Staff at a takeaway were left shaken after an Uber driver allegedly threatened to kill the owner and an angry customer said he’d “smash the s**t” out of the shop if they did not sort out an order. CornwallLive reports that Steff Barnes, owner of Takeaway Penzance, on Market Jew Street, Penzance, said he has had enough of UberEats after the incident on Saturday evening, 10 July, with one of its drivers. A customer placed an order with Mr Barnes’ takeaway in the early evening, and his staff prepared the meal. Forty five minutes after the driver was meant to arrive with the food, the customer rang the takeaway to complain, asking where the food was. Mr Barnes could be heard, in a recording of it, explaining that the Uber driver had not arrived yet. He suggested the customer arrange a refund with Uber, and then he would deliver the food himself at cost to the business. However, another voice on the customer’s end then responded: “I’m not sitting here chasing my money. I want my f*****g food or my money to my f*****g door. “If I have to come down there to get my money mate I’m going to smash the s**t out of your f*****g shop. Get my f*****g money to me now.” Mr Barnes explained: “I calmed down the caller, they were very abusive. I explained we just cook the food, and the Uber network don’t even tell us where they live. “She gave us her address, and we were going to sort it out then the Uber driver turned up.” Mr Barnes said he offered the customer on the phone the chance to say something to the Uber driver. She called him a “wa***er” via speakerphone. Mr Barnes said “I explained to the Uber driver that I didn’t say that, but it really set him off. He demanded the meal to deliver, but I explained it had been ruined because he was so late.

“He became threatening, moaning that he wants money from us. In the end I tried to get him out as he was threaten- ing us, squaring up to me and my staff. “I escorted him out, but he wouldn’t leave and kept coming back in.”

Mr Barnes was then subjected to death threats from the driver. Tension had already been building between Mr Barnes’ take- away and Uber, as they've had issues with drivers turning up 45 minutes or so late before. But Uber has not responded to his emails asking for someone to contact to complain about late drivers. This, as far as Mr Barnes is concerned, is his last dealing with the company. “It left the staff terrified,” he said. “I have young people


working here, one person working for us is vulnerable - it absolutely terrified her.

“It petrified the customer. They thought, when I arrived later with their meal, it was the driver there to beat them up. “Frankly, as a com- pany, Uber should have been on this straight away. But nothing, I can’t tell who is meant to be in charge in Cornwall. “The worry is, it’s going to get worse until someone gets hurt.”

He added that despite calls, emails and messages to Uber - he had not heard anything back prior to CornwallLive contacting the company. As well as the huge distress for staff, Mr Barnes claims issues with Uber have cost him thousands in just a few months. Late drivers, missing items, and food turning up to customers in an absolute state meant he has had to deliver food at a cost to save his reputation. “But, he said, the most recent threats were a step too far. A spokesperson for Uber said: “What has been described is unacceptable, and we are currently investigating this incident.” Devon and Cornwall Police said it is currently investigating the incident.


Uber has announced that Gloucester and Cheltenham are the latest areas in which it is launching it’s new product, Local Cab, which will enable passengers in both those locations to book a trip with a local taxi company via the Uber app. Anyone opening the Uber app in these areas will see the ‘Local Cab’ option which will connect passengers to Andy Cars in Gloucester, and Starline Taxis and A2B Taxis in Cheltenham. Les Hawkins at Andy Cars said: “We’re delighted to be one of the first operators in the UK to pilot Local Cab. This will give the people of Gloucester and Cheltenham another way to book with us.” Leon Jackson at Starline Taxis said: “Anyone visiting either Cheltenham or Gloucester, that already uses the Uber app, will now find it easy to book a ride with a local operator. With the boost in passengers, we will also be looking to welcome new drivers to the company.”


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