Uber is famous for cutting corners to make a buck. Now a Forbes report reveals that the on-demand service provides no mandatory training of its drivers and doesn't inspect their cars. Rather, Uber charges drivers upwards of $65 for optional customer service classes that could help make the service safer.
[Washington D.C. Uber driver Michael Coe] was never trained on how to navigate the D.C. area or given tips on how to resolve disputes with passengers — both of which could have helped avoid incidents like the alleged hammer attack on Roberto Chicas, where Chicas and the driver argued over the route. Also, no one tried to suss out whether Coe had the right personality for a customer-oriented job — a tall order for car-service app companies, but one that Chicas's attorney, Harry Stern, says Uber should have done.
As paltry training, Uber offers a series of videos like "How to get 5-star ratings" and "What makes Uber great." None of it covers how to handle difficult situations, Coe said. "If your rider is being belligerent, what do you do? What do you do with an unruly passenger?" he said. "We don't know."
When drivers in D.C. sign-up with Uber, they go to a hotel to get their paperwork and their phone leased from Uber, and are then pushed out the door, Coe told Forbes. Theoretically, they can begin driving for Uber as soon as they hit the road.
Instead of making sure drivers are equipped to handle disputes (or disabled customers), the company sells paid classes run by an outside firms to its drivers. One course from 7×7 Executive teaches "driver professionalism tips and basic safety concepts for commercial drivers" and offers a discussion on "common customer service issues and how to address them."
Hopefully the class now instructs drivers to leave the hammer at home.
Uber hammer attack victim was told to "get the f-- out of the car," woke up in the ICU: pic.twitter.com/covukJGmXq
— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) October 8, 2014