Houston man with genetic disorder says Uber driver cancelled ride because of his appearance

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Man says he was denied an Uber because of his appearance
Reggie Bibbs was just trying to get to the doctor's office, but then his Uber driver cancelled the ride. He has a theory why.

HOUSTON, Texas (KFSN) -- A Houston man with an extreme case of a genetic disorder wants an apology from Uber.

Reggie Bibbs, 52, suffers from neurofibromatosis which causes tumors to form on his skin. The condition is noticeable.

Bibbs said last Monday he requested an Uber to take him to the Texas Medical Center for an appointment because he needed blood work done.

Bibbs said the Uber driver came to his street. Bibbs said he was standing outside and made eye contact with the driver. Bibbs told ABC13 the driver noticed his appearance, drove off, and then cancelled the ride.

"I saw him pass by. He looked right at me. He was going real slow. He just passed the house. I could see the brake lights on. He went a couple of houses down. He turned around and came back by the house again. He went real slow," said Bibbs. "I'm looking at him. He's looking at me. He just keeps going down to the end of the street. When he got to the end of the street, I got a message that said unfortunately your driver canceled. That was it. There was no explanation."

Bibbs said he felt embarrassed and shocked. He said he believes the driver canceled the ride because of his appearance.

Bibbs works with the non-profit Courageous Faces Foundation. They are now exploring their legal options against Uber. Bibbs said he wants the company to offer sensitivity training to drivers working on their platform.

Eyewitness News has reached out to the ride-sharing company for a response. They provided the following statement:

The situation described here is unacceptable and has no place on the Uber app or any place. We apologize to Mr. Bibbs for the experience reported to us and we have been in contact with the driver to re-emphasize Uber's Community Guidelines, which prohibits any form of discrimination on the app.

Here are our community guidelines, these ground rules are designed to ensure that riders and drivers have a five star ride when using Uber.

We also have a national non-discrimination policy. Uber seeks to ensure that safe, reliable, and high-quality transportation options are available to everyone. Uber and its affiliates, therefore, prohibit discrimination against riders or drivers based on race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. Such discrimination includes, but is not limited to, refusing to provide or accept services based on any of these characteristics. Any rider or driver found to have violated this prohibition will lose access to the Uber platform.