The ride sharing service Uber has apologised to a blind man who was refused service by one of its drivers and then abused by another because they did not want his guide dog in their cars.
|Graeme Innes was refused service with his guide dog: photo|
article By Nick Grimm for AM /ABC Radio/au | April 18, 2018
The passenger concerned was Australia's former disability discrimination commissioner, Graeme Innes, who was quick to lodge his complaint with the company and then with the Human Rights Commission.
Uber said it had disciplined the drivers involved and was working with disability advocates on improving its processes.
Just before Easter, Mr Innes, who is vision impaired and travels with a guide dog, was refused a ride by an Uber driver.
"He said that he had a new car, it had cost him $90,000 and he wasn't prepared to have animals in the car," Mr Innes said.
After refusing to allow Mr Innes into his car, the driver cancelled his booking, meaning Mr Innes then incurred a small fee for his trouble and had to book another.
"Because I was a bit more frustrated I actually just opened the door and got in the car, and he also didn't want to take me … [he] yelled a lot and drove in a pretty scary manner," Mr Innes said.
Mr Innes said he initially posted a complaint on Twitter, to which Uber responded, and he then lodged two complaints via email.
"They refunded the fares immediately, but I also said that I would like compensation and I'd also like to be made aware of the disciplining of the drivers and I gave them seven days to respond to that," he said.
"But I think that the matter didn't progress up the corporate chain very quickly until I lodged the DDA complaints, once I did that I had a pretty positive response from Uber," he said.
Mr Innes said that two days after lodging the complaints he was contacted and told the drivers had been disciplined.
Uber said it routinely provided information to its drivers explaining that they were legally obliged to carry assistance dogs.
An Uber spokesman told AM: "We have resolved the individual issue about the isolated incident.
"We believe that everyone should be able to get access to reliable and affordable transport, including those with accessibility needs and assistance dogs."
Mr Innes said problems such as what he experienced with Uber, and previously in taxis, indicated the problem was by no means an isolated one.
"It certainly disappoints me. I suppose it doesn't surprise me now because I've had this experience on a number of occasions," he said.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-15/uber-driver-refuses-blind-customer-ex-commissioner-graeme-innes/7328984