Uber spells out rules on sex, vomiting and firearms
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Uber is imposing new rules banning behaviour such as contact with someone in cars that breaches its "no sex rule".
New rules coming into force later this month state there must be no physical contact with the driver or fellow riders.
"As our community guidelines make clear, you shouldn't touch or flirt with other people in the car. As a reminder, Uber has a no sex rule. That's no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what," the company says.
It said that nobody should hit or otherwise hurt a driver or fellow passengers.
Use of inappropriate and abusive language or gestures could also lead to a ban.
"For example, asking overly personal questions, using verbal threats, and making comments or gestures that are aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful."
The San Francisco-based company has been under scrutiny itself over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at its corporate office.
In an email sent to New Zealand users today, the company also spells out other reasons why you could lose access to Uber as a rider.
This includes damaging drivers' or other passengers' property. This includes damaging the car, breaking or vandalising a phone, intentionally spilling food or drink, smoking, or vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Unwanted contact with the driver or fellow passenger after the trip is over could also get you kicked off the app.
This includes texting, calling, or visiting someone in person after a ride has been completed.
"Remember, in Australia and New Zealand you can call and text your driver directly from the Uber app without ever having to share your personal phone number. This means that your phone number stays anonymous and is never given to the driver."
Breaking the local law while using Uber is also a no-no.
This includes bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car, travelling in large groups that exceed the number of seat belts in the car; asking drivers to break local traffic laws such as speed limits, or using Uber to commit a crime, including drug and human trafficking or the sexual exploitation of children.
Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms in a vehicle while using the app. Uber says that if is made aware of these kinds of problem behaviours, it will contact the rider to investigate them.
Depending on the nature of the concern, Uber could put a hold on the account during the investigation.
"If the issues raised are serious or a repeat offence, or you refuse to co-operate, you may lose access to Uber. Any behaviour involving violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, or illegal activity while using Uber can result in the immediate loss of access to your account."
Drivers have also been targeted in the crackdown.
While there would be unforeseen events that may lead to deactivation, Uber says the general categories are: quality, fraud, safety and discrimination.
"In developing this policy, we shared our internal processes with a group of drivers in the region and sought their feedback. This policy may be updated from time to time as needed, and we will notify drivers about significant changes."
High cancellation rates count against drivers - Uber says high-quality drivers typically have a low cancellation rate of less than 5 per cent.
Uber's says its mission is to connect riders to transport "as reliable as running water", everywhere for everyone.
'''We do not tolerate discrimination by drivers or riders on our platform.''
Fraudulent activity, safety related breaches and use of drugs and alcohol can lead to bans for drivers.
In general advice to riders and drivers Uber says everyone should be treated with respect.
"It's common courtesy not to shout, swear or slam the car door. And by tidying up after yourself — whether it's taking your trash home or cleaning up a spilled drink — you'll keep the car in good condition and ensure the next person has a pleasant ride too."
A new star rating system will be introduced on September 19.
The ride service began in New Zealand in 2014.
Uber says it has 485,000 active riders and 6500 active drivers here.
- NZ Herald