Uber ride hits sour note; driver suspended
Transport network company Uber on Tuesday announced the immediate suspension of its driver who refused to bring the ex-wife and daughter of violinist John Lesaca to a hospital in Pasig City where one of them was to undergo radiation treatment for breast cancer.
In a statement, Uber said it sanctioned Anie Agbayani after Lesaca posted on Facebook the “bad experience” of his former wife and daughter who are both cancer patients.
At the same time, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it would hold a hearing on the incident on July 18.
In a post on July 2, Lesaca said that normally, he would accompany both women to The Medical City but on June 30, he could not so his daughter booked a ride to the Pasig hospital from their house on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
The trip, however, ended up badly for both women. At the corner of Greenmeadows and Ortigas Avenues, Agbayani told them to get out of the car, saying her house was nearby and she did not want to be stuck in heavy traffic for another 20 minutes. His ex-wife and daughter ended up having to walk to the hospital in the rain, Lesaca said.
In a joint affidavit, both women said that at the start of their trip, they were already “stressed” out by Agbayani’s driving. They added that she drove “recklessly, kept on changing lanes” and even did a counterflow.
On top of this, Agbayani ate chips as she drove and sent voice messages on her cell phone, putting their lives “in danger,” they said.
Lesaca said that his daughter and ex-wife were “stunned” by the behavior shown by Agbayani, who reasoned out that her knees were shaking since she had been driving since 4 a.m.
In its statement, Uber apologized to the two women for their “unfavorable” experience as it assured its customers that it would continue “to deliver a safe, convenient and affordable ride.”
Lesaca, however, said that they were bent on pressing their complaint against Agbayani, especially since his ex-wife and daughter “went home feeling very tired, weak, and mentally and physically drained” because of their experience.
The LTFRB earlier issued a show cause order against Uber, asking it to explain why its accreditation should not be suspended on the grounds of Agbayani’s refusal to render service to the public or convey passengers to their destination. Other grounds were undercharging of fare (she charged the two women P300 instead of P389 as a compromise) and breaching franchise conditions by failing to provide safe and comfortable transportation.
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