Despite the ban on Uber, I was easily able to avail the service (twice) today. While booking I wasn’t sure if I should do that given the headlines in all major newspapers about banning Uber but then I couldn’t think of any other service and since app was working and showing availability of vehicles, I went ahead with the booking.
But then why (and how) Uber is still operating (Illegally?) when a ban is imposed on it? I found the reason while having a chat about the whole issue with the driver. He mentioned that there hasn’t been any official communication from Uber to it’s partners/drivers on whether they should continue as usual or should stop working. He was obviously very anxious as he didn’t know what will happen tomorrow. He recently quit a professional chauffeur job from a five star hotel (where he used to drive Mercedez S-Class) to work for Uber since Uber provided him an option to purchase the car/taxi. Now he doesn’t know who would pay the loan and he may not even have the job tomorrow. He tried calling Uber officials in during the trip and got a SMS saying, “Will call right back”. Even after 30 mins or so, there wasn’t any return call. But that might be because Uber has a very small staff (3-5 if I am not wrong) and they would be probably really busy answering similar queries to it’s partners, media and everyone else. He also got in touch with few of his (Uber) colleagues to find if there is any update but none of them seem to have any idea.
However, the fact that Uber has still kept it’s workforce in dark about this issue puts Uber is a very bad position after how they have handled the incident by putting all blame on government and not owing up anything. Doesn’t suit a firm of Uber’s stature.
On a separate note, banning Uber and other mobile based cab services is definitely not going to help. Instead, both government and Uber should do a self-assessment, find issues within their system and work together to come up with robust measures which ensure such incidents do not happen again.