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Old 13th March 2017
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Lightbulb No cosying up with co-rider, drunken puking in cab: Uber

No cosying up with co-rider, drunken puking in cab: Uber

Cosying up to your partner on an Uber ride may lead to your separation from the Uber platform. As Indians get app-happy and use more cabs, Uber has come out with a set of guidelines for riders and drivers. High on the list is the taxi aggregator's "no sex" rule.

"That's no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what," says the stern warning from Uber. Another act that can get you kicked off the Uber platform is "vomiting (in the cab) due to alcohol consumption".

The list of forbidden actions include "unwanted contact with the driver or fellow passenger after the trip is over", "touching or flirting with other people in the car" and the favourite Indian habit of asking "overly" personal questions.

The guidelines, applicable in all Indian cities where Uber has a presence, are a response to rising complaints against drivers and countercomplaints against riders.

The good news is that a single incident won't get you kicked off.

As per the Uber guidelines, depending on the nature of the "problematic behaviour", the company will contact you to investigate, though it may put your account on hold during that time.

Uber rules translated into 10 vernaculars

Uber had released a set of guidelines globally late last year. The Indian version came earlier this month. "If the issues raised are serious or a repeat offence, or you refuse to cooperate with the driver, you may lose access to Uber," the statement says.

The guidelines, which have been translated into 10 Indian languages, are meant to be a yardstick for good behaviour, both for riders and drivers. An official said the Indian version has been tweaked to reflect local sensibilities.

The official said the community guidelines are "largely" going to be standardised while keeping in mind the need to adapt to certain nuances, both legal and operational, that are unique to each country.

"This helps ensure for example that a rider in Chennai has largely the same experience and expected behaviour outcomes when he books an Uber in San Francisco or London," said the official.

The guidelines are quite exhaustive, and make it apparent that riders too have responsibilities. As the Uber statement says, "When drivers use Uber, they do more than simply drive: they're sharing their own car, their space, their time and a slice of who they are with passengers".

It goes on to add that most riders show drivers the respect they deserve. "But some don't whether it's leaving trash in the car, throwing up in the back seat after too much alcohol or asking a driver to break the speed limit so they can get to their appointment on time. This kind of poor behavior is not OK, which is why we will take action against passengers who are rude, abusive or violent."

Drivers' misdemeanours have also been categorized. For instance, repeated refusals, cancellations and dip in star ratings are yardsticks for drivers getting blacklisted, along with a few other actions.

Drivers can't "discriminate" either, on basis of where the rider is going, or based on the rider's caste, religion, disability etc.


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