Uber Investigators Accused of Putting Company Over Customers

Uber Ride

Uber has a Special Investigations Unit comprised of about 80 people tasked with looking into rides that go wrong for any number of reasons, one of which is driver misconduct.  A 26-page memo was released in May 2018 that examined the “inexperienced, overworked, and distraught team members of Uber’s Special Investigations Unit.”

The contents of the memo indicated that the “team responsible for keeping Uber drivers and riders safe were underpaid, emotionally traumatized, and exhausted as they attempted to handle nearly 1,200 cases each week.” Since 2014, hundreds of Uber drivers have been accused sexual assault or abuse by passengers, and at the current time, there are a number of criminal and civil cases pending against the number one ride-share company in the world (with Lyft at a close second).

Former Uber SIU Member Expresses Serious Concern

There are concerns that the overworked and underpaid Uber Special Investigations Unit members (who make approximately $18.50 an hour even with law enforcement or military backgrounds) are putting the best interests of the company ahead of the best interests of the women and men using the ride-share app to get to their destinations safely and affordably.

According to reports, Uber does not allow members of the Special Investigations United to report allegations against its drivers to police, according to former investigator Lilli Flores, in an article published in The Washington Post. The team of special investigators is also not allowed to advise Uber passengers that alleged criminal acts against them from Uber drivers to report the incidents to law enforcement or seek legal advice from an attorney, according to Flores.

Uber’s Response to Allegations

Of course, Uber disputed these allegations and said this in response to the article in The Washington Post: Uber “created the SIU team not to shelter us from legal liability, but to provide specialized customer support to riders and drivers dealing with very serious real-life situations.” Uber continued by saying it will continue to put safety at the heart of everything the company does and will continue to implement new approaches to benefit both those who work for the company and those who order rides using the Uber app.

In Uber’s defense, the company has recently taken steps to ensure the safety of those who use the ride-share by adding safety features including an in-app “panic button” that passengers can use to call 911 in case of an emergency. At the time of this writing, the panic button feature is available in over 60 locations in North America with even greater availability to come in months ahead.

In September 2019, In September, Uber launched “ride check” which will automatically trigger an alert to the company’s safety team if a ride deviates from its expected course. When the alert is activated, the driver and rider will receive a notification asking if everything is okay, and the safety team will be able to follow up by phone if they feel it’s necessary. These are certainly steps in the right direction and may help Uber repair some of the damage that has been done to its reputation in the last year or so with all of the allegations of assault and other violence against passengers.

Lynn Fugaro About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.