A woman in Los Angeles decided to take UberX home from a party a few days ago. But instead of driving her home, her Uber driver reportedly abducted her.
According to Valleywag’s Sam Biddle, the woman was picked up by her Uber driver and driven 20 miles out of the way. The driver eventually stopped the car in an empty parking lot, and the woman — who had been protesting repeatedly — tried to leave, according to Biddle, who did not use her name to protect her safety.
The driver locked the doors and wouldn’t let her out, so the woman started screaming and protesting loudly, she told Biddle. Eventually the driver took the woman to her home address, which she had plugged into the app before her Uber vehicle showed up, according to Biddle.
In total, Biddle reports, the trip took two hours.
The next day, the woman wrote to Uber to report her experience. Uber’s response, which the woman said was “automated,” apologized for the driver’s “inefficient route,” she told Biddle. Uber also partially refunded the woman’s fare that day. A day later, the rest of her money was reimbursed. The company did not mention or apologise for the reported two-hour abduction by one of the company’s many independent contractors, Biddle reported.
For now, the woman is reportedly staying in a hotel, too afraid to go home since her Uber driver now has her home address.
This isn’t the first instance of an Uber driver allegedly behaving badly. In September, a San Francisco UberX driver was accused of smashing a passenger on the head with a hammer and driving away. An Orlando-based Uber driver was allegedly arrested for grabbing a female customer’s breast that same month. A San Francisco Uber driver struck and killed a 6-year-old girl in December 2013.
Uber takes a dollar off of each UberX ride’s fare for a customer safety surcharge, called a “safe rides fee.” Uber says this $US1 fee goes toward conducting drivers’ background checks, among other things, including “regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education, current and future development of safety features in the app,” according to Uber’s website.
We’ve reached out to Uber for comment and will update when we hear back.