Uber Hits Another Low With Panic Button

Martin Romjue
Posted on February 17, 2015

What are they thinking? Does Uber really presume its passengers will feel safer equipped with a panic button?

The tacit admission of failure in setting up a rider panic button is all the more reason to make sure that Uber ends up as the Betamax of the ground transportation world. One sure way to compromise the integrity of your service is to sow seeds of fear among your clients.

Uber assumes a panic button works like the red one on your remote key for your car. But that serves a different purpose altogether, which should be obvious to any half-wit who drives a vehicle.

If I provided a service or product, I would be embarrassed to hand out a panic button to clients in case something goes wrong — as a result of my employees or contractors.

If Uber were in the airline business, it would hand out parachutes to passengers. If it ran restaurants, it would serve antibiotics with the first course. If Uber did eye surgeries, it would assure clients of complimentary glass eyes — just in case.

Uber and Transportation Network Companies have proven to be chronic slackers when it comes to driver background checks, drug testing, and service training.

At a Feb. 10 Greater California Livery Association meeting, Music Expess CEO Cheryl Berkman relayed how her company has interviewed prospective chauffeurs who were disqualified after failing background checks. But they were driving for Uber when they applied.

Here’s a tip to all Uber riders: Carry pepper spray; you’re more likely to escape an attack. By the time you hit the panic button, you may have already lost an eye.

From a competitive standpoint, the legitimate ground transportation industry should ensure that Uber and TNCs someday hit a panic button of their own: Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

Related Topics: Chicago operators, Editor's Edge Blog, LCT editor, Martin Romjue, passenger safety, Safety, TNCs, Uber

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