An Indian man claimed on social media earlier this month that he had to drive himself home from an airport because his Uber driver was allegedly too drunk to do so, Yahoo UK reported.
Surya Oruganti said he was forced into the DIY Uber trip from the Kempegowda International Airport in Devanahalli, India after his driver showed up “drunk and drowsy,” the website wrote. Oruganti said that he took the wheel for the roughly 20-mile trip home.
Oruganti went to Twitter to document the unusual trip, per Yahoo UK.
Here's a video of the driver who was drunk enough to not know he was being recorded. He was not the driver claimed by the app either. pic.twitter.com/IPnwBkTZ7R
— Surya Oruganti (@suryaoruganti) September 9, 2018
“The ride back from Bangalore airport was not quite what I expected,” Oruganti said, per Yahoo UK. “The driver was drunk and drowsy. I had to pull the car over to the side and I drove all the way home.”
The passenger charged, according to Yahoo UK, that his Uber driver’s identification did not match who the company said picked him up, according to its app.
Oruganti went to social media to complain directly to Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.
@UberINSupport – DM'ed the details.@dkhos – this driver behavior needs to be caught and handled as it is a very serious safety issue.
This is most common to and from airports at night in India. Having a person checking for this before starting trip should be doable.@Uber_India
— Surya Oruganti (@suryaoruganti) September 10, 2018
He said Uber contacted him back, apparently more concern about him taking the wheel than its allegedly drunk driver.
Uber safety team promptly called back about 20 hours later. They said I shouldn't drive a cab because that's a safety issue. And that they'll educate the driver whatever that means and might terminate the driver if there's recurrence.#sorrynotsorry @UberINSupport @Uber_India
— Surya Oruganti (@suryaoruganti) September 15, 2018
The website The Drive wrote that Uber did eventually respond positively to Oruganti on Twitter.
“Hey Surya, thank you again for speaking with us. As confirmed to you, the driver partner’s account has been flagged and his access to our app has been barred. We would like to assure you that we take action upon such incidents very seriously,” Uber tweeted, per The Drive.
Uber reportedly gave a statement to The News Minute in India, saying that driver has been removed.
“This is a regrettable and concerning incident,” an Uber representative said, Yahoo UK noted. “While we take all possible measures to ensure that drivers behind the wheel match the person shown on the app, in rare instances, when this doesn’t happen, we encourage riders to cancel their rides immediately and report the issue on the app.
“Upon learning about this incident, the driver profile was removed from the app and we are looking into the matter,” the representative continued.
In the United States, an April CNN investigation showed that more than 100 Uber drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers over the past four years. Uber changed its policy on background checks following the media report to investigate new criminal charges against drivers.
Foes of the Uber and competitor Lyft have complained that most taxi and U.S. taxi and limousine drivers are required to earn a special license and undergo fingerprint checks, a scrutiny that rideshare drivers avoid, CNN reported. The critics have called for Uber and Lyft drivers to go under stricter background checks.