(Image source: TechCrunch)
From rape to theft to child abuse to murder—Uber has repeatedly been involved in criminal-related cases.
Usually, Uber drivers commit most of these incidents, assaulting their riders, disrupting the image of the billion-dollar company they collaborate with. The increasing criminal offenses are a big threat to Uber's continuity as a company; so tackling such issues is Uber's main priority. That's why the company has recently introduced the Premium Support hotline for riders, one of its efforts to bridge the security hole that has bedevils its operations for a long time.
What does this new hotline entails and how can it benefit the security concerns for Uber riders?
These are some of the answers we'll provide in this article.
The Uber's premium support hotline for riders
It's a 24/7 support hotline designed specifically for top Uber riders—riders who have used Uber for quite a long time.
For Uber, the best way to compensate these top riders is to provide them with a direct communication system; a premium hotline that's fast and instant, as opposed to other in-direct mediums, such as fax and emails. In cases of any security bride, a rider can call the company directly and get the necessary support they need.
The Premium Support feature is still being tested, but the company hopes that the idea will solve its security challenges in a friendly fashion. "We're running two small support pilots. The first is beta testing a hotline available 24/7. The second is beta testing support from specially trained experts via our in-app support feature," the company tells TechCrunch recently. "Riders contact support through the app as they normally would, but receive faster, more personalized service."
The support hotline is only available to Uber's frequent riders only. Any frequent rider can receive an email, inviting them to use the Premium Support hotline. The email usually comes as follows:
Once you call the hotline number—blurred here for security reasons—a team of expert will answer you and provide you with all the support you need…without wasting a second of your time.
That's a smart security move on the part of Uber!
Why the new premium support feature is a smart business move for Uber.
The new Premium Support hotline developed by Uber is a smart business move for a number of reasons:
It provides great customer experience. The company strives to improve its customer experience. When a rider is in trouble, they can quickly contact the company to get out of their misery. If you're driving downtown, and your driver is playing with your life, driving recklessly or you're in a car crash or you're being dropped off in a dangerous location, you can call or text the company directly to help you out.
It beefs Uber's security challenges. Uber has had many criminal cases involving drivers assaulting their passengers. That's a big blow for Uber, especially as other ride-hailing companies—such as Lyft—are competing with it. The Premium Support hotline can serve as a solution to Uber's growing security challenges. A single phone call can save a rider's life!
It's a safety precaution for riders. Many riders have voiced their discontent against Uber drivers, especially as it has become a common practice for Uber drivers to assault their passengers. This, in turn, leads to so many people breaking up, altogether, with Uber. But with this 24/7 hotline support system coming up, rider's confidence is renewed. The support feature will serve as a good safety precaution for an Uber rider.
In fact, Uber should have come up with this feature long before now. For a company with as many bad incidences as these, Uber should ingrain this Premium Support system in its culture much earlier than now.
Innovation is the lifeblood of any company. For modern-day tech companies like Uber, with increasing cases of criminal activities—involving its driver-partners in felonies, sexual assaults, and murder—innovation should even be more frequent.
Uber's recent pilot testing of its Premium Support hotline feature, where its riders can directly contact customer service representatives for help, is a welcome development. The 24/7 hotline means that Uber is committed to its rider's safety, security, and concerns.
That will increase the company's diminishing image, PR woes, and credibility, giving it an unfair business advantage over its competitors.