I’ll freely admit that I’m not a fan of ride-sharing. Besides my apprehension of being in a stranger’s car, alone, as a very short female, I simply don’t like all the scams that drivers try, like:
- Vomit fraud
- Taking a longer route to get to the destination, which made for a higher bill
- The driver telling the company that they picked you up and dropped you off further than they actually did
- Saying they’re too tired to drive and asking you to cancel (if you cancel, they get a kickback)
- The most despicable scam yet
- What could happen if you fall asleep in your Uber
And the chances of Uber taking your side? Well, it’s complicated.
On top of that, you’ve got the times that Uber as a company has made international headlines in recent months:
- When it recently (Dec. 2019) lost its license to operate in one of its biggest markets, due to safety concerns
- Last month, it was banned in an entire country
Although the situation is different in this circumstance, still just add this to the pile…
On January 31, Uber discovered that 2 of its drivers in Mexico had driven a passenger who turned out to have coronavirus (they had each had given a ride to the passenger, who had flown in from Los Angeles. The man spent two days in Mexico City, but didn’t show symptoms until just before returning to the U.S.).
Here’s the statement (and translation) they posted on Twitter on February 1st:
Translation (Literal translation. Google Translate is awesome but isn’t the best at grammatical changes yet):
On Friday, January 31, we heard from the Ministry of Health of Mexico City, through a request for information, regarding a user identified by it as a possible carrier of the coronavirus. Bliss was answered request on January 31 with two contact information driving partners who possibly made trip with the user of the profile indicated.
From the date of the first trip made by the user, 240 users made trips with the two driving partners already mentioned. Then, according to our protocols and proactively, we have proceeded to send information to these two drivers and 240 users regarding deactivation temporary accounts with the sole purpose of sharing the official preventive information of the Ministry of Health regarding the possibility of contacting the Intelligence Unit Epidemiological and Health (UIES) in case of requiring greater information or symptoms.
We call our community to follow the official information. By our part, we will keep users and partners informed drivers regarding any update of their accounts. We will remain attentive to the indications or requests of the authorities, in a coordinated way, work in favor of the security and tranquility of all.
So Uber’s response was to temporarily suspend the 2 drivers AND the accounts of the 240 passengers who had gotten rides with the two drivers. Just in case. I get it, but…
Anyway, Uber said they would reevaluate the situation once the incubation period for the virus was complete, but as of last week, neither of the drivers, nor any of the 240 passengers showed any symptoms of having coronavirus.
Of course, this happened in Mexico. But with all the panic happening about coronavirus I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Uber tried it here in the U.S. too if they felt the action was warranted.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary