Uber is a conflicted company.
On one hand, its concept has met with resounding success and growth. People picking you up from wherever via app is cool, but the company seems to be testing how far it can push a “we don’t care” media relations strategy.
Emil Michael still has a job and the company still keeps scoring bad press.
This time it’s about how Uber handled sexual harassment allegations.
In an exclusive interview with Newsweek, a female passenger in London reveals that she was having a typical day before pinging Uber getting in a Mini Cooper with the Union Jack on the roof…or something like that.
Then things got weird:
Driver was very forward and quite creepy. Asked me if I wanted him to go down on me. Not cool.
So, she complained. Loudly. Fortunately, Uber responded. Kind of.
She received a reply from a marketing manager who apologized for the “intrusive experience” and said that their driver operations manager was “already investigating this with [the driver] and I can assure you that the necessary actions will be taken to avoid a similar incident in future”.
The email concluded by thanking the women “for raising this with us – while painful to hear, it’s the best way for us to address any incidents like this”.
Is anyone else surprised that the company assigns its marketing managers to these tasks? For the record, the passenger she received a credit of $31 for her trauma.
The story includes many unpleasant quotes, and Uber promised, as usual, to do a better job screening its own drivers without revealing any specifics.
The company faces an even larger scandal in India, apologizing and promising a review after one of its drivers was accused of rape.
Details are (presumably) forthcoming.