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Old 6th August 2019, 17:58   #1
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Default How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

Get out or I'll tear your clothes: Uber driver tells Bengaluru woman during cab ride

A woman in Bengaluru had the most harrowing experience when she booked a cab ride with Uber. The driver told the woman to get out of the cab on a stranded road or else he would tear her clothes. But that was not all.

https://www.indiatoday.in/amp/trendi...rom%20%251%24s

Extract from article in India Today
Quote:
Aparna wrote, "Today, I had the most traumatising experience of my life. I got into an Uber cab after dinner with my colleagues. The cab driver was telling his friend on phone about customers being very bad. Suddenly, he turned to me and told me that as an educated woman I should leave work before 7 pm and not go out drinking with colleagues. (sic)"
Aparna responded, "I told him I didn't drink and asked him to mind his own business. He went on to call me a slut and also to say things like I can't even be his keep who cleans his shoes. At this point, he started slowing down the cab and I got extremely scared. I pressed the 'safety' button on Uber. Instead of calling me, they called the cab driver and he started telling the customer care person that 'I am extremely drunk.'"
She continued, "At this point, I had no choice but to start screaming, asking the customer care to listen to me. The woman on the call spoke to me and I cried begging her to help me. She told me to get out of the cab and that she will book me another one immediately. Meanwhile, this cab driver started threatening me with things like 'I will tear your clothes if you don't leave the cab now.'"
"As I got down at 11.15pm in the night on a not-so-busy road, I was waiting for a call from the customer care and also for my backup cab. I was terrified that the cab driver would come back to hit me. After waiting for 15 minutes and desperately writing messages to the Uber Customer Care, I received no support and I had to call my friends to help me", she wrote.
"All Uber did was refund my money which wasn't what I was concerned about at that point. If I as a customer press the safety button, it's ridiculous that the call goes to the driver. I am beyond terrified with my this Uber experience. I am raising this issue not only because I am terrified by
Aparna shared the images of her trip details and her conversations with the Uber safety person, which just prove that Aparna was stranded in the middle of the road without any help from Uber.
The incident did not just end there, as a follow-up to the incident, Uber support said that they 'tried' contacting her, but Aparna said that she did not receive any calls. She shared the images of her chat with Uber support in another tweet, "The entire day I haven't received a single call despite following up with you about my traumatic experience. Why do I have to keep following up for something so serious? #UnsafeUber #NotSoUber #Uber
As the father of a grown up young working women I am always concerned when she uses Uber/Ola at night. I have her make a very obvious call to me from the car reading out the taxi number, drivers name etc within earshot of the driver to act as a cautionary note to him.

Would love to hear the experiences and views of members with respect to safety of women at night in Uber/Ola. Please share here, for the benefit of all readers, experiences you or your close ones have had with Uber/Ola with regard to women's safety and effective measures you have taken or lessons you have learnt for the greater benefit of all women.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th August 2019 at 08:38.
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Old 7th August 2019, 08:37   #2
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th August 2019, 09:03   #3
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

Uber's customer care calling up the driver first is right. The errant driver is more likely to back off or atleast dial down his behavior when he realizes that he has been reported.

Uber customer care should probably make a simultaneous call to the customer too. And perhaps their software should automatically notify nearby Uber drivers that a customer is in distress.
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Old 7th August 2019, 09:07   #4
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

What happened to the Ola/Uber women cabs, driven only by women? It will be safer to use this facility during night times.
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Old 7th August 2019, 09:28   #5
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

^^ Is there an option to ask for a lady driven cab? I don't think so.

Travelling in cabs in late hours is a risk; it would be in the passenger's interest to book a known cab than end up with such experiences.

On a slightly different note, learning martial arts is the right way forward; and it must become mandatory in schools.

Think about it - would a lady Army Officer or a lady Police Officer be even ruffled by this behavior? Definitely not.
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Old 7th August 2019, 09:38   #6
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

Uber/Ola is much more unsafe than a local train for women, at night.

For every 3 good drivers, myself and my wife have come across 10 drunk/foul-mouthed/extremely impatient drivers who are ready to start arguments with the passenger at the drop of a hat.

If only the states had focussed on improving public transport connectivity & quality we would not have had to rely on cab companies or such modes of transport where a female had to travel alone at night/day. We are building metros/Rapid transport lanes now, when they should have been well in place at most cities by the turn of the century.

When anyone brings these statements up, the reply always is "better late than never" and "at least they are doing it now".

So while we are at "improving" public transport, this is going to be a pressing issue as more and more uncivilized "drivers" infiltrate the workforce of Uber/Ola due to sheer demand.
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:13   #7
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
Uber's customer care calling up the driver first is right. The errant driver is more likely to back off or atleast dial down his behavior when he realizes that he has been reported.
How would that help? I had read that post on twitter. I saw that the driver began bluffing and was talking about the customer being drunk when it wasn't the case. I think she's right in saying that the customer should be contacted first. The response afterwards was not timely once she got out is what I understand. Besides, this isn't the first time I'm hearing of Uber/Ola drivers try to pull some stunt with the customers.
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:45   #8
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Originally Posted by nikhilthegunner View Post
Besides, this isn't the first time I'm hearing of Uber/Ola drivers try to pull some stunt with the customers.
When they started the service, the drivers were certainly a cut above- friendly, polite, well-turned out, had well-maintained cars, would never refuse a fare, and were careful drivers. Was a huge difference from the auto thugs we were used to in Bangalore. Drivers were making money and they were happy to accommodate customers. As it became popular, more of the kind of people who would otherwise have become auto drivers or company cab drivers (another bunch of thugs) started getting on the Uber and Ola platforms.

Since I speak the local language, have had a few interesting conversations with Uber drivers. Once we were passing by a group of people of a particular religion outside their place of worship and the driver, assuming I shared his pathetic sentiments just because I could speak the local language said that "soon we will need to 'take care' of 'these people'". Another time, when I asked a driver not to unnecessarily honk at a vehicle in front, he said that "white board vehicles should not even be on the road as it was meant for cabs!" Sure there have been a couple of good guys, but by far, these are the sort of men driving our loved ones around today. The fact is also that most of them come from small villages around Bangalore where the notion of an independent, working woman is a totally alien concept and their 'education' on how to interact with one comes from our wonderful movies.

Now if the kind of people providing the service are the same, how can an app make any difference?

And now that Uber has stopped their over-the-top incentives, and it is no longer quite so profitable to be a cabbie, things are getting worse.

Now I find no difference between Uber drivers and auto drivers in Bangalore. They refuse trips, they accept and cancel, disappear in the rains, make a fuss once you are in the cab and are as thuggish as auto drivers.

The question is what is Uber doing with the driver ratings and feedback? Why are drivers who are reported for bad behaviour not being banned from the platform? More to the point, after speaking to the passenger and realizing the gravity of the situation, why on earth did Uber not call the police?! Ridiculous company, ridiculous brand!

Quote:
Originally Posted by haldar_siliguri View Post
Uber/Ola is much more unsafe than a local train for women, at night.
If only the states had focussed on improving public transport connectivity & quality we would not have had to rely on cab companies or such modes of transport where a female had to travel alone at night/day.
You said it man! We will soon realize the price we are paying for depending on these company cabs and Uber/Ola instead of investing in genuine public transport. On a trip to Singapore, while using the metro and seeing groups of young women and couples dressed to party, using the metro service happily and safely past midnight to get back to their homes, I felt so down thinking about the state of things back in Bangalore and how tense I get whenever my wife works late (even though she drives her own car).

Last edited by am1m : 7th August 2019 at 11:10.
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Old 7th August 2019, 11:57   #9
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
As the father of a grown up young working women I am always concerned when she uses Uber/Ola at night. I have her make a very obvious call to me from the car reading out the taxi number, drivers name etc within earshot of the driver to act as a cautionary note to him.
My wife uses these app based taxis whenever she needs to catch an early morning flight. I make her click the photo of taxi registration plate/owner details in a way that driver takes notice of the same. I also ask her to announce on a call with me that "Yes, I have shared my live location on whatsapp with you".

Woman should also ensure that driver details shown on app and actual driver is same. The owners/driver partners are far more concerned as the cab is their asset, their livlihood depends on it ,while the replacement drivers have this tendency of taking things lightly.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:09   #10
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
^^ Is there an option to ask for a lady driven cab? I don't think so.

Travelling in cabs in late hours is a risk; it would be in the passenger's interest to book a known cab than end up with such experiences..
Its an irony that a man will be Safe"er" but not a woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
On a slightly different note, learning martial arts is the right way forward; and it must become mandatory in schools..
In a street brawl martial arts is useless, People with black belts can get beaten in a street brawl. what schools should be teaching is a combination of wrestling and Boxing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Think about it - would a lady Army Officer or a lady Police Officer be even ruffled by this behavior? Definitely not.
Situation is same regardless to whoever the girl is. The girl should have filed a complaint with the police and send a notice to Uber.

Pramod
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:11   #11
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Originally Posted by BANDHAV View Post
My wife uses these app based taxis whenever she needs to catch an early morning flight. I make her click the photo of taxi registration plate/owner details in a way that driver takes notice of the same. I also ask her to announce on a call with me that "Yes, I have shared my live location on whatsapp with you".

Woman should also ensure that driver details shown on app and actual driver is same. The owners/driver partners are far more concerned as the cab is their asset, their livlihood depends on it ,while the replacement drivers have this tendency of taking things lightly.
Sometimes when I am late or not available to pick my wife from office I ask my father to do so. In rare instances when we both aren't available she books an Uber. But, we make sure she send me the number and driver info and stay on phone with me during the trip. It helps that our home is just 20 mins from her office. Also, we make it a point she takes the cab before 7 pm when it starts getting dark. I don't trust these cabbies and there driving. But, sometimes its unavoidable to get a cab.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:32   #12
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Default How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night
As safe as lonely women are generally around frustrated Indian men at night.


The only extra problem here is that Uber and Ola being world-class "solution provider" still doesn't have a proper mechanism (termination of contract, reporting to police, no future cab booking etc.) to ensure that such incidents don't happen in future.


In this particular case the lady should have recorded the conversation (yes it requires presence of mind, but women in general should be prepared) and reported to police.
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Old 7th August 2019, 12:33   #13
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

Few days back I had booked an Ola Mini for parents at 9 PM. The driver who showed up was not the one whose photograph and name was displayed on the Ola app for my booking. Although the car number matched. Worst thing, the driver didn't even know where to enter the OTP and how to even open the door lock.
Cancelled the ride and reported to Ola customer care. The driver who was assigned to me had a rating of 4.9.

So a request to everyone that apart from checking the car number, also make sure that the driver who has turned up is the same in whose name your ride has been booked.

Last edited by Sherlocked : 7th August 2019 at 12:41.
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Old 7th August 2019, 13:19   #14
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
[b]
As the father of a grown up young working women I am always concerned when she uses Uber/Ola at night.
I think the above reflects the situation perfectly. While in a majority of the cases, the trips will be incident free, the situation is such that one is always worried that a bad/traumatic experience is always around the corner. Few basic things that we kind of follow now.
  • Beyond 9-10 pm if there is a need to travel, avoid cabs and attempt to directly drop/pick up.
  • Always do a 'trip share' so that the trip can be tracked. (To be frank even I do this during late night or early morning trips)
  • The most important approach I follow now is that I have realized that there is a good chunk of old time drivers who have not been bitten by the Uber/Ola bug and still run independently based on word of mouth. With Uber/Ola taking over, this minority are struggling a bit. Happened to get the contact of a couple of such guys a couple of years back. So now for any long distance drop/pickups especially during nights/early mornings (example airport) or for multi stop day trips, I call them. With Uber/Ola becoming very expensive now a days, there is a minimal cost difference.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 7th August 2019 at 13:21.
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Old 7th August 2019, 15:51   #15
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Default Re: How safe are Uber/Ola for women at night

My Family regularly uses cabs and yes we have had a fair share of unruly drivers.

In uber app you have an option of sharing the ride with your family members , my wife she always uses this option.

Apart from that there is now an option to share live location on whatsapp in case if she is driving herself.

Point here is to take precautions, we can't stop living life.

Having said that there are more often decent chaps who treat women with respect.

As people have suggested they can call and share cab number or driver details which will even make cab drivers alert.

Now a days if you are associated with it companies they would have their offices on outskirts, new housing is also a similar case and would have have a patch/stretch which is isolated.

One of the reason she actually learnt driving and prefers it over cabs.

Last edited by SDP : 8th August 2019 at 12:56. Reason: Typo
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