Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Uber being the scum they are: “My Uber driver robbed me, so i took Uber to court and won”

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A very interesting and detailed account of an Uber driver robbing a passenger and Uber doing everything it could to ignore the problem and fight giving any compensation to the victim. Uber really does seem to be a scum company. I don’t know that simply getting Travis Kalanick kicked out as CEO will do any good since (a) he remains on the board and (b) the scum and the scum culture he created seem to be intact. (The firing of the 20 worst will have little effect once the culture’s been established.)

His account begins:

know this is not typical on a business blog, but I want to share what happened to potentially help someone in a similar situation.

If you have followed my twitter account since December, you might know that I was robbed by my Uber driver.  He intentionally drove off with my backpack containing my brand new $2,000 laptop, a bunch of marketing stuff, my medicine, second cell phone, some clothes, and pretty much everything important I owned. Seven months later, the situation has finally been resolved.  I wanted to give everyone on the internet a rundown of what happened so they can hopefully prevent this happening to them, and if so you will know the steps I took to get back what was taken from me (kind of).

Also as this has to do with legal proceedings I tried to be thorough and detailed and the end result is kind of long. :/

To the story!

If you didn’t know, FYM Hot Sauce was the first sponsor for the professional DotA 2 team, “Team NP.”  If you are not familiar with DotA 2, it is a team video game that can be compared to action chess.  DotA 2 has had tournaments since its inception where more than $120,000,000 has been given away in tournament winnings.  Needless to say it is a pretty big deal as many of the players are now millionaires.  Every year there are 3 major tournaments, two smaller ones with a prize pool of $3,000,000, and the championship with a prize pool of over $20,000,000.  When Team NP (who had never qualified for a major tournament) made it to the their first major tournament, held in Boston I decided to go and support them.

The community had really rallied around NP and I wanted to give back to the fans, so why not give away a bunch of hot sauce?  From Portland, Oregon I flew Southwest which allows you 2 free checked bags.  I filled up 2 suitcases with hot sauce to the max of 50 pounds each.  I also filled my backpack with a bunch of sample sauces that I could carry on, as well as other merchandise like hats, stickers, and shirts.  All of this stuff was for giving away to the fans that supported the team.  Without fans, NP would have had one heck of a time getting where they did.

When I landed for my layover in Kansas City I got a call from my father.  He owns an accounting firm, and his internet died.  Before my hot sauce set a record on Kickstarter, I was an IT consultant for small and medium businesses.  I still do work for my father’s office and I do some volunteer IT work for a locaI women’s shelter.  We went through the process of calling Comcast together, and we ended up getting everything up and running again during my two-hour layover.  I was able to use my laptop from my phone hotspot to remote into the servers and make sure everything was hunky-dory before my flight to Boston took off.

My flights were awesome.  No turbulence, and I had a whole row to myself.  I was able to stretch my legs out and watch movies on my phone in comfort.  I thought it was so cool all the space that I had that I took a picture to post on Twitter.  While not a great image, you could definitely see my backpack under the seat.

I landed in Boston around 11 PM EST on Monday, December 5th, 2016, and went to get my checked bags.  Luckily there were no leaking hot sauce bottles.   I went to wikitravel to see the best way of traveling from the airport.  I was warned that cab drivers will frequently rip people off and charge them $50 from the airport, when it should not take more than $20.  I decided to call an Uber from my phone, the first time that I had ever used the service.  While wearing my heavy backpack, I carried my two heavy bags out to the limo pick up area to wait.

When my driver arrived in his hybrid Toyota Camry, I put my two suitcases into his trunk and carried my backpack into the backseat with me.  Since I had a good 20 minutes of driving, I decided to pull out my laptop and make sure that everything was still working at my dad’s office.  I was able to connect to the server and everything seemed to be running smooth.

As we arrived at my AirBNB I slid my laptop back into my bag and looked up instructions on how to check in.  When we pulled up to the location we stopped in the middle of an uphill street, right next to another car.  It was a tight fit getting out of the backseat.   I looked around the unfamiliar street and told the driver that I would unload the suitcases to the curb then I would come back for the backpack in the backseat.

Why did I make that decision?  My bag had about $4,000 worth of stuff in it, and it was heavy.  I don’t know who is walking up and down the streets in Boston in the middle of the night, but I figured that it would be safer in the car with the driver, whom I had all their information in the Uber app.  If someone tried to run off with a bag full of hot sauce in one of my other suitcases it would be awkward and ultimately not a huge deal; it was just hot sauce.  Who knows, maybe that thief would have been a customer one day.  A backpack is easy to grab and run off with while no one is looking.

When I grabbed the suitcases out of the trunk I had to close the door so I could get them past the cars to the curb.  I had to take them to the curb as I was on the aforementioned hill, and with 4 wheels that don’t have locks I have to make sure they were not going to roll away.  There would have been no way to fit through the small opening walking sideways with the backpack on.  I was already shuffling with the heavy suitcases.

As I was bringing the cases to the curb, unknown to me, my driver took off.  I did not hear him take off as his electric car was near silent.  I set my bags to the curb and when I turned around he was gone.

I took a look around and assumed he mistakenly left with my backpack despite me having told him I would be back for it.  This was my first Uber ride, and so I took a minute and tried to figure out how to message the driver to come back.  I had to Google what to do as I am a noobie.  I went to the lost item section in the app and submitted my info, and soon after the automated robot lady called me and told me she would connect me with the driver.  The phone went right to voicemail, so I left a message.  I took my remaining bags into my room then walked downstairs to wait for the driver to return.  After 20 minutes it was clear he wasn’t returning.

I called several more times that night and left several more messages. . .

Continue reading.

Later:

They were a company that shows blatant disrespect to authority, operating illegally in cities and using technology to intentionally avoid law enforcement. . . I have no intention of ever using Uber again.  There are many competitors including public transportation, Lyft, Curb, ReachNow, Juno, Via, and the list keeps growing.  I can’t in good faith support a company that has such a blatant disregard for not only its clients, but also its employees.  While I am happy that Uber spawned a revolution in the transportation industry, they have proven themselves to be just as bad if not worse than the companies they sought to replace. . .

Written by LeisureGuy

23 June 2017 at 1:25 pm

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