Uber Driver Refuses Ride To Labouring Mama, Charges Her Anyway

Uber Driver Refuses Ride To Labouring Mama, Charges Her Anyway

Every expectant parent worries about the impending craziness and unpredictability of birth.

What will it feel like? How long will it take? Will I get to the hospital on time?

For dads-to-be who drive, a lot of emphasis is put on that journey to the hospital. This is the soon-to-be dad’s opportunity to shine. He will make sure he knows the fastest route to the hospital, he will avoid speed bumps and he will have the correct change for the parking meter. After all, you’re about to push a baby out, so giving you a lift is really the least he can do.

For expectant parents who don’t drive, other arrangements need to be made. If you live walking distance from the hospital, the journey might help with your labour. You could ask a friend or family member for a lift to the hospital, or you could get a taxi. For many couples in this situation, a taxi is the best option.

For one New York couple, a taxi seemed like the obvious choice. When the contractions started, the couple grabbed their hospital bag and walked outside of their apartment to grab a cab. David Lee and his wife lived three miles from the hospital, so the couple decided to hail an Uber cab.

The Uber arrived, but after seeing David Lee’s labouring wife wretch on the pavement, the Uber driver refused to take them in his car. The couple and their doula (don’t know what a doula is? Find out here) begged the driver to take them, after all it was just three short miles.

The driver refused, explaining no taxi driver would be willing to drive a labouring woman to the hospital. The Uber driver drove off, and the couple later discovered they had been charged $13 for the time it took him to refuse to help them.

David Lee summoned another Uber cab who arrived quickly and drove the couple and their doula to the hospital. The couple welcomed a baby boy just a few hours later.

Speaking to Fortune, new dad David Lee said: “I don’t blame Uber for one driver’s poor actions, since bad apples can appear in any organization, but I do think that when a company has a culture of bullying their way past laws and regulations, as Uber seems to do, they begin to think they can act with impunity in anything,”

After filing a complaint, the couple were eventually refunded their $13.

Uber released a statement saying: “Denying service to a passenger in labor is unacceptable: it goes against our code of conduct and the standard of service our riders rely on. We extend our deepest apologies to both riders and have taken action to respond to this complaint. We are glad that the rider’s next driver was professional and courteous.”

Note from BellyBelly: Any profession has the odd problem person who doesn’t understand the rules or is biased. Having travelled the world in 2015, we know how valuable the Uber service can be. We’ve found the drivers to be very prompt, highly reliable (even for short distances), friendly and with better maintained cars than most standard taxis. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can receive a $10 Uber credit by clicking here


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Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.

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