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An Uber driver refused to pick up a woman in labor and charged her for asking

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Life is like a line of Ubers, you never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes you get a nice Uber driver who lets you charge your phone. Other times, you get a rude one who refuses to take a pregnant woman to the hospital to give birth.

A New York woman going into labor, along with her husband and birthing coach, called an Uber to take them to the hospital, only to be refused by the driver and get charged $13 for taking up his time. According to Fortune, the driver did not want to take the trio because the woman — who wished to remain nameless — looked like she might vomit, and he didn’t want to deal with the mess. He also said none of his peers would take a woman in labor. As it turned out, his statement proved false, because the group called another driver, who took them to the hospital. They made it in time, and the woman gave birth to a baby boy.

As the second driver proved, you can’t paint all Uber contractors with the same brush, however, it’s incidents like this that make the company look bad. Though Uber eventually issued a refund for the charge from the first driver, the transportation service ceased all communications when the new father, a lawyer, rebutted the company’s driver privacy policy by pointing out that driver licensing is a public record. Uber only responded after Fortune decided to pursue the story, stating it had “taken action to respond to this complaint.”

Uber remains steadfast in its insistence that it is not a taxi company, but rather a software company that makes an app for freelancers to use. It is not the first time the company has used that explanation to absolve itself from incidents that might hurt Uber’s reputation. The company has also used this argument to explain why its drivers should not be required to register as taxis, as well as to justify its minimalist driver screenings, which have allowed convicted sex offenders to be Uber drivers in the past.

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