Woman Loses Mom’s Ashes In Uber – Company Slow to Respond
On Sunday May 27th, Dina Miller was returning from her mother’s memorial service in New Jersey and took an Uber from the Orlando airport to her home west of Disneyworld. In her grief, Dina left her mother’s ashes in the Uber and claims Uber customer service did little to help recover the sacred loss. Dina was fresh from her mother’s memorial service and deeply processing life without her. With that context (along with exhaustion from her mom’s recent death) sadly Dina ended up leaving her Louis Vuitton purse in the back of the Uber. The purse contained a bag with her mother’s remains, family Bible , Eulogy , Memorial Notes, an iPad with Montage Video, Dina’s makeup bag, MEDICATION and a baseball cap.
“After entering the house I immediately laid down on the couch and cuddled up with my dogs as my husband started to unpack as he always does immediately after a trip , I asked him to hand me my LV because my I was looking for something. He said it wasn’t there !!! I immediately panicked ! and tried to reach UBER right away.” -Dina Miller
Uber driver protocol suggests they check the back of the car and trunk before the next passenger to make sure nothing was left behind. Dina called the driver 15 minutes after leaving the car. There is a “contact driver” option in the app the Dina used to contact the driver immediately — it allows you to call driver through a masked phone number where she left several panicked and pleading messages . Juan (the driver) didn’t pick up Dina’s calls. Dina then attempted to call Uber directly (several times) but was unsuccessful!
Dina continued to reach out on the app. She received the same scripted response from Uber for 6 days. The customer service representative claimed they would have to give the driver 48 hours to respond and at that point they would deactivate his app until he reached out to them . After not hearing back for 48 hours Dina called again and was assured that the issue was going to be sent to a supervisor and escalated. She was told she would receive a call within 20 minutes . This did not happen. And the process continued for 3 more days with no sufficient followup or resolution each time repeating the sad story.
In the end, Dina never did get her purse back or the more important satchel that contained the ashes. According to Dina, Uber continued to avoid an actual human call until Dina was able to use another Uber driver’s business app to get an Uber representative to respond. This coincidentally occurred after Dina’s desperate plea via a viral Facebook video and local news segments.
When Uber became popular in 2012 , there were concerns about passenger safety but the company told the public that Uber’s security clearance policies were very robust. Most drivers are honest drivers just looking to make a living. Unfortunately, in the past few months there have been several disturbing facts and allegations against Uber including murder, sexual assault, death by self-driving car, discrimination class action lawsuit , data breach lawsuit and an investigation claiming approval of criminals as drivers. Uber customers, like Dina are starting to feel the public opinion slump of Uber while suffering as victims themselves .
It would be easy to say that Dina should have been more attentive. But she was riddled with sadness. Ubers are used everyday BECAUSE many people opt to rely on the service when they don’t feel like they are in a position to drive. Many people use Uber on weekends so they can go out to drink alcohol, and are using the Uber app as the virtual designated driver for the evening. Dina trusted the service and car to bring her back home safely in a state of emotional exhaustion and devastation. It is assumed that Uber’s responsibility is to answer inquiries specifically during emergency situations like this one when they come up. Six days waiting for a human response is a long time.
“At first I was devastated and completely shocked not only by the loss of my mothers ashes, but how easy it would have been to get the bag back had the driver called me or Uber had alerted him immediately. This could have avoided the possibility of it being stolen by the next passenger whom they say MAY have taken the bag. I have bigger concerns now. This is actually a public safety concern as I see it. There could’ve been a gun in the bag or life saving medication. Both in the wrong hands could be catastrophic.” — Dina Miller
Dina was hoping to follow her mother’s wishes and release her ashes in Ohio where her mother was born. This is not going to happen. Her mom’s final resting place is most likely somewhere in Florida near Seaworld, Universal or Disney themeparks. Dina is left without full closure to be wondering where her mother’s ashes truly are. Had Uber responded appropriately, Dina could have had her mother’s remains back within minutes of realizing the sad oversight.
We should all be concerned regarding Uber’s slow response to this loss. Uber’s customer satisfaction is sadly dying itself and it is not because of Dina’s mom’s ashes alone. It is because of the company failing to put customer service and safety first.
Uber customers are starting to mourn the death of what could have been an amazing corporation with a popular and necessary service had the company paid more attention to quality operations, security and more accessible customer service. Uber ‘love’ seems to be dying and their unresponsive nature in dealing with a dead body in the back of one of their cars is sadly an accurate metaphor to the state of their company. Like Dina’s mother, Uber appears to be in ashes and there is no one really responding fast enough to save it.
Deanna’s work has been featured in THE FEDERALIST, Charisma, Breitbart, 700Club, EWTN, Faithwire to name a few. Deanna is the mom of 7 children (5 internationally adopted) and lives near Disneyworld in Orlando. You can contact Deanna on FACEBOOK or twitter @deannafalchook.