This is the shocking moment and Uber driver refused to allow a man’s guide dog into his car and only changed his mind when a passerby intervened.
Stephen Anderson, who is visually impaired, was at Harrow on the Hill station in London with his guide dog Barney when he tried to get an Uber but was refused by the driver.
The Uber driver said he only allowed small dogs in his car and claimed that Barney was too “big” despite Mr. Anderson insisting he was a guide dog.
Footage of the incident, uploaded to Twitter on September 12, shows Mr Anderson asking the driver why he wouldn’t let his dog in the car, despite being required by law to accept service dogs.
Stephen Anderson was at Harrow on the Hill station in London with his guide dog Barney when he tried to get an Uber but was refused by the driver (pictured) because his dog was ‘big’
In the clip, Mr. Anderson asks the driver, “I’m not following you at all. I just explained to you that he’s a guide dog, so that’s fine?’
But the driver says “no,” to which Mr. Anderson clarifies, “Isn’t it right?”
The Uber driver, apparently ignorant of the law and company policies, says again, “No, in small.”
Mr. Anderson again asks, ‘So wait a minute, you’re only saying small dogs inside? Is that what you say?’
He then asks the driver to confirm that he is “unwilling” to take him as a passenger because his guide dog is too large.
Mr Anderson, pianist and music director of St Thomas’ Church in Kensal Town, explains: ‘I am going to explain this very simply. As I explained to you, he is a guide dog.
“Under Section 107 of the Equality Act, there is an obligation to carry – as he is a guide dog.”
After the driver asks if he has told Uber he has a guide dog, Anderson adds: “I am under no obligation to tell anyone I have a guide dog, and that is part of Uber’s policy, Yes. ‘
He then confirms that it is both Uber’s policy and law to take him because he has a service dog, before asking the driver again if he “refuses” to take him.
Footage uploaded to Twitter on September 12 shows Mr Anderson, who is visually impaired, asking the driver why he wouldn’t let his dog Barney (both pictured) in the car.
The driver responds again: “It’s a big dog.”
A passerby then approaches the passenger window of the car and supports Mr. Anderson, telling the driver, “You can’t deny him! You can’t deny him, that’s a guide dog.
“You can’t refuse him by law. You can’t deny it’s a guide dog. He can take his dog into a store wherever he wants.’
After the passerby gets involved, the Uber driver gets out of his vehicle and opens the door for Mr. Anderson so he and Barney can get into the car.
Mr. Anderson says it will be easier for him to get on the passenger side of the car so they can slide the seat forward to make room for Barney, and the driver eventually lets him in the car.
Under the Equality Act, service dog and other assistance dog owners have the right to enter most services, venues and vehicles with their dog.
The Uber website also states: “The ground rules: You must always allow service dogs on Uber rides to accompany their riders – that’s the law.”
Anderson shared the footage on Twitter, writing: ‘Just got to Harrow on the Hill station.
“Refuse to bring a guide dog for the blind and only do so if a nice member of the public intervenes.
“This has got to stop, it’s getting ridiculous. How I didn’t turn my lid I’ll never know!’
The Uber driver only relented and allowed Mr. Anderson and Barney to travel in the vehicle when a passerby (pictured) intervened and told the driver not to refuse him
In response to his tweet, Uber Support said, “Hi Stephen, thank you for reaching out. We are sorry to hear this.
‘Send us a DM with your phone number, email address and pick-up details (pick-up, drop-off, address, date, driver-partner name) so we can investigate. We’ll be monitoring your response.’
In another tweet, Mr Anderson said it is the first time this has happened to him in any of his previous encounters, saying it was “interesting” that the driver listened to the passerby but not him.
Social media users were outraged by the Uber driver’s response, praising Mr Anderson for his calm response during the ordeal.
One person commented, “I admire your self-control. I almost flipped my lid while looking at it.
‘It was nice that a citizen helped out, but that didn’t have to be necessary. Does Uber not provide guidelines or training?’
Another said, “You’ve done well to keep your cool.”
A third wrote: “You need to file a lawsuit against @UberSupport. It is against the law to discriminate against persons with disabilities.’
And a fourth wrote: ‘Very well done. I noticed how you calmly cleared up ambiguities and cut off possible legal escapes.
In a tweet, Mr Anderson said it is the first time this has happened to him, adding that it was “interesting” that the driver listened to the passerby but not him. Pictured: Barney
‘Obvious and well-documented discrimination. It sucks that you can’t just get where you want to go.’
MailOnline has reached out to Uber for comment.
Research of guide dogs found that the places where guide dog owners are most often refused entry are minicabs, taxis, restaurants and shops.
During a one-year period, 42 percent of service dog owners were denied access to a taxi or minicab because of their dog, while 22 percent said a minicab or taxi drove off without talking to them, the survey found.
An Uber driver has been convicted of violating the Equality Act after refusing to give a ride on a guide dog for the blind at Watford, Hertfordshire Junction Station in June 2019.
Footage showed Mohammed Hafiz Raja saying, “I’m not taking your dog” before driving away in his blue BMW.
Colin Perreira, 24, of Hemel Hempstead, and his six-year-old guide dog Sid had booked a ride to his father’s home in King’s Lynn, six miles away. It was the fifth time Colin had sued an Uber driver.
Raja, from Watford, was fined £1,700 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last year. He was also banned from offering rides via the app.
Uber said in a statement that Raja’s behavior was “totally unacceptable.”