Woman Says She Was Refused Rideshare Because Of Assistance Dog
Disability support worker Sandii Rogers said she was left feeling angry and ashamed after being refused a lift with two rideshare services in one night because of her assistance dog, Tess.
Speaking exclusively to 10 News First, Rogers claims she and Tess were first refused entry into a car at Fremantle in Perth on Friday night, by a driver from rideshare company Ola.
And then, just a few hours later, Rogers says the same thing happened again, this time with an Uber driver.
"When I got to him he refused to take Tess and I was showing him the licence and I had my fingers in the window and he did the window up and took off down the street dragging me and Tess along," Rogers claims.
Eventually, the hotel she was outside of at the time called Rogers a taxi to take her home.
The mum of two suffers from anxiety and PTSD. Rogers describes Tess as her everything and says her dog helps her cope.
"She keeps me calm and relaxed and keeps me functioning and able to leave the house and not have panic attacks."
But WA disability advocate Suresh Rajan said refusal of service dogs is an all too common problem.
"It would be very much illegal to do so the disability discrimination act is very clear on it and it says you cannot prevent the service dog from going into access areas," Rajan said.
10 News First understands Ola has since apologised for what happened to Sandii and her pup and gave her a $15 voucher.
And, after 10 News First contacted them, Uber called Rogers over the incident.
Both Ola and Uber have also released statements over Rogers' complaint.
A spokesperson for Ola said they are taking the complaint "very seriously" and had offered their "sincere apologies" to the customer.
"Ola operates a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination, which is clearly communicated to drivers who use our platform," the spokesperson said.
Uber also said it was investigating the incident and had a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination.
"Under Uber’s Assistance Animal Policy, driver-partners are advised of their legal obligation to transport passengers with assistance animals," a spokesperson said.
Rogers says she's been left feeling more than shocked by the ordeal and is determined no one else is made to feel the same.
"Ashamed, ashamed of being disabled and angry and hurt and I was in physical pain he dragged me down the street," she said.
"It doesn't surprise me it doesn't shock me at all, it happens a lot."