"Their response: trip refund. Any way to publicize this incident?"
Sorry, but you sound like the kind of person that would start acting like your spine broke from a minor bumper to bumper accident, and try to sue for all kinds of crazy things.
Call 'em as I see 'em!
There's nothing to publicize.
I think the police should have handled this though, it's not really Uber at fault here.
Why didn't the police help your dad? Just left him stranded...
I don't believe you expect uber to run background checks every week/month on tens of thousands of drivers.
And although I understand the OP situation, his "problem" is with society, not Uber. Shit happens.
It might be better to ask what you had expected the outcome in this scenario to be?
I had minor wisdom teeth removal surgery and my dentist told me I needed someone to come pick me up; no Uber, no taxi.
If you do choose to publicize this, be aware that a lot of people will want an extremely good justification for why his family wasn't there for him to begin with before they will care what Uber did or did not do. Wanting publicity can be a case of "be careful what you wish for."
If your father was sick and if he's 76 and has cancer, you could have as well accompanied him, right? Or had someone accompany him. Even if you publicise, there's a higher chance that it would be seen as you being careless.
Agreed! This makes me think there are also other reasons for a driver to stop a trip in the middle — especially when there's emergency. This shouldn't be a one-off issue. Just wondering why Uber hasn't thought about allowing drivers to mark an emergency. Not sure if the driver app has it already.
They do on the customer side, automatically. I had a driver stop me slightly short of my destination (too much traffic for the next two blocks, he suggested we end the ride to save a bit of money), and the Uber app prompted me with a big dialog "Is there a problem with your ride? Please tell us if you require immediate assistance." Completely different from the 5 star rating screen - the tone was clearly a way to discreetly report a serious issue with the driver via one or two taps.
Maybe the app has changed since then (that would have been mid-2016), but I do remember being impressed by that part of the Uber app.
(Edit: I can't find screenshots of this feature anywhere. I'm certain it happened to me, but since I can't provide proof, feel free to regard this as just a random pro-Uber anecdote from someone on the internet.)
On the other hand, the media is frothy about Uber, and when the media covets a subject, editorial discretion often changes a little.
Consequently, you might have a story about Uber drivers driving around with suspended licenses. If you found a few journalists with a history of being hypercritical of Uber, you could pitch a pretty solid "what if" story.
For example, how do cab companies deal with suspended licenses? Do they have a greater (or lesser) burden to keep their drivers properly licensed?
Or, what happens if an Uber driver with a suspended license causes an accident that leads to injuries? Where is liability? What is an injured party to do? Is there any way that the Uber passenger could have liability?
The short answer is:
If you really want to publicize this you likely can because the media is frothy about Uber now. If an Uber executive had bad gas, you could find a reporter who would salivate for the coverage.
To publicize it:
1.) Zero in on a good story. The media does not want to be your personal hit squad.
2.) Research two or three reporters with a history of negative coverage about Uber.
3.) Write a personalized pitch to each reporter. Reference past articles that he/she has written. Don't use the word exclusive unless you know what that means. (Hint - if you send a pitch to three journalists, it isn't exclusive.)
4.) Be prepared for this to get way the fuck out of control.
Ain't that the truth.
Rest will be done by itself.
It sad to say but your incident is invisible.