With barely a day having gone by since mid-day reported how an Ola driver had flashed a woman passenger right in the car, it seems the other cab aggregator - Uber - has now found itself a similar spot - in this case the driver allegedly threatened a woman passenger over the phone after she gave him a one-star rating on the app.
Late Lateef's drama
The incident occurred on Wednesday around 6.30 pm in Goregaon. "I had called for an Uber... I was picked up from near Oberoi Mall, with the driver already having reached late. And I was in a hurry as I had a meeting to get to in Andheri West," said Namrata G Rungta, 52, a Goregaon East resident who works as a project and supervising producer for a TV/web series.
According to Rungta, the cab hadn't even started when she got a receipt from Uber that said her trip had been completed and she had been charged Rs 48 for it.
The driver, identified as Laxman Rajaram Malarapu, then allegedly told her that he knew the area she was going to in Andheri well and that he would take her there but she would have to pay him in cash.
"I agreed as I was getting late. Then, he called the Uber helpline and told them that his car had a flat, and hence, his current trip would have to be cancelled. He again stopped the car and said he needed to check if the cancelled trip had been registered with Uber or not. Basically, he wanted money for the cancelled trip as well as cash from me," she said.
Malarapu also told Rungta that she would not get a bill for her trip. She got off and took an auto rickshaw. "Within minutes, he came chasing after my rickshaw, telling me that my trip had been activated. I ignored him and told the auto driver to keep moving."
When Rungta reached her destination, she allegedly got a call from Malarapu. "He asked me why I had given him a bad rating, but I hadn't given him any rating then; so, I hung up," she said, adding that he kept badgering her with calls.
"Finally, I got fed up and gave him a one-star review on the app."
After that, Malarapu called her. "He told me that he knew where I lived and would come with 10 drivers to my house to apologise. He kept asking me to change my review. I was trembling; I didn't know what was happening. All I could do was put up a brave front," said Rungta.
She has written a complaint to Uber, questioning why the cab aggregator has a review system if drivers are going to call and threaten customers for writing a bad review.
"Uber got in touch with me around 4 pm on Thursday and asked me to send screenshots from the exchange. They told me that they had not yet suspended the driver's account.
"Cab aggregators should register all their drivers with the police; only then will the drivers stop misbehaving," she added.
Cab driver replies
When mid-day got in touch with Malarapu, he said: "I have not threatened her. After starting the trip, my mobile fell and the end trip button got hit by accident. I told her that I would drop her to the location. Also, I just wanted to check if my accidentally-cancelled trip had been registered. But by the time I called my office to tell them what had happened, she started telling me that she would complain about me. After I returned home, I felt bad about the incident; so I called her and requested her to take back her complaint. My Uber account has been suspended and my ID has been disqualified."
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