How would you feel if your Uber driver left you stranded in the middle of a highway after getting you lost and charged you for a trip that wasn’t even complete?
One Kuala Lumpur-based man was left speechless.
Lc Loh was in Johor on Wednesday (8th June) for work and was scheduled to fly out of Johor and back to Kuala Lumpur at 7pm. He booked a ride via the Uber app at 5pm to get to Senai International Airport from Aeon Tebrau City. Depending on which route, a car ride to Senai from Aeon should take at least 30 minutes and at most 38 minutes.
Lc waited for his Uber driver at the agreed upon meeting point but his driver was at the wrong entrance. Thinking nothing of it, he speed-walked to the other end of Aeon to meet him. He was surprised to find that the driver’s car (a Proton Perdana) was “not in the best condition”.
Note: One of the requirements to be a Uber driver is that the vehicle must be fit to pass an inspection from Uber.
As Lc was in a rush for time, he didn’t let that bother him. Before his Uber driver departed from Aeon, he told Lc the route that he will be taking. Lc requested for his driver to use Waze but the driver declined and instead used Google Maps. The drive to the airport was fast (about 120 – 130km/h), but things didn’t go as expected.
“At some point during the drive, he started searching through his belongings and checking his phone. Before I realised, he took a wrong turn and we ended up lost. At this important and vital moment, the driver’s cell phone decided to exhaust all its battery power and went dead. He had two phones with him. But only one had Google Maps downloaded on it. That was the phone that died. I didn’t know where I was and coincidentally, the Uber driver didn’t know either. Thankfully, he had me in the car with him. With my keen observation skills (not always the case usually, but it proved itself useful yesterday) I was able to look at road signs and point us back to the highway,” Lc revealed.
They got back on the right road albeit losing a bit of time. Lc was at least glad that he’d still be able to reach Senai a little past 6pm to catch his flight at 7pm.
Moments later, the driver alerted Lc that his car was running out of fuel.
“I got a little worried. I asked him in return if we will be able to make it to the airport safely. He told me ‘Yes’ and ‘Everything will be fine.’. I trusted him. After all, he was the more seasoned driver. He should know his car and the roads there best so his gauge should be accurate,” Lc said.
Unfortunately, the car came to a complete stop right in the middle of the Senai-Desaru Highway. The Uber driver just about all-out panicked.
“I asked him what should we do now. He couldn’t give me an answer. He was even more lost than before. I had to tell him to call the highway helpline and ask for help,” Lc said, adding that he even had to help his driver call the highway helpline.
The highway patrol finally came with the petrol and the fee for the petrol was RM10/=, which Lc had to pay for because his driver had no cash. The driver neither thanked Lc nor offered to pay him back.
By then, it was already 6:30pm. Lc missed his boarding time and it was unlikely that he would make it to Senai before 7pm. So he called his friend’s sister who was staying in Johor for help and she offered to rescue him.
Lc then told the driver that he wasn’t going to continue the ride and asked him to cancel the trip. The Uber driver said “Okay”, got into his car, and drove away, abandoning Lc in the middle of the highway.
“This was literally the worst day of my life.”
One would think that it can’t possibly get any worse but oh, it does.
He waited for about half an hour for his friend’s sister. As soon as he climbed into his friend’s sister’s car, he got a notification on his phone – the driver had just charged him.
“I couldn’t believe what I was reading,” Lc said.
According to Uber Estimate, this should’ve been Lc’s ride’s route and fare (though the fare may vary due to weather, traffic, and surcharge). On top of an Uber ride that got him nowhere but cost him more than RM100 (ride plus petrol fee), Lc also had to fork out another RM180 for the next flight out from Johor to Kuala Lumpur because he missed his 7pm flight.
He has since written a complaint to Uber but is yet to receive any feedback. We’ve also reached out to Uber for comment on the above incident.
Meanwhile, we’re glad to hear that Lc survived it and managed to get home safe in the end. But what would you have done if you were in Lc’s position?
UPDATE (10th June, 7:32pm):
Uber has responded to Lc’s case. In a statement e-mailed to us, Uber said:
“In the rare instances when riders or drivers have issues with their Uber experience, our dedicated support team works around the clock to connect with both parties and find solutions. When we learned of Lc Loh’s experience, we reached out to him to explain our policy and refund his fair, and are investigating the driver in question, who has been temporarily suspended from the platform until further notice.”
We have also followed up with Lc, who confirmed that Uber has indeed reached out to him and offered to refund his ride on top of an extra RM100 Uber credit for his future rides. Unfortunately, Uber is unable to refund him for the flight that he missed.
Source: Lc Loh’s Facebook post.