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Flat out DENIAL – by Uber


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These Uber incidents are getting pretty old by now. Why do I continue to ride Uber some have asked? Because 1) it’s a great service that when the drivers are educated and courteous, provides me a very reliable, convenient, and affordable method of transportation and 2) NOT riding a service because they are discriminatory will not CHANGE anything.. it will just let them continue to be discriminatory- and if you know me, you know I don’t tolerate any of that mess.

Toward the end of last week, we had another incident. I requested an Uber but this time, something in my gut told me not to mention my service dog, just to mention that I was legally blind and request that the driver alert me upon arrival. Now, you have to understand that my vision is such that I can see when a car pulls up, but between my limited vision and my lack of car knowledge, I have a hard time identifying if I would be getting in the “right car,” so I just wait for the driver to alert me that they are there. Well, this driver took an abnormally long time to get to me, and it was over 100 degrees outside. HOT. The Uber app said “Your driver is arriving now,” so I started to look. Sure enough there was a black car (just like the picture on the App) that pulled up right in front of us. We (Makiko and I) started moving toward it, already in the parking lot at this point, when the car SPED off.

I was quite frustrated because in the back of my mind, I knew what was going on – he saw the service dog. So I texted him to find out what really happened, and he replied “No dogs, sorry I have kids, no hard feelings.” Um, excuse me, no hard feelings? YES HARD FEELINGS! You just sped off when we were ALMOST to your car, didn’t say a WORD to us, and it was against the LAW. So I told him that, he didn’t respond, so that’s when I told him I was reporting him to Uber and the Department of Justice, which of course I did and of course he didn’t respond to that either. I DO understand that he might want to protect his children from dog hair, but he at least should have told me that AND called Uber to fill them in on the situation.. instead of just speeding off and canceling the trip.. forcing me to request another Uber driver and wait outside in the heat even longer.

Uber usually calls me back within an hour or so of complaining, but it took over 9 hours and me posting something on their Facebook page (see below). I also filed a complaint with the Department of Justice. If I recall correctly, it takes like a year for them historically to get to the complaint after you file it, so they sure will be getting a lot of complaints from me around this time frame. It will be interesting to see how it gets resolved, both with my case and with the cases where National Federation for the Blind and other entities are suing Uber in federal courts for discrimination for this very situation. I just want those who discriminate to learn and be held responsible. That’s it.

Here is my post. Click the date to see the actual post on Facebook:

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Uber, I think it’s about time for some disability training. I know you all say you have resources and materials…

Posted by Jessica N Naert on Friday, August 7, 2015

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Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

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