver unable to locate the pickup
  • driver/pickup mobile being unreachable/switched off
  • anything for which you need *immediate* assistance (note the word immediate) you can still reach out and *talk* to someone. Make no mistake, Ola has email support as well. But would you rather *mail* or *call* when you are in a sticky bit?
With regards to the FB post/Change.org etc, done all that. Here are the links for someone who asked


Facebook post
Change.org

With regards to MEA/pgportal - err not sure that'd work though.



Let me know if I have left out something. Typing this while half asleep, so pardon trailing thoughts that don't make sense (if any)

Sorry, forgot to add:

Driver mentioned that the "SOS" button merely connects you to the "emergency contact" you have set on the mobile app. Says one of his passengers (female) hit that button one night after he was trying to take a shortcut - it connected to her husband! Even she was surprised. Driver couldn't stop giggling. But that's the mystery button as to what it does and does not do! So you are stuck -perhaps your vehicle has been hit by a semi and you and your driver are lying there bleeding to death? Good luck talking to your mom/dad/husband/wife/friend/pet dog/mice whatever

Last edited by Rehaan : 27th May 2016 at 11:36. Reason: Minor formatting change. Thanks for the update :)
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