A young woman says she was left in tears on the side of a busy motorway after she was told by her Ola driver to get out of the car.
Toria Webber was travelling to work at 7am today when the driver, whose map had mistakenly told him he'd reached his destination, stopped.
The pair were on the exit road between State Highway 1 at the Grafton Rd overbridge and Wellesley St East — which according to an NZTA spokesman is still part of the motorway — when the incident unfolded.
"He basically told me to get out," Webber said.
"I was feeling scared and nervous. It's scary for someone not to care about your safety."
It's illegal to stop on motorways, except in an emergency. It is also illegal to stop to drop off or pick up passengers.
Fortunately, a woman driving a silver hatchback immediately stopped to help Webber, who was in tears.
"She asked me, 'what happened?', and then she took me to work."
Webber was so upset she forgot to ask the good Samaritan's name.
Her work was on Grafton Rd, but always came up in the wrong place on Ola and Uber maps, but she explained the anomaly to drivers and got them to use Google Maps to reach the correct destination.
She had explained this to the Ola driver this morning, but she said he didn't listen.
"I was saying, 'you're going the wrong way', but he said, 'it says to drive you here, so I have to'."
Webber was charged $8.48 for the journey, which Ola refunded her after she complained. She had also complained to the company, alleging that the driver drove dangerously, speeding and running a red light.
An Ola spokesperson said it had a specialist team investigating the incident "as an urgent priority" and had contacted the customer.
"Ola has a zero-tolerance policy against anything that compromises the well-being of our customers. Safety is our number one priority and we take any reports of behaviour that endangers passengers or our drivers seriously.
"If drivers are found to have breached our standards, they receive a warning notice and if the incident is serious they can be immediately suspended or permanently banned from the platform."
Webber shared screenshots of conversations with the company to the Herald.
They told her they had taken "strict action against the driver in order to avoid such issues in future".
She had previously complained to Ola about the issue of their maps giving false directions, but no action had been taken, she said.
In screenshots of her complaint today Ola wrote that they had "noted your grievance" and "all the relevant measures will be taken in this regard to enhance your experience with us".
They later wrote that drivers are instructed to follow the GPS only.
She wouldn't be using Ola again, Webber said.
Last week two boys aged 16 and 17 were ordered out of an Ola cab on the Auckland Harbour Bridge when the driver realised he had gone the wrong way.
They pair protested but had to run down an onramp at 10.15pm on a Friday night to get out of danger.
An Ola spokesman told the Herald it took safety seriously and investigated all serious allegations of behaviour that endangered passengers.
"Any such reports are investigated by a specialist team as an urgent priority and drivers are given an opportunity to respond to any actions taken against them."
Drivers found to have breached Ola standards receive a warning notice and may be subject to sanctions including being permanently banned from the platform if the incident is serious, he said.