An Uber customer who reported that her driver offered her oral sex during a ride in London in March was offered £20 ($31) credit as compensation, Newsweek reported.
The rider notified the company of her driver's misconduct in an email, which Newsweek reported seeing. The email said: "Driver was very forward and quite creepy. Asked me if I wanted him to go down on me. Not cool."
She received a response from an Uber marketing manager who apologised for the "intrusive experience" and said the company's driver operations manager was "already investigating this ... and I can assure you that the necessary actions will be taken to avoid a similar incident in future," Newsweek said.
The manager signed the response by thanking the customer for "for raising this with us – while painful to hear, it's the best way for us to address any incidents like this", Newsweek reported.
Unhappy with the response, the female passenger reportedly wrote back with a more detailed account of the event. She said the driver invited her to sit in the front of the cab with the driver, and she took him up on it because she felt car sick.
She said the driver then asked her about her relationship status and sex life:
Towards the end of the journey he was asking if I liked blow jobs, saying that he was very good at going down on girls or giving "sucky sucky" to girls and did I want him to do it to me. He even suggested that he could pull over into a side street and do it now if I wanted, which was I think the scariest part of the drive.
She said she felt uncomfortable being alone in the car, and would have got out had she held less trust in Uber's brand:
I am aware that this kind of thing becomes very much a he-said, she-said kind of deal, but I did want to make you aware of it as I feel that people really trust the Uber name (as I do) and my trust was completely violated. I am pretty relaxed and outgoing and I feel that I can take care of myself, and if I felt so uncomfortable I dread to think how a more timid girl would have felt. I won't be taking this any further but I do implore you to take this quite seriously as I worry for other women who could find themselves in a similar situation.
A second Uber marketing manager responded to her follow-up email, saying the firm was "shocked", and, according to Newsweek, adding that "while things like this should definitely not happen in the first place, in the unlikely event that they do occur we have the full details of the driver, trip and rider on our systems so that we can immediately investigate any concerns raised."
The woman was told she had been given a refund on her trip and £20 worth of Uber credit "in hope that you will give us a second chance". The marketing manager signed the email by describing the experience as "un-Uber".
This was the last the customer heard from Uber on the incident, Newsweek said.
Uber told BuzzFeed News that it had kicked the driver off its program. It said:
Uber does not give credit as compensation for issues of a serious nature. In this incident, which dates back to the beginning of this year, Uber added £20 to the riders account when the original trip was refunded. We take all allegations incredibly seriously, any driver who is accused of acting inappropriately is suspended from the platform while an investigation is undertaken. The driver involved in this incident was permanently deactivated from the Uber platform.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at email@example.com.
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