Why Uber Is Having the Worst Month Ever

Inside the car service company's recent troubles.

November 19, 2014, 3:46 PM
PHOTO: The Uber Technologies Inc. car service application is demonstrated for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, Aug. 6, 2014.
The Uber Technologies Inc. car service application is demonstrated for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, Aug. 6, 2014.
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images

— -- Uber has been in the hot seat in recent days as the company faces accusations of short-fused drivers and thin-skinned executives.

The car service company confirmed to ABC News that it is investigating top New York executive Emil Michael for reportedly threatening to target journalists who write negative content about Uber while at a dinner attended by members of the media.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick also addressed the allegations, originally reported by Buzzfeed, in a string of tweets.

"Emil's comments at the recent dinner party were terrible and do not represent the company," Kalanick said. "His remarks showed a lack of leadership, a lack of humanity, and a departure from our values and ideals."

He also apologized to the journalist whom Michael's anger was reportedly directed at: Sarah Lacy, editor of the tech website PandoDaily.

"We have not, do not and will not investigate journalists. Those remarks have no basis in the reality of our approach," an Uber spokesperson told ABC News today.

Uber was also criticized after New Yorker Alexandra Craigle said last week she was harassed by a driver for canceling her ride. Craigle said she is battling cancer and had ordered the car when she was leaving a radiation treatment, according to her Twitter page.

She canceled the ride one minute after her order, which is allowed by Uber, when she spotted a cab instead, and says the driver proceeded to call her three times and text her mean messages. When she explained she had just left a cancer treatment, the driver allegedly told her in a text message that she "deserved" to be sick.

The company said the driver has been fired.

"Uber has a zero tolerance policy for abusive or threatening language on our platform, and as we have done in this instance, we immediately deactivate any driver found in violation of that policy," an Uber spokesperson told ABC News.

Uber also faced complaints this month over its surge pricing, after a woman turned to crowd-funding to raise cash to pay for her $362 Uber ride, a result of the company's surge-pricing on holiday and during rush hours.

At the time, Uber confirmed to ABC News that the pricey ride was real, and issued the following statement: "Uber ensures a safe, reliable ride, wherever and whenever, and dynamic pricing allows us to remain the reliable choice, even on the busiest nights of the year," the company said. "Our in-app features ensure dynamic pricing is repeatedly communicated and approved before any trip is confirmed."

Uber isn't the only car service taking some heat. Cab drivers protested Uber as well as Lyft during a demonstration at the San Francisco airport on Monday. They circled the terminal without picking anyone up to protest how the car services get to pick up their passengers in the curbside lane, while taxis have to wait in a longer line in an outside lane, ABC's San Francisco station KGO reported.

Lyft is a rideshare service that lets people book rides from "community drivers" through an app.

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