A good business hangs on to its customers, but in cases where one is accusing your employee of rape, it’s best to cut your losses—unless you want to make the lawsuit worse.
Now nearly as infamous for botched responses to its countless scandals as the scandals themselves, Uber cheerfully informed a New Delhi woman allegedly sexually assaulted by a driver last month that they were relaunching in the city, having supposedly worked around a government ban put in place following the attack.
“We’re back, to serve you and get you moving once again,” the mass email announcement read, according to Indian Express.
The 25-year-old victim was “very upset” to receive the message, according to her U.S.-based lawyer, Douglas Wigdor, who is currently in the process of filing a suit against the taxi company. “We had made it clear to Uber that the victim wanted to be part of a consultation process regarding safety procedures to ensure that no other person becomes a victim at the hands of an Uber driver,” he said. “Most unfortunately, this has not happened, and we have no confidence that the touted ‘India-specific safety measures’ will prevent another attack.”
If Uber does resume operations in New Delhi, it may do so illegally. Their optimistic email came just one day after the company applied for a new license through a local subsidiary called Resource Experts India Private Limited, clearly hoping to shift liability by exploiting a loophole in transportation law. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether officials would approve such a request, especially in light of Uber’s less-than-thorough employee background checks: The alleged rapist, 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, had also been arrested for rape in 2011.
Uber execs aren’t losing any sleep about running a black-market service, however. “The other [unlicensed] taxi services that were banned together with Uber have been operating over the last six weeks,” one senior figure told the Indian Express. “There is little enforcement in place to that effect. So, for now, we are back.”
Isn’t it cute when Silicon Valley startups act like the rules don’t apply to them? Much better than when they pretend to have any ethics.