Uber Ghana has started anonymising phone numbers of both driver-partners and riders in order to ensure that neither party would have access to the other’s private phone numbers.
Uber will now connect calls between a driver and the rider using software that anonymises both cell phone numbers. Drivers will see a generic contact number for each rider that contacts them. Should a rider have a need to contact the driver, after the trip has ended, they will have to use use the 24/7 in-app support in order to reach their driver.
Speaking to explain the new feature, Lola Kassim, General Manager of Uber West Africa had this to say: “Voice anonymisation is a safety precaution, ensuring that the privacy of both driver-partners and riders is considered at all times”.
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A learning curve to get used to
To lots of people, this will be a welcome development as there have been lots of reports of harassment, with riders recounting experiences on social media – about how Uber drivers contact them via their phone numbers.
However, will users appreciate this new safety precaution and adapt to using the in-app feature to reach the drivers, especially in situations such as lost items when a regular call would be much more convenient?
Also, what if a rider ends up with a driver they’ve had a bad previous riding experience with, and vice versa, when self identification of numbers would have made things easier?
Eventually we’ll see how the user response goes. But all things being considered, this is a smart and necessary move from Uber Ghana.
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