Uber is again in the scanner for the molestation case and the company’s India GM, Gagan Bhatia has shared more details of the case.
Timeline of events:
Trip End Time – 11:33 pm; 30th May, 2015
Email from rider – 11:48 pm; 30th May 2015
Email escalated to Incident Response Team – 11:49 pm; 30th May 2015
Uber support called rider’s mobile number and spoke to rider’s friend (was not allowed to talk to rider) – 11:56 pm; 30th May 2015
Uber support sends follow up email to the rider – 1:34 am; 31st May 2015
The rider has alleged that the driver partner attempted to kiss her hand. The investigating officer has confirmed after due questioning that the driver may have held the rider’s hand for a few seconds longer than would be deemed appropriate for a handshake, which is grounds for Sec 354A of IPC.
“Our team immediately reached out to the rider via phone within a few minutes of receiving the feedback after the trip and deactivated the driver partner pending a full investigation. We also proactively reached out to the Gurgaon Police yesterday to alert them of this incident even before a FIR had been lodged by the rider. This was done to ensure they were made aware that we have received a complaint alleging inappropriate behavior and were provided with a dedicated point of contact at Uber to assist with any investigations.
Over the last 36 hours we have worked closely with the Gurgaon Police to share all relevant information pertaining to the trip including vehicle and driver partner details, GPS trace, and feedback history, etc. In fact, our team also helped bring the driver partner to Sector 56 Police Station within an hour of the FIR being filed to ensure the investigating officers were able to speak with him immediately, record an official statement and expedite their investigation.
..the driver partner involved in this case had a valid Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badge and commercial license issued in Delhi which had been authenticated by our team, as well as a valid Police Verification – all confirming this driver partner had no prior recorded history of any inappropriate conduct.
Our teams continue to work tirelessly to make sure that the millions of trips we facilitate in India every month provide a safe option in every Uber city.”
Our team based in Gurgaon immediately reached out to the rider via phone within 10 minutes of receiving the feedback. The team was able to speak to the rider’s friend who did not allow us to speak directly with the rider during our immediate initial attempt at contact to investigate and offer our assistance.
Multiple further attempts to contact the rider via phone, SMS, and email received no response for over 24 hours. We then responded to a post on Facebook made by her brother in another attempt to reach out to her.
We were eventually able to speak with the rider herself and reassure her of our systems, features and processes designed to ensure the safety of riders, as well as of our willingness to help and assist in any way should she wish to lodge a formal complaint against the driver partner with the local authorities.
On The SOS Button
What happens today when you press the SOS button built into the Uber app?
Pressing the SOS button while on a trip not only connect riders (via phone) with local police who are best equipped to respond to an emergency situation but it also alerts Uber’s support team who immediately contact the rider as well via phone. The rider did not choose to use this or the Send Status feature, through which a rider’s friends and family can track their ride in real time