Uber Blames Government For Lack of Policies; But Uber’s Driver Onboarding Is Totally F**ked Up

Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick has published an official statement on the Delhi rape case

“We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs. We will also partner closely with the groups who are leading the way on women’s safety here in New Delhi and around the country and invest in technology advances to help make New Delhi a safer city for women.” [blogpost]

The problem with Uber is very fundamental in nature : The company is just looking at tick marking the legal rules.
First, it’s not about New Delhi. This can happen anywhere. You can’t localize these serious problems and run away by taking a higher position (“to help make <blah city> a safer city for women.”).
Secondly, Uber’s driver onboarding is totally fucked. Here is how:
1. There is NO background check of driver. The background check is only for the owner. 
Normally, an owner owns 3-5 car, and hire 5-6 people in shifts. Drivers sometime hand over cabs to other drivers/share cabs as they are highly incentivized to keep the show vehicles running (you get Rs. 1,000 if you do more than 10 trips).
Customers, on the other hand trust Uber (and similar companies) assuming that the drivers are checked for criminal offence. In fact, security is and SHOULD BE the least of worry.
But in case of most of the online cab companies, safety seems to be the last priority and is mostly used as a marketing tool.

Uber : Safe, Safe ? Fuck You!
Uber : Safe, Safe ? Fuck You! [credit]
2. Everything is based on phone app, which one can easily shutdown or can be shutdown, which is what happened in the Delhi case.
In case of other operators like Olacabs, the phone is fit in the fleet itself.
In the case of Uber, it is at driver’s whims and fancies. There is no call center / support number to reach out to incase an untoward incident happens. That is, a faceless and contacless organization!
3. Uber pooling is a JOKE on security.
There is no verification of user!!
You can pool & get robbed (or whatever) anytime by anybody.
Ofcourse, one can’t blame Uber for all – a large part of blame lies with the government and lack of policies on background checks (lack of online/central repository).
But having said that, technology is meant to improve our lives and CANNOT be the vehicle for us to compromise our lives in the name of ‘convenience’.
To Uber and others, it’s time to get human and own up. You are charging a premium in the name of ‘safety’ and that’s just a fucking eyewash.
– Read : A Look at T&C Of Indian Cab Operators.
For now, you are better off buying your own car!

  1. Good article. Just wanted to add that even though the phones in Olacabs are connected to the cab, they can be turned off as per the driver’s wish. It doesn’t matter whether the phone is in his hand or connected to the fleet.

  2. What a piece of bullshit. Every taxi company has the same T n C, if any I have felt safer in an cab provided by Uber.
    In a country, where no one fears the law, the same would occur, if this was run by OLA, TFS, MERU or any other desi company, that we so like to love, cause they are desi.
    Im simply amazed at your title for your article. WOW. It should read, ONBOARDING FOR ON DEMAND TAXIS ARE FUCKED UP. Not Uber, unless your trying to get SEO traffic and monetizing this event.

  3. Yes, there are flows in governments policis we all know it. And I am sure even uber knew it, but just because they did not wonted to go in the hassel of taking additional steps for secuity, they cannot blame all this on the government. I as a customer always believed that a smart company like Uber will always take security as their first priority. But I think uber had people like you, which can see monetization in any thing.
    This is also an eyewash for other companies which are working on similar models. Companies like OLA, TFS, Timesaverz etc, they should take some serious steps to insure customer security.

  4. I did. Thats should have been the title of the article, not an article targeted at one company when the policies of all are the same.

  5. Tony, read the title again. Uber’s CEO has come out with a statement blaming lack of policies, not other companies. This article is a retort to that specific statement. You don’t want a single company to be named, ask that CEO to get a grip and own up.

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