Private car hire service Uber has come under fire once again after two male friends were allegedly shouted at and thrown out of a car by one of the company's drivers after sharing a peck on the lips during a recent journey.
36-year-old Sam Simons claims that the "ridiculous" incident took place on Saturday night (September 12) as he travelled home with friend Santiago Figeuroa, aged 20.
He told the London Evening Standard
that the pair, who both work as hairdressers, had only just started their journey from Chelsea back to Greenwich when Mr Figeuroa unfastened his seatbelt and moved across back seats so they could look at photos on a phone.
Mr Simons alleges that when the 20-year-old put his arm around him and kissed him, the Uber driver stopped the car and shouted "Man should not kiss man" repeatedly before throwing the pair out of the cab.
"We didn't get out and told him to do his job and take us home but he refused to drive and kept yelling at us," Mr Simons said.
"It was not like we were all over each other. It was just a peck on the lips and an arm round my shoulder."
He continued: "I love Uber - it's a great service. But this was unacceptable.
"I'm a pretty tough guy. While this was inappropriate, it didn't ruin my night. But it did ruin my friend's night, and I worry about other people being treated like that."
Uber has suspended the driver pending the results of an investigation, but the company has dogged by repeated reports
of homophobic behaviour by its drivers over the last year.
In response to the latest incident, an Uber spokesperson said: "As a company we do not tolerate any form of discrimination whatsoever, and we have been in contact with this rider to offer our support.
"Uber prides itself on providing the highest quality, safest and most convenient service, so we take any incident where we fall short very seriously.
"In any incident, such as this, we suspend the driver in question while we investigate."
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