Thiruvananthapuram Uber Incident Update: Suspended Driver Recounts His Version of the Events
Yesterday we reported about an Uber driver who got suspended because he refused to drop a customer at their destination. The said customer, Devu Sukumar had also posted the same on her social media page. After getting in touch with Devu, we had also spoken with General Manager, of Uber in Kerala, Nitin Nair who said appropriate action will be taken in this regard and suspended the driver in question.
Her husband tried to convince him that their house is located within their serviceable area, is what the post read. It went on to say how the driver argued with them, while they made it clear to them that they wouldn’t be paying him extra. On reaching Pappanamcode junction, he stopped the car and asked them to get out, even as they tried to make him understand the difficulty in traveling with a baby, five bags and two women in the dead of the night. Eventually, they had no option but to walk
Today, we got in touch with the driver, Rajesh, who told us his version of the events. According to the driver, he had already indicated to the family that their house isn’t within the limits and that he will not go beyond Papanamcode junction. He even suggested that they cancel the booking and book another Uber if this wasn’t fine with them.
“When I stopped the car as discussed, the woman of the family started arguing with me and asked me to drop them home. She insisted on travelling in the same car. Her husband got down and tried to convince me. She then took pictures of me and the vehicle. I politely tried to stand my ground by saying that the house doesn’t fall within the limit. I even dropped them near an auto stand so that they could easily go by an auto if needed. They insisted that the house is within serviceable limits and they are aware of this as they travel by Uber frequently. If it was day time, I would’ve gladly dropped them too, even if the place wasn’t within limits, but as it gets darker, it is difficult for me too, to find my way back and hence I flatly refused. I used to be a coach at a driving school. But as the driving school wasn’t getting enough students, I bought this car on a loan and this is my only source of income. The incident took place on Sunday and I gave the car for servicing on Monday. So, I hadn’t taken any rides on Monday. My phone too, was switched off as the battery was drained out and I had left it in the car. I was in for a shock when I got my car back from the garage and switched on my phone to find out that the Uber application had been disabled from my phone. That’s when I got to know that the lady had made several complaints to Uber and made it known to several publications as well. When I went to the Uber office, they asked me to come back on Monday when a final decision will be taken and have suspended me for now.”
On getting in touch with Nitin, we couldn’t get any response regarding the matter. He refused to comment on grounds that the driver hasn’t been to the office as yet. And that to his knowledge, the case hasn’t been settled yet.
We, at The Kochi Post however wonder on how can someone be suspended unless they report to work. On getting in touch with Devu, who had conveniently taken down the post, she said, “I took the post down as there were several bad comments on the post and I didn’t want to distress the driver further. Moreover, the case has been resolved as the driver has been suspended and we have been refunded with the fare. However, I stand by my argument that my house is just 500 meters away from Papanamcode junction and having been an Uber user since a long time, I know that Uber cabs do come right up to my doorstep. All we were trying to do was convince him that the area is definitely within serviceable limits.
Is the driver being given the shorter end of the stick here, one wonders!