Cab drivers (I mean those who drive Uber) are having a field day with the Lockito app, an app they use to mess with the GPS so that riders can pay more, reports Sabinews.
I had heard about the new trick from a Twitter user a while ago but it never really occurred to me to scrutinize the cost of my rides. I never really bothered my head because my rides were mostly within the estimate Uber gave me.
But it seems these past weeks, it was my turn to be scammed by these devilish drivers. I had a series of running around to do and quite frankly, I couldn’t be bothered jumping bus going by the chaotic traffic situation in the past few weeks.
In Lagos, you must pick one struggle and stick with it, else you will die, so I decided that I will not die because of Danfo buses.
It was then that I began to notice the discrepancies on my cab fare from the estimate Uber gave me and what I actually got from the drivers themselves at the end of every trip.
There was a surge one weekend, but it was late and I needed to go somewhere. The app gave me an estimate and since I had no option, I shrugged and called the cab. When I got to my destination my fare was 7,050.
Can you imagine that the ride started from Ikoyi and terminated somewhere around the second toll gate (if you know Lagos very well, you will know that this distance is not that much). Even if I used Uber from Ikoyi to Ketu, it wouldn’t amount to N7,000
I studied the receipt that Uber sent me. Apparently, I had been everywhere. I got toll fare for Malls I didn’t go to, and even the second toll gate that doesn’t have a toll gate had a toll charge. So I reported and Uber refunded me N4,900 back, that is almost N5,000 a driver wanted to steal from me.
Yes, it is stealing, you know, as in taking another person’s property by force or without permission and the legal right, and without the intent to returning it.
Before that day, I had reported a few trips and gotten refunds but that was the ceiling. There was even one day while inside a cab, I was on the phone with my friend telling him about the N7,050 trip, explaining how it was a scam. The driver kept giving me side glances and I figured out that must be using the same app.
I reported the trip immediately I got home and received a refund of over N4,000 from that trip.
I decided to see if it’s a unique experience I was having, but lai-lai. When Nigerians discover something, they must do it to the very end.
The Lockito thing is so rampant that we must review every receipt and look at the map carefully to see if the driver had messed with the GPS.
According to qz.com, almost all the cab drivers in Lagos are using the Lockito app. They claim it is because Uber slashed their base fare by 40%, so driving is not so profitable and some of them have to ‘balance’ the owners of the cars they drive weekly.
So to cut corners and also make their own money, they have to go the Lockito way and as such, they become thieves and crooks.
If you have issues with the business, you can quit and find something else to do. You can’t have issues with Uber and decide to take it out on their customers. It’s as simple as that, please.
I know the economy is hard, and things are difficult but you can’t be stealing from other people because you want to make ends meet. Who do you think has a tree bearing money fruits behind their homes? Most people who use cabs are the working poor, and the lower middle class and a very few upper-middle class.
Everybody is hustling in Lagos but you think you are entitled to people’s hard-earned money because Uber slashed your fares? You are a thief, sir.
There was a day an elderly man ‘carried’ me and I told him I hoped he was not using the Lockito app because I was tired of that nonsense. He feigned ignorance and was explaining to me about the traffic surge, so I just kept quiet. When I got to my destination and from the map, I could tell he had messed with my trip.
Again, I had to take action and got Uber to refund my money. In all of these, I have had a few drivers this past week who didn’t mess with the GPS and I got my correct fare. I met one who said he had been driving on Uber for three years. He was one of the most professional drivers I have ever had since I started using Uber.
If you use Uber frequently, make sure to look at your receipt and map carefully. Uber will always refund.
But on a brighter note, I heard Taxify has found a permanent solution to that Lockito problem, their drivers can’t use the app.
However, SaharaReporters reports that an operator of a ridesharing service, otherwise known as Uber, is counting his losses after a three-man robbery gang snatched his car at gunpoint while pretending to pay him transport fare around an Automated Teller Machine point in the Obalende area of Lagos State.
The driver, who gave his name only as Seun for security reasons, was waiting for the passengers to withdraw money from the ATM when one of them suddenly brought out a gun.
The two other members were said to have joined and dispossessed him of the Toyota Corolla, his two phones and N16,000 cash.
The robbers were, however, caught by the Close Circuit Television camera around the ATM gallery, where they subdued the driver.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the fleeing robbers had disguised as passengers, asking Seun to take them to Obalende from a clubhouse in Agindigbi, Ikeja, around 3am.
On reaching their destination, they reportedly asked Seun to wait for them while they withdrew money from the ATM to pay the N2,500 fare he charged them.
Seun, who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday, said as the men were about to reach where he parked, he noticed one of them was with a gun, but it was too late for him to zoom off.
He said, “I picked them from a clubhouse in Agidingbi, Ikeja on Wednesday, September 5, around 3am. They asked me to take them to Obalende. When we got there, they said they had to use an ATM to pay me. They told me to proceed to the Sanglose area, but I declined. They later used one ATM at Obalende. They were to pay me N2,500.
“I was inside the car and put off the engine. After about five minutes, I noticed two of them were approaching me from opposite directions. I suddenly noticed that one was trying to bring out a gun. Before I knew what was happening, the other man had opened the door from the passenger side. I was confused.
“The next thing that occurred to me was to run. I ran towards the gate of the bank thinking I could get somebody to rescue me. The man holding a gun chased me. He led me back into the car pointing the gun at me.”
Seun explained that the robbers zoomed off and headed towards the Third Mainland Bridge, adding that they ordered him to switch off the General Packet Radio Services with which his movement was being monitored.
“They dropped me off around Adekunle and asked for the security code of the car. I told them I did not know it. They said they only wanted to use the car for something. They seized my two phones and about N16,000 on me. They asked me to call my line the following day to know where they would drop the car. One of them suggested that I should be thrown into the water, but others rejected the idea. The whole thing happened between 3am and 4am,” he added.
The driver stated that he ran to the Iyana Oworo area to report the incident to some policemen on patrol, but he was directed to another patrol team stationed a few metres away. He added that when he got there, the policemen could not reach the control unit to report the robbery.
He said, “They called somebody to send them a control unit number but the person sent them a wrong number. I was there for about 10 minutes before we went together in their patrol vehicle to meet another patrol team at Olopomeji. They copied the control unit number from the patrol van at the Olopomeji and radioed the incident.
“They later asked me to report the case at the nearest police station to where I was attacked. I reported the case at the Lion Building Division.”
The owner of the vehicle, who did not want his name in print, said he was destabilized by the incident, urging the police to intensify efforts in ensuring the recovery of the car and the arrest of the suspects.
He said, “The driver has been working for me for a long time and he is trustworthy. We met with the bank where the incident happened and we were given the CCTV footage of the attack, which showed the faces of two of the robbers. The third gang member was captured with a gun, but his face was not revealed.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Chike Oti, said the incident was being investigated, adding that the perpetrators would be brought to book.