A New York-area lawyer is furious at Uber because one of their drivers refused to take him and his expectant wife to the hospital after she vomited.
Thirty-seven-year-old David Lee told Fortune that in November, he, his wife and their birthing coach had hailed an Uber to take them on the three-mile trip from their New York apartment to the hospital delivery room.
Upon arriving, however, the Uber driver denied the couple the ride because Lee’s wife had vomited on the sidewalk from being in labor. The driver told the group he would lose $1,000 a day if she did the same inside his car and that no other driver would take them on either.
Although the couple and their birthing coach tried to assure the driver she would not throw up again, and that they would pay any cleaning for his car if she did, the driver stood his ground and eventually drove away. He also charged them $13 for his lost time.
Lee and his wife eventually hailed another Uber driver who took them to the hospital.
“I don’t blame Uber for one driver’s poor actions, since bad apples can appear in any organization, but I do think that when a company has a culture of bullying their way past laws and regulations, as Uber seems to do, they begin to think they can act with impunity in anything,” Lee told Fortune.
Although the company has refunded the couple the $13, Lee says he remains upset that the company has not taken responsibility for what he sees as wrongdoing. He also accuses the company of hiding the identity of the driver when he requested it in order to file a complaint against the driver with New York’s taxi regulator. He later found out that drivers’ names are listed on email receipts sent to customers after their rides.
In response to questions about the incident, an Uber spokesperson issued a statement that read:
“Denying service to a passenger in labor is unacceptable: it goes against our code of conduct and the standard of service our riders rely on. We extend our deepest apologies to both riders and have taken action to respond to this complaint. We are glad that the rider’s next driver was professional and courteous.”