According to a recent report from the Washington Post, ride-sharing company Uber prevented its own investigators from reporting crimes to the police.
According to a recent report from the Washington Post, Uber prevented internal investigators from reporting certain incidents involving the company’s drivers and riders to police, even if the investigators had confessions of felonies.
The Post reports:
But when they make a determination, the SIU investigators are coached by Uber to act in the company’s interest first, ahead of passenger safety, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former investigators. Uber has a three-strikes system, investigators said, but executives have made exceptions to keep drivers on the road. For instance, a New York-area driver allegedly made three separate sexual advances on riders, said an investigator assigned to the case. After an executive overruled the investigator, the driver was allowed to continue working until a fourth incident, when a rider claimed he raped her.
The agents are forbidden by Uber from routing allegations to police or from advising victims to seek legal counsel or make their own police reports, even when they get confessions of felonies, said Lilli Flores, a former investigator in Phoenix — a guideline corroborated in interviews with investigators, alleged victims and plaintiffs’ attorneys.
According to people that work for the investigations unit, its process is broken and is designed to protect Uber first and foremost:
“Investigators are there first to protect Uber; and then next to protect the customer,” said Flores, who worked nearly two years for Uber as an investigator and investigations trainer before leaving in November. “Our job is to keep the tone of our conversations with customers and drivers so that Uber is not held liable.”
Even in the most severe cases, when Uber kicks drivers off the platform, it doesn’t convey the information to police, other ride-share companies or background check firms, investigators said, steps that could prevent the driver from working for other companies.
Many believe that Uber’s investigative process has left bad actors operating on the road:
The process can fail victims because they often have no idea if their concerns have been addressed, riders and drivers said. Sara Alfageeh alleged that her driver held her and a friend captive on the freeway near Charlotte, turning a 15-minute drive into a 45-minute one by driving the wrong way to “continue the conversation.” After reporting it to Uber and speaking with an investigator, she said Uber simply refunded her money and said she wouldn’t be matched with the driver again.