Bay Area woman reports seeing antisemitic bumper stickers on possible Uber driver's car

Melanie Woodrow Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Uber responds to complaint about antisemitic bumper stickers
A Bay Area resident, who isn't on the Uber app, says she had some trouble reporting a potential safety concern to the rideshare company.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Bay Area resident who isn't on the Uber app, says she had so much trouble reporting a potential safety concern to the rideshare company, she wanted to warn others. She's so concerned for her safety in light of recent antisemitism, she asked that we refer to her by the pseudonym Rachel and not show her face on camera.

"Rachel" says she was disturbed to recently see a vehicle not far from San Francisco International Airport with an Uber sticker and bumper full of 15-20 antisemitic stickers.

"The one that I specifically remember said F Zionism, obviously fill in the F with an expletive," said Rachel.

"I thought that if I were a rider using Uber, I would be very scared if that was the car that showed up to pick me up for a ride at the airport," she continued.

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The images and words were particularly concerning for her given the recently announced federal hate crime charges against a former rideshare driver for an alleged October assault on a rider at SFO because he perceived the rider to be Jewish or Israeli.

"I'm not an Uber user, so I went on their website to try to find contact information. I couldn't find any so I went to social media," said Rachel.

A friend shared a number for her to call, but she says the Uber representative who answered refused to take down any information or connect her to someone who could.

"I kept saying I have a safety concern, you need to look into this. I think I even mentioned the recent incident at SFO where a Jewish rider was assaulted by an antisemitic driver and they just refused to take the report and after a few minutes of repeating, repeating, going back and forth, I gave up and ended the call," said Rachel.

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"They didn't transfer me to a different department. They didn't give me another recourse they just kept saying it has to be through the account," she continued.

Rachel took down the vehicle's license plate.

She says she was afraid to take pictures of the bumper stickers because the driver was nearby. ABC7 News shared the license plate with Uber and asked if the vehicle was actively associated with someone on the platform.

In an emailed statement to ABC7 News, an Uber Spokesperson wrote, "Everyone deserves to feel safe, welcome, and respected when using Uber. Hate has no place in our society, and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination on the Uber platform. We have investigated the viewer's report and have taken appropriate action."

"If they took action, it doesn't sound like it was just some random person with an Uber sticker on their car," said Rachel.

Uber would not say what that action was.

ABC7 News also inquired about the difficulty Rachel says she had reporting what she saw. The Uber spokesperson said the number she called was more for general inquiries for riders.

Uber does have a number people not on the app can call if they require safety-related assistance specifically. That number is 1-800-285-6172.

"They need to make it easier to find the information on how to share this information and they need to accept the information," said Rachel.

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Rachel has this advice for others:

"Be vigilant, be safe and look out for each other," said Rachel.

Uber says its Incident Response Team is available 24/7 year round. Also that, they do accept safety reports from individuals including those who don't have an account and did not take a trip but that they require additional information in those circumstances to corroborate a report.

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