Entertainment news

This is how I spent my Monday morning beating up an Uber driver

By  | 
Story highlights
The experience with Uber has been poor lately

Like Fela said, lojo Monday, Eko o ni gba ‘gba’kugba.  Fela is not the only one who won’t accept nonsense on a Monday morning; even I will stomp out any potential buffoonery before it messes up my day.

I’ve heard about the criminal tendencies of some Uber drivers – only last week someone that I know made the news for being a victim of one of such drivers. But I didn’t think any of them could have the brazenness to try it out on me.

On most days, my commute is a 30-minute ride from my house to the office. SO I leave around 8:20. On Mondays, however, I leave earlier so I can beat the Maryland traffic.

This morning, I ordered an Uber at 7:50a.m. The app showed that the driver was 15 minutes away so I was okay with it. As always I had to call to be sure he knew his way. He confirmed that he did and promised to be there in no time.

At 8:05a.m. he wasn’t there and I called again. He didn’t pick up. At 8:15a.m. he called to say he was outside. By the time I got into the black Toyota Camry, I noticed a message from the Uber app: ‘Sorry, the driver had to cancel. Please request again and we’ll get you another ride.’  

Almost immediately I got a notification that I’ve been charged N1,000 for cancelling and that’s where the story got really interesting.

A screenshot showing a charge for a trip that didn’t happen.

Me: Oga, what’s this now? They said you’ve cancelled the trip and I’ve been charged.

Him: Ah, no o. Cancel ke? I did not o. Maybe it’s the network.

Me: Network sha. Sha park let me request again.

Then I filled the complaint form in the app and requested for my money back, at the same time trying to search for the driver since he was here anyway. I got a refund in a few seconds.

Him: Sorry oga, I don’t know why this Uber people are like this. If you don’t mind I can carry you to where you’re going; just give me like 2k.

This sounded eerily familiar: it was the same trick that had been used last week on the victim above. Uber drivers turn off their app and ask their passengers to pay underhand for the service.

Me: Oh really. Don’t worry. I’ll find another ride.

Him: No now, please don’t be like that. Just help me. You know I’ve come all the way and I can’t go empty-handed.

Me: What’s my business? Oga, carry your wahala and go abeg. I don’t have time for this rubbish.

Then he got angry and changed his tone. Apparently he had been blocked from picking passengers for 30 minutes when my refund request went through.

Him: Bros you can’t just go like that. They’ve blocked me and you must drop something before you go.

With that he slammed shut the central lock of his car and faced me.

Me: I think you’re mad abi? Open this fucking door!

Him: I no dey open anything. Pay me my money and gerrout.

I leaned over to his side to click the door open and he shoved me away. Without thinking I threw a punch at his face with my right hand.

That’s how a scuffle began in the car, each of us trying to land a blow on the other. It must have looked ridiculous to passers-by on my street.

Soon a group of neighbourhood security guards rushed over and got him to open the door. No sooner than he was out that he started to shout and call me a thief who didn’t want to pay him.

I told those ones to hold him closely that he was a kidnapper. It was his words against mine and they went with mine. I rushed back to my house to change my shirt and by the time I got back outside, he had changed his tune.

Now he was asking them to beg me on his behalf, that it was how I talked to him that annoyed him.

All of this took more than 30 precious minutes of a Monday morning. Eventually I told those ones to let him drive his car out of the street.

I had run out of time and truth be told, I wasn’t ready for a police case that I would spend N10,000 to report. Besides I felt I had meted out enough justice with a few Anthony Joshua-like punches.

However, it is disturbing that these cases of unscrupulous and criminally minded Uber drivers have become commonplace. It looks as though there is no control of who joins the Uber pool of drivers and as such, pose serious risks to passengers.

I’m 6:4ft tall and weigh over 100kg: it’s going to take a lot of effort to overpower me in broad daylight (knock on wood).

But what happens to people who are not that strong to ward off an attack? What happens if it were a vulnerable elderly passenger or a lone female rider? What happens if it were my wife and son trapped in the grip of a potentially dangerous individual posing as a driver?

It’s no surprise that Uber has seen a decline in their services in recent times. The cause is not just because of high cost of the rides – it’s also because of issues like this one.

There’s no point exposing oneself to danger of deranged Uber drivers. For a service that has strong competition in Taxify, Uber has a lot more to do than a 40% price reduction they’re shouting all over the airwaves. Their quality control has to be more stringent.

But then, most drivers now have both Uber and Taxify. Wahala dey o!

Nigeria News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *