A driver for the ride-sharing service DiDi, the industry leader in China, has been banned from the company after reportedly insulting a young female passenger for not paying her fare in time.
According to Shanghai's The Paper, a 19-year-old passenger, identified only as Ms. Zhang, took Didi Express, which provides rides by registered private cars, in China's central Zhengzhou City in the afternoon of June 7, 2017. When she got off, she decided to pay later as she did not have enough money in her online wallets at the time. Late payments are allowed by the app.
The next day, the driver sent her dozens of messages, insulting her as a prostitute. The driver texted, "if you can't afford it, you can pay me by sleeping with me." "20 yuan is a big sum of money for you, while it is a piece of cake for me."
The passenger immediately paid the 25.6 yuan (about 3.7 US dollars) she owed and filed a complaint.
But the dispute did not end there. The passenger started receiving anonymous phone calls from people asking to pay her for sex. Her Didi driver had posted her phone number online, telling people she was a prostitute.
"Are you available now? Let's play," texted one strange man to Ms. Zhang. "A friend gave out your phone number." "What's going on?" "Did you offend someone? He published your phone number in a chat group."
In response to the whole ordeal, Didi initially said it would suspend the driver for a month and fine him 500 yuan. Ms. Zhang demanded the driver be banned from the service, and asked Didi for an apology.
After the news spread online, Didi said it would fire the driver and give Ms. Zhang 200 yuan in compensation. "I don't care about the compensation. I care about how Didi is dealing with the matter," the passenger said..
The entire situation would have been defused with just a little bit of patience. According to Didi, drivers are allowed to remind passengers of their outstanding fares within 24 hours of the ride taken. Once 24 hours pass, Didi gives their drivers the money. There is no hard deadline for passengers to pay, but they aren't allowed to use the service again until they settle their bills.
"We hope the driver and the passenger would handle dispute in a mature and reasonable manner, understand and tolerate each other, and create a healthy mobile transportation environment," said Didi.