After months in which Uber drivers have been accused of attacking passengers, the on-demand car service has created a PSA to reassure customers that they’ll be safe if they climb into an Uber driver’s cars.
Opening with a testimonial from a pregnant loyal customer, Anne, the clip goes on to detail the various safety precautions the company takes, including background checks. There’s also a pitch for the convenience of the service.
The clip ends with a reference to Uber’s safety site.
Phillip Cardenas, Uber’s head of global safety, posted an update to his work on the company blog, saying that there’s a code of conduct in place (following the law is part of the code), a plan to establish a safety advisory board, and “incident response teams” will be formed that “are specially trained groups that investigate and respond to serious safety concerns that may occur. The teams are distributed in regions around the globe and are there for those critical moments when a rapid resolution is needed.” Giuliani Partners are among the experts that were consulted on these developments.
Less than a week ago, the first attack allegation was filed in France after a passenger accused a driver of sexual assault. Countries in Europe are reluctant to welcome Uber, throwing a monkey wrench in their expansion plans. In India, a case in December is still going through the courts.
Also in December, a Boston driver was arrested for allegedly assaulting a female passenger. According to a spokesperson for the company, that driver passed a background check.
The key for Uber will be not just putting together a lot of groups and codes. Thus far, the company has inadequately handled the growing number of complaints with horrible apologies, threats to retaliate against critics and offers of credit to passengers who said they were assaulted. By giving the impression that they don’t care about resolving these serious issues, they’ve also given the impression that they don’t care about customers’ welfare.
So now we have what they hope is proof that, in fact, they do take these issues to heart. Of course, all of these moves are being made with business concerns in the backdrop, which is taking away from the sincerity of it all.
But really the most important thing is that these complaints cease. We’ve established that people around the world like the ride-share service. Now they just have to show that customers aren’t putting their well-being on the line by calling an Uber car. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of detail about how this will resolve the issues just yet. One area of the code of conduct simply advises people to dial the emergency number in their area if things go awry. Not very reassuring at all.