Tighten rules for cab booking services like Uber

Given the recent spate of unfavourable news regarding the Uber transport service, I would like to express my concerns on the risks involved in using such services ("Uber driving cabbies crazy"; Oct 18, and "Offering car rides for a fee? Ensure insurance cover"; Oct 14).

An Uber Singapore car rear-ended my vehicle while I stopped at a pedestrian crossing. The Uber driver claimed that the brakes on his rental vehicle malfunctioned and he could not stop in time.

The driver did not report the accident, leaving me unable to make a third-party accident claim.

I later found out from the insurance company that the driver was not covered by the rental vehicle's insurance as he is "underage of the coverage". The insurance policy covered drivers aged 25 and above, while the Uber driver's age was 23.

It was not possible to contact Uber via telephone as the service does not list a number on its website.

Reading the terms and conditions on Uber.com, I noted that the contracting entity is Uber BV, which is a private limited company based in Amsterdam.

The only option for me was to reach Uber through social media, and, though I got an initial response, I have yet to receive any real assistance.

I caution consumers who make bookings via Uber. Consumers are largely unaware of the dispute resolution mechanism should an accident occur, such as in my case, where there was no insurance coverage.

My question is, how can a company that produces a transportation mobile app be subject to such light regulation when there are other stakeholders involved, such as passengers, pedestrians and other road users?

Adrena Chai Mui Choo (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2015, with the headline 'Tighten rules for cab booking services like Uber'. Print Edition | Subscribe