On a bright and windy day last summer, while working on some
updates to Uber’s driver payment system, Mike#2 proposed an idea
which to me seemed as unfair to the drivers. It would block the
payments to the driver if a customer complained about the ride
before a ride ends. Fortunately, this never made it into the app.
When we were brainstorming this idea, I openly spoke up against
it. I told them that it was unethical to block a driver’s payments
without researching the complaint to make sure it was the driver’s
fault. Many of the Uber drivers in some countries do not own the
cars they drive. They are owned by rich people who give the
drivers a fixed monthly salary and take the money Uber pays the
drivers from their bank accounts. So, if a payment is blocked
because of a customer complaint, the drivers may go home without
the pay they need to feed their families. When I voiced my
concern, Mike#2 looked at me and said “There is no place for
ethics in this business sweetheart. We are not a charity.” I was
upset to hear such an insensitive comment. I repeated my point and
this time, I raised my voice to show that I was unhappy with his
attitude. Visibly angry, Mike #2 covered the microphone of the
conference phone, he reached over to hold my hand tightly and told
me to stop being a whiny little bitch. Two of the men in the
room looked at each other and laughed while the rest of the men,
like me, were shocked.
Ordinarily I wouldn’t link to an unverifiable anonymous story. But for me, Uber has lost the benefit of the doubt.