No, Uber Eats Does NOT Deliver Meth
There are so many wrongs in this story we don’t know where to begin. There’s trying to getting drugs delivered via Uber Eats. There’s trying to have the user pay for the drugs through the app. And there’s the driver’s subsequent One Star Review. Then there’s the hoops that poor driver had to jump through. Mostly though, there’s the ridiculously slipshod way the drug dealer handled the whole affair. That’s wrong on an entirely different level.
Let’s see if you agree.
The incident took place in a suburb of Sydney. Someone had a need for methamphetamine; someone else had a need to get it delivered. Who’d they call? Who else? Uber Eats.
That wasn’t the worst part though. See, once enlisting Uber Eats, the drug dealer packaged the meth in a zip-locked tube of toothpaste. Then he handed off the parcel from in front of the unsuspecting restaurant. The driver, instantly suspicious, called and asked the recipient what they’d ordered. But even though the order was confirmed, the driver still couldn’t come to grips with someone paying a $16 delivery fee for a single tube of toothpaste. So she canceled the delivery and took the bag to the police.
And lo and behold, the cops found two grams of crystal meth crammed into the tube.
Uber Eats Responds — Or Doesn’t
The story doesn’t stop there though. Once the dealer saw the driver had canceled the trip, he called and berated her. Then he gave her a One Star Review. Undaunted, the driver continued doing what she believed she had to do.
So, to the po-po. After the cops found the meth, the driver reported the incident to Uber Eats. We’ll let Sydney Morning Herald investigative reporter Carrie Fellner take it from here:
“The driver Jess, who asked for her surname to be withheld for personal safety reasons, said the company had failed to remove the drug dealer from the app or take down the one-star review he gave her. At one point Jess said she was even scolded by a customer support officer for not delivering the package.”
Surely Jess jests, no? Apparently not. Then again, why would she? No delivery driver voluntarily puts themselves through such a ringer. They certainly don’t blab about it to the media either. Not without anything to gain anyway. And in this case, Jess seems to have more to lose than to gain.
In fact, after being “bombarded” with generic responses from the Uber Eats app, Jess did lose something very near and dear – her patience. Thank Zeus Fellner and the Herald were there to help gain it back.
One Week Later
“After a week Jess said the company had not returned her calls, had not removed the drug dealer from the app, and had refused to reimburse her the $16 she would have been paid for the trip or to take down the one-star review the drug dealer had given her.”
Uber Eats did send over a note:
“We will look further into this to determine if the rider will continue to have access to Uber.”
Furthermore, “in order to maintain the reliability of our rating system, we are unable to provide or adjust ratings for individual trips.”
As for getting paid, well “we also understand you wish to be compensated for your lost hours. In general, we compensate partners for trips that they have completed on the Uber App.”
Then Jess learned the police could not take further action without Uber Eats identifying the customer.
“Five hours after the Herald put questions to Uber, a company employee contacted Jess to let her know that ‘appropriate internal actions have been taken’ against the drug dealer. They apologized for the length of time it had taken to address the situation.
Jess was advised the one-star rating would be removed and she would be refunded the full fare amount.
An Uber spokeswoman told this masthead any illegal activity while using the Uber app was unacceptable and could result in the immediate loss of access to the Uber app.
“If a driver or delivery person, or police, report an instance such as this to us, the rider will permanently lose access to the Uber app,” she said.
Why didn’t they say so from the get?
Many other drug dealers have considered using Uber Eats as a personal drug distribution service. In fact, one group went so far as to launch their own service. They called it Uber Tweaks. And the app was apparently so successful it brought in over a million dollars in just the first two weeks.
That was back during the pandemic, of course, when folks didn’t have much else to do but drugs. It also happened to be in Colorado, which tends to be at the forefront of such heady practices.
It wasn’t all about profit though. In fact, when then Rocky Mountain Collegian reporter Ravyn Cullor caught up with one of Uber Tweaks’ founders, she found some genuine altruism lurking behind the enterprise.
“By George, I’m simply a businessman, not a monster,” said Krystal Steve. “I certainly wouldn’t stoop so low as to endanger those at risk so my clients may ride the crystal dragon while they’re self-quarantining.”
Krystal Steve, along with a number of other local meth dealers, created Uber Tweaks to help people order their product and have it delivered. While the service bears the Uber name, it is not part of the Uber business structure.
In order to protect their delivery people from prosecution for drug trafficking, Uber Tweaks has users order food from an Uber Eats restaurant, and then an Uber Tweaks certified mule sneaks the meth order into the delivery so the driver has no idea they are transporting elicit, Schedule II narcotics.
One Uber Tweaks customer seemed to be particularly grateful:
“I was really worried about the coronavirus, on account of all the meth I smoke,” said Blorno Adams. “With Uber Tweaks, now I only have to worry about how all my teeth are loose and the fact that I’ve been up for 86 hours straight.”
Unfortunately, that’s all the sense he could muster before meth psychosis kicked in:
“Do you hear a bird? I’m going to go take a lap, and then I’ll punch a tree.”
Meth Isn’t Funny
Yes, that story is comical. (Inventive too!) But that doesn’t mean Healing Properties thinks meth is a joke. We’re pretty positive The Rocky Mountain Collegian reporter/tale-teller Ravyn Cullor doesn’t think drugs are funny either. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s wise to relieve the pressure. That Uber Tweaks yarn did just that – and then some.
So, no, we don’t recommend using Uber Eats to deliver your drugs. We also don’t recommend using it as a drug dealing business model. In the first place, it’s not a new idea. (New York’s We Deliver did that back in the ‘80s.) In the second place, it’s incredibly illegal.
Oh, you may get away with the hustle for a minute or three. You may even make a few bucks. But there;s no amount of money that can buy back the time you’ll lose once you’re caught. And in the drugs biz, everyone eventually gets caught.
Besides, selling drugs is just bad karma.
Healing Properties has been helping men stay sober since 2002. We’d like to help you too. So please, give us a ring.
Image: The Rocky Mountain Collegian