• Woman says Uber driver detoured, marked trip complete miles from destination

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - What should have been a simple ride-share trip left a woman in Charlotte panicked and angry.

    [ALSO READ: Uber rolls out feature urging riders to 'check your ride' after USC student's slaying]

    Sara Alfageeh said her Uber driver veered off course, marked her trip complete when it wasn't and turned a 15-minute drive into 45 minutes.

    At first Alfageeh said she and her friend weren't worried at all that their Uber driver was a little talkative, but things changed when he told them he was taking a detour and not to worry.

    "It's not like he asked us if wanted us to keep driving.  He was very comfortable taking the situation into his own hands," she said.

    Alfageeh said the ride to uptown Charlotte should have been 15 minutes, but 15 minutes into the drive they were still on Interstate 77, no where near their destination, so she decided to check her app.

    [Chief: Ride-share mistake led to death of University of South Carolina student]

    "In the app he has said that we have completed the ride. We're in the middle of a highway," said Alfageeh.

    Since the ride was complete, she said the driver's information on the app disappeared.

    She said she didn't want to call 911 because she didn't know how the driver would react, so she called a friend and said she would be at the hotel in a few minutes.

    The driver may have taken a hint because he headed uptown and dropped them off at a random street corner.

    "We went from being in a ride-share, we went from being in a transaction -- and now suddenly, I'm in a stranger's car," said Alfageeh.

    [ALSO READ: Ride-sharing bill spurred by college student's killing nears passage in SC]

    Alfageeh said Uber offered an apology and told her the driver has been suspended, but she wants it to be permanent.

    "I have no option but to continue to use ride-share services but I'm doing everything I can to make sure other people are aware of those safety loopholes," she said.

    Uber sent the following statement to Channel 9: 

    “What’s been described is extremely concerning. We are in touch with the rider and have removed the driver’s access to the app pending investigation.” - Uber Spokesperson

    BACKGROUND FACTS:

    • We were in touch with the rider as soon as this was reported to us through social media and followed up with her directly by phone.
    • The rider’s trip was fully refunded.  
    • We have a number of safety features to help make rider’s feel safe while using the app including the following:
      • Trusted Contacts: Riders can choose to be prompted automatically to share their trip with loved ones. Available globally. Video HERE.
      • Safety Center: a dedicated section in the app where riders can learn more about safety features and info which is available globally. Video HERE.
      • Emergency button for riders and drivers: available all around the world.
      • 911 integration pilot in 60+ jurisdictions: If a rider or driver uses the emergency button in one of these cities, our tech and partnership with Rapid SOS enables key trip details to be digitally sent to 911 dispatchers including the caller's name, make and model of the Uber car, license plate, and GPS. This has launched in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Boston, DC, New Orleans, Seattle, and many more. Read more about it HERE and a map of all the locations it is available HERE.
    • Check out our rider safety tips.
    • Here is a link to our Community Guidelines, which outline safety and respect for all on the app.

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