My Wife Had An Uber Scare On Her Recent Trip To San Juan
When I say my wife had an Uber scare it really can be two fold. She had a big (uber) scare and it also happened while in an Uber vehicle. It is likely that the scare was worse than the actual intent of the driver but I can’t say that with absolute certainty. I decided to share the story with you since it is something to look out for if you visit San Juan or anywhere with Uber really.
I had booked my wife and her friend a long weekend in San Juan. If you follow us on Instagram then you have seen some of her pictures from the trip. I booked their first night in the Hyatt House. Since they were getting there a little later in the day and I only had two Hilton night certificates they had to “rough it” for a night before heading to the El San Juan (review upcoming).
The main drawback of the Hyatt House is that it does not have a lot around it. It also is not located on a beach. I think it is more for business travelers or people going to conventions etc. Because of this they decided to head to the public beach for a while and grabbed some food at La Concha. After it got dark they decided to grab an Uber back to the hotel even though it wasn’t a far walk. Better safe than sorry, or so they thought.
When they requested a pick up the app said the fare would be around $4 or $5. Definitely not a fare most Uber drivers would be happy about but they would tip him well knowing it was kind of a worthless fare.
They got in and all was well. Until the driver proceeded to drive right past the hotel without stopping. Even though my wife and her friend kept saying that their hotel is right there and he needs to turn around, the driver just kept driving. This went on for several minutes and he continued to refuse to turn around and kept saying the app was giving him bad directions.
At this point they were a ways a way from the hotel zone and in a poorly lit, desolate area. Their alarm bells started going off and they couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t turn around. If he was trying to take the long way to run up the fare driving right by the hotel was a dumb way to do it.
The panic began to set in and as soon as they saw a strip mall they implored the driver to let them out. There was a grocery store with people going in and out of it so they thought this was their chance. They kept yelling for him to pull over. He kept refusing, saying that he would get them to the hotel he just needed to get the directions figured out. After several frantic seconds he finally stopped the car and let them out. The total fare came to around $9 which means they were further away from the hotel than they had started.
They called another Uber and were safely taken back to their hotel. This Uber driver confirmed that the Hyatt House was well known and was one of the easier hotels to get to. They ended up getting his personal number and used him for the rest of the trip.
My wife contacted Uber back at the hotel to complain. They took down the info and said they would look into it. They apologized, credited the ride, and gave her a $5 credit on her account. A whole $5…that is American Airlines level customer service right there. Hopefully the driver has been removed from the app but I doubt it.
What Do I Think Was Going On?
I can’t say for sure but I would guess that he was simply trying to take tourists for a ride. He wanted to drive up a $4-5 fare. But driving right by the hotel is a pretty poor way to do it. There is no misunderstanding there. Which makes me question what the real intentions were. Especially since Uber can look at the route and the route he took and would credit the discrepancy out of his fee.
If he was going to commit a crime then his info would also be stored in the Uber app which would be pretty stupid. I honestly can’t see what the guy was thinking. But when you are in the middle of something like this all you can think is this is not good and I need to get out of here.
Uber is supposed to be the better “cab experience” and negate things like this from happening. They give the drivers turn by turn directions, have a rating system, and you can track the progress on your phone. It appears that the system is not fool proof. It left my wife and her friend pretty shook up for the rest of the night. Whenever in a situation like this it is important to get out of it as soon as you can. Luckily they ended up going near a populated area and took that as their chance to exit the vehicle. It makes it tough when it is in an area you are not familiar with. Hopefully you have never had to deal with something similar but share your story in the comments if you have.
Uber notates in the app to call 911 if you are on a ride and feel unsafe. They didn’t think this situation justified that action but keep it in mind in case you should ever need it.