If Uber hasn’t had enough bad press already, Anna Kealey’s recent experience should be enough to make you think twice about using its taxi service.
The 28-year-old Londoner booked an Uber driver to take her to meet friends on June 28, but cancelled it after she started to feel anxious. The university lecturer suffers from panic attacks, and told MailOnline that she “didn’t feel like getting into a car because when I get anxious, I feel claustrophobic.”
It wasn’t until 10 days later that Anna discovered a voicemail message from the Uber driver, in which he threatened to slit her throat if she cancelled him again.
The recording is a minute long and consists of a male voice, calling Anna “such an idiot” and saying, “Do that again and I’ll cut your neck.”
As soon as she listened to the message, Anna said her “blood ran cold.”
She shared her experience on Twitter, posting: “Oh my god… I just listened to a voicemail from an @Uber driver from when I had to cancel. He shouts ‘Cancel again and I’ll cut your neck!'”
She also tweeted: “Think is unbelievable. I’ve saved the voicemail. I feel so unsafe… Please fire this man right away, @Uber. I’ve submitted a compliant [sic].”
Anna revealed that Uber has now responded to her complaint, suspended the driver in question and is “co-operating with the police on the issue.”
Unbelievably, Anna has received some less-than-supportive comments on Twitter, with some people going so far as to suggest that she brought the threats on herself because she had cancelled the car.
“The victim-blaming — to insinuate that I deserve to get [threats of violence] because I cancelled — has been one of the strangest parts of this whole thing,” she said.
As one of the most lucrative private companies in Silicon Valley (it’s valued at a cool $18 billion) Uber is certainly powerful. With that power has come allegations of bullying tactics at the highest level, price gouging and smear campaigns against female journalists who dare to challenge it.
Now, as Uber becomes an option for a growing number of Brits — the app-based service recently expanded to several U.K. cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds — should its users be prepared for threats of violence?
Is this yet another warning to us that Uber is not a safe place for women?
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