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Gun put to my head, with Uberpool passengers - Oakland

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SF2016
56 Driver
 Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago

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I just had an incident Monday night driving for Uber, and despite an initial quick response, they have not responded to 4 emails back to their email.


Myself and two of my Uber Pool passengers had guns put to our heads and were robbed of our valuables (phones, wallets, etc). Two guys in a car sped up and passed us on the wrong side of the street, blocked us in, ran towards us with guns and put one to the back of my head as they demanded we give them our stuff. Then they drove off. 

I have a number of concerns with Uber's handling of this situation, how it should be handled, whether they are going to help me replace my phone, etc.

I see now that Oakland is still the most dangerous city in N CA and even with the gentrification that can be seen, the very real dangers still exist in various parts despite what appears to be a fresh new mix of people. 

They think nothing of sending drivers into the neighborhoods to provide their service. When workers work in dangerous conditions they are made aware of the the risks, they are informed of what to do in various circumstances, and basically receive training for safety. Uber says nothing of the dangers drivers should be aware of, they don't inform drivers of how to best handle possible robbery situations at gunpoint, etc. Yet they freely send us, and other unsuspecting rideshare passengers into one of the most dangerous cities in the USA and say nothing to help us keep ourselves safe should we encounter a gun put to the back our head.

Suggestions? Clearly they would not ignore this if it were an "employee"... 

LM

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    {{ ratingSum }}
    SF2016
    OP 56 Driver
     2 months ago

    Thanks for the support everyone, I thought i had properly responded but I was off. So here's a cut and paste of my attempts to follow up to everyone yesterday:

    *** Yes a police report was filed that night, there was no time for the panic button with guns coming at us. But yes fortunately it was over with no one getting shot. But seriously, why drive into Oakland and subject one's self and passengers to the risks???


    ***In response to the previous Post on cameras, no I had not yet installed one although a previous SUV I was using did have a front camera. No help there.


    I didn't get the contact info of the other passengers as we all gave statements to the police there at the site. I'm assuming one of them did contact Uber. I see that Uber zero'd out their fee but not the passenger who was dropped off before the incident. 

    One thing that was a valuable lesson, be prepared to track your phone and know how you'd get it done if it was out of your possession (log in...

    Read more...

    Thanks for the support everyone, I thought i had properly responded but I was off. So here's a cut and paste of my attempts to follow up to everyone yesterday:

    *** Yes a police report was filed that night, there was no time for the panic button with guns coming at us. But yes fortunately it was over with no one getting shot. But seriously, why drive into Oakland and subject one's self and passengers to the risks???


    ***In response to the previous Post on cameras, no I had not yet installed one although a previous SUV I was using did have a front camera. No help there.


    I didn't get the contact info of the other passengers as we all gave statements to the police there at the site. I'm assuming one of them did contact Uber. I see that Uber zero'd out their fee but not the passenger who was dropped off before the incident. 

    One thing that was a valuable lesson, be prepared to track your phone and know how you'd get it done if it was out of your possession (log in from someone else's phone for example). It's helpful for the police to track it immediately. I was able to (hours later) lock my phone remotely from my laptop and send the police it's last know location. It got the job done but a couple hours late. 


    Uber's insurance company contacted me to find out if my vehicle was damaged but since it wasn't nothing more was done from them. And based on the news that came out today on Uber's crime investigation department, they appear to be on one track only, covering their own liability exposure. As a contractor, I don't think they intend to follow up with me anymore now that they know there was no physical injuries or vehicle damage. I doubt they care about replacing my $800 phone. 


    Rule of thumb is: They use the drivers and we're just a means to an end and they try to minimize their liabilities with us.

    ***Their response seemed reasonable at first until you look closer and see their complete lack of attention to the facts. She says she called me... Which part of "they took my phone" was overlooked. I've sent 4 emails after this asking what's next and no one has responded with anything. "... launched an internal investigation"... Did you see today's article about Uber’s investigation team? They don't report crimes to the police if we tell them, that lies in our hands, their priority is to limit Uber’s legal liability first, previous team members complained of burn out, etc. They don't seem to be an any condition, or have an interest in anyone's well being, just covering their exposure. 


    "Thank you for reporting this situation, Louie. We tried reaching you at the number associated with your Uber account. Our team has launched an internal investigation and someone will be in contact with you as soon as possible regarding this matter.


    If you choose to reach out to law enforcement you may have the official you are working with submit their request for information at lert.uber.com at their earliest convenience. We have a dedicated Law Enforcement Response Team that handles all information requests.


    If you have further details about this incident that you would like to share with us in the meantime, please feel free to respond to this message. We look forward to speaking with you soon"


    Looks all good until you don't hear from them again... 


    ***Thanks for the support below. No, I didn't have a dash cam in this vehicle. Police report was filed right after, I provided them with my phone's last location but hadn't followed up with them. I have sent messages to several press outlets and waiting to see if there are responses. 


    So a variety of things have been done and I'm waiting on replies. I'm also sharing the experience with pool riders, they need to ge aware of where their other riders are taking them, which neighborhoods they end up passing through etc. They can't take it for granted that they're safe, that's one giant false sense of security they seem to have. 

    -

    Just saw a couple more posts come through, I'll reply normally there... 

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    Uberserge
    1234 Rider Driver
     2 months ago

    Do you have a dash cam? It's always the best proof! Invest in a double view one where it records outside and inside the car simultaneously.

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    momof4
    8117 Rider Driver
     2 months ago

    Just looked this up to see if it made it to the media. I dont see anything. If I were you I would call your local news station. Maybe they will respond then. Also I heard if you put complaints on twitter they respond.

    Show Hide  1 Reply
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      Uberserge
      1234 Rider Driver
       2 months ago

      I tweeted it, let's see. There's a panic button on my app, I told this driver how to use it on a previous post. 

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    sharknado
    6
     2 months ago

    Holy crap. This is my worst nightmare. You're right, Uber should be handling this somehow.

    Taxis in my city always have a big thick plastic shield in front of the back seat. For this reason. Not bulletproof but enough to keep physical barrier between driver and pax and prevent any grappling etc. Maybe someone needs to market these for uber drivers. Uber should give them to people driving in high risk areas.

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    momof4
    8117 Rider Driver
     2 months ago

    Sorry you hsd to go through this. I cant even imagine how you and your passengers felt. I cant say that I am surprised by how Uber is handling this. Obviously I dont agree with it. I am assuming you called the police? As a driver I know Uber dont care about us and we are on our own out there. If I were you I would go to the press. Unfortunately if we dont make these issues known nothing will ever be done about it. I try to stay out of those neighborhoods unfortunately nowhere is safe and its not easy to stay out of them. Have they been able to track your phones? What have the police done if anything?Were you or passengers able to get a license plate or any descriptions? Did you have a dashcam? If you didnt and decide to continue to drive please invest in one. Again sorry you had to go through this. Thankfully none of you were physically injured. What about going to your local Hub? I dont think you will get anywhere my just messaging them. Best of luck. 

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    dracomalfoy
    185 Driver
     2 months ago

    Wow, did you get the contact info of your pool pax? I am curious if they have contacted Uber and if so if they have had more luck? Did you contact police?


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    Uberserge
    1234 Rider Driver
     2 months ago

    Uber doesn't care, I'm very sorry about what you went through. I hope you filed a police report. You do know there's a panic button on your driver app now? E-mails won't do it. Click on your driver picture, then the help button next to the question mark, scroll down you'll see an emergency number. Call that immediately. Thank God you and your passengers are all right.

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    Bigfrank
    426 Rider Driver Driver
     1 month ago

    I would definitely seek legal counsel and thank God your safe and alive 

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    DanHennison
    20
     2 months ago

    Unreal. Have you decided if you will continue driving? I'm not sure I would after an incident like that, really not worth the pennies that Uber pays.

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    wraiththe
    194 Driver
     2 months ago
    Sorry to say this, but when do you take responsibility for yourself. If you were selling hot dogs, would you expect the hot dog manufacturer to handle this. This situation was external. The conflict was not between you and a passenger. You do not have to drive in those areas if you do not want to. Cancel and put the reason that you do not feel safe. It will not count against you. If you contact uber, the first thing they will say is contact 911. You are a contractor, and I am thinking, why should they be responsible for your phone, unless it is in the insurance package and I do not think it is. Your situation really sucks. If you had insurance on your phone the phone company would replace it (if broken, lost, or stolen.) I am very glad you are OK... but I still fail to see why Uber should take responsibility for you getting mugged. What did they do. Did they log the occurrence? Did they handle the ride charges? I have mixed feelings here. If you are expecting so...

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    Sorry to say this, but when do you take responsibility for yourself. If you were selling hot dogs, would you expect the hot dog manufacturer to handle this. This situation was external. The conflict was not between you and a passenger. You do not have to drive in those areas if you do not want to. Cancel and put the reason that you do not feel safe. It will not count against you. If you contact uber, the first thing they will say is contact 911. You are a contractor, and I am thinking, why should they be responsible for your phone, unless it is in the insurance package and I do not think it is. Your situation really sucks. If you had insurance on your phone the phone company would replace it (if broken, lost, or stolen.) I am very glad you are OK... but I still fail to see why Uber should take responsibility for you getting mugged. What did they do. Did they log the occurrence? Did they handle the ride charges? I have mixed feelings here. If you are expecting something more from uber, I fail to see why. You should be aware of the dangers... and make good judgement calls. Uber will not be responsible unless it is the passenger that does this and they have done it before.

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    Show Hide  1 Reply
      {{ ratingSum }}
      SF2016
      OP 56 Driver
       2 months ago  (edited 2 months ago)

      I understand your points here but I am also interested in how Uber responds in general, one email and no follow up is extremely poor taste for a contractor working on their behalf though, yet completely in line with their reputation. And yes, it's a heads up to every driver, we're not employees and Uber cares about us to carry out their goals, not ours, and that's they extent to how much they care about us. 

      The extent to their protective measures is only to the extent that they can say they have drivers and passengers in mind, while they further attempt to isolate their liability should something occur. 

      Uber hires contract workers like the military does (sample analogy): the military knows their contractors on the ground understand the risks they accept, however, Uber drivers are ordinary people looking for opportunities to make extra money, they're not signing up for high risk activities. 

      I get the hot dog analogy is just an example and not meant to b...

      Read more...

      I understand your points here but I am also interested in how Uber responds in general, one email and no follow up is extremely poor taste for a contractor working on their behalf though, yet completely in line with their reputation. And yes, it's a heads up to every driver, we're not employees and Uber cares about us to carry out their goals, not ours, and that's they extent to how much they care about us. 

      The extent to their protective measures is only to the extent that they can say they have drivers and passengers in mind, while they further attempt to isolate their liability should something occur. 

      Uber hires contract workers like the military does (sample analogy): the military knows their contractors on the ground understand the risks they accept, however, Uber drivers are ordinary people looking for opportunities to make extra money, they're not signing up for high risk activities. 

      I get the hot dog analogy is just an example and not meant to be a perfect one, but clearly a hot dog company is not sending someone to specific places to sell hot dogs of "their" choosing and for their profit. 

      Knowing this, it would be responsible for Uber to:

      A) Driver standpoint: make drivers aware of known dangerous areas and best practices to be safe, including what to do if you find yourself in certain situations. Better awareness of dangerous locations and training isn't too much to ask for. Uber has the crime data that they track, but they don't disclose it, not a surprise. 

      B) Passengers: Better awareness, I don't think passengers understand the risks they take on pool rides. Uber is setting up the transaction, but they also should understand that Uber will state they're not at fault, they're just a tech company, the "contractor" is in charge when they on a ride. We all need to wake up to our own responsibilities in these transactions. 


      The phone... Sure they can say it's not their problem, they can look at their "legal" obligation and say f*ck off, we're in the clear.  But as much as they claim to be there for the  drivers and passengers a humane thing might be to reach out and say hey, let us cover that loss. 

      I understand better, we don't work for Uber, we work for ourselves, sounds simple enough, and we should know better. Your response is well noted. 

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    joeyj
    426 Driver Rider
     2 months ago

    what did their initial response say? this is some serious stuff. they need to be responding.