Uber driver refuses to pick up woman in wheelchair

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman claims an Uber driver refused to give her a ride after realizing she was in a wheelchair.

Marisol Cumpian and her husband were at a McDonald's restaurant off of FM 1960 and Breck St. on Thursday afternoon and needed a ride back to their apartment, which is a few blocks down the street.

The couple did not want to be in the cold and rainy weather and decided to call for an Uber ride.

"Right from the start, when he saw me and my husband waving at him, showing him it was us, he kind of stopped at first," Cumpian said. "He didn't get close to us."

The driver pulled into a parking spot when Cumpian and her husband approached the back door of the car. They say the driver didn't immediately unlock it.

"As soon as we open the door, (the driver) was like, 'I can't give you a ride,'" Cumpian said.

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The couple then asked the driver, 'Why?'

"He pointed at my wheelchair and was like, 'I can't take her because of the wheelchair,'" she said.
The driver's vehicle, according to Cumpian, was large enough to fit her chair. She said her husband even offered to break down the chair so it would fit, but the driver still declined, she said.

"The guy tells my husband, 'Oh Uber has a new regulation that we can't take disabled people,' and that's what he said," Cumpian said.

The driver demanded the ride be cancelled, but Cumpian didn't want to pay the $5 cancellation fee. The woman says she was trying to figure out how to get a refund when the driver asked them to close his door and drove away.

Cumpian ended up being charged for the entire ride and has since reached out to Uber about a refund and to complain about the driver's conduct.

ABC13 has also reached out to the company for more details on what happened. The company says they have acknowledged the request and is working to track down more information.

Uber released the following statement:

"Discrimination of any kind is not tolerated on the app.We are looking into this report further and will take the appropriate actions."

Background:
If we receive reports of potential discrimination, we have a specialized team dedicated to conducting an investigation, which includes speaking with the rider and driver involved. At the conclusion of our investigation, we then take action as we deem appropriate, which may include removing the rider and/or driver's access to the app.
Riders can notify drivers of special accommodations via text and chat, and we encourage riders and drivers to communicate directly prior to pickup.
As part of our sign-up process, drivers receive information and resources on transporting riders with disabilities.


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