Now that it’s out an Uber driver murdered Rebecca Dykes, a British diplomat in Beirut, I am beyond shocked – and I feel the need to share this:
Around 6 months ago, I was contacted by Careem, another chauffeur driven car booking service operating in the Middle East, as an ‘influencer’ to promote their service on my social media:
I was riding with around 6 girls to Halat Sur Mer, the driver/ pilot commented that his boss doesn’t know he is a Careem chaufeur, so he doesn’t want to show in my posts. When I asked him where he works, he did not answer which got my girlfriends and I very uncomfortable.
Also, when he first picked me up, I recall he told me that I was more than 5 minutes late, so he turned off the map.
When we reached our destination at around 9 pm, I realized that I had left my wallet in his car. I called the pilot and told him that I need him to bring me back my wallet, he didn’t come back. Instead, he asked me to “order a Careem for my way back” . Not wanting to be rude, I agreed. I spent my whole night without a wallet. At around 1 am, I order a Careem. 5 minutes later it turned out, the pilot assigned wasn’t the same pilot who had driven me there. I cancelled the trip, and tried again. After 30 mins of trial and error, with my girlfriends and I waiting, I called the pilot and asked him to get my wallet right away.
I called Careem’s marketing representative and apologized saying I don’t want to recommend this service to people who follow me. I deleted all the posts. The marketing rep told me it was my bad that I was late for pick-up, and couldn’t understand that I was actually more worried about the driver “turning off the map” and working “under cover”.
However, I still ordered uber sometimes both in Dubai and in Lebanon – since I thought it was an “international standard” service AND valet-fees-free. Now when I think about it; Even though most of uber pilots were nice and friendly, a lot of them were aggressive especially when it comes to “rating them a 5” or making them wait for 5 minutes – and by aggressive, I mean really aggressive. I have a rating of 4.88 on Uber, I had no idea that there was any Passenger rating till a rude pilot once mentioned that we both rate each other in a weird tone.
I also was once charged twice on my credit card for one Uber trip. I tried to contact the headquarters, the only way I could reach them was FACE BOOK MESSENGER – which is ABSURD! They promised a refund, I’m not sure they refunded my money.
I remember when I was still in school, we had “3ammo George” my friends and I used to call. He was a dad, he was like our dad. We would call him at 5 am, he would get out of bed just to drive us all home. From THAT, to modern apps with complete psychos driving digital natives around the city, is ridiculous!
Being talkative and always questioning life, I ALWAYS asked every driver if he is both an Uber and Careem driver. 90% of them told me they were both, Uber and Careem drivers in Lebanon need to have a red plate/ public-driving license – so they’re limited and usually work with BOTH. It was a chance that this diplomat ordered an Uber, it could be either.
The reason I am writing this is to warn everyone, that I was NOW about to order an Uber (even though all of the above) to Mar Mkheyel, now I am just in shock and grateful I am ALIVE!!!!
Order a taxi from real reputable companies, NOT ON THE STREETS (my mobile phone was stolen from one of those once) “3ish ktir shouf ktir”; REAL COMPANIES who are always in contact with their supervisor, on walky talkies, THOSE!! Uber and such are just apps that take around 20%-30% of the fees you pay per ride. Even though they’re trendy and cool, they are simply NOT SAFE!
Or at least don’t ride with them before:
1- Drivers cannot turn off maps!
2- Drivers are inspected especially for criminal records!
3- A 24/7 costumer service department answers complaints and not Facebook Messenger!
PS: Many UBER drivers were nice and extremely friendly and “fatherly”
Stay Safe Please!