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Uber hung up on driver after gunpoint carjacking. Now his insurance won’t pay out

The image shows the large "Uber" logo on the exterior of a modern building with glass facade and reflections.
Mike Ramos was driving for Uber when thieves carjacked him at gunpoint in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

After being carjacked at gunpoint while dropping off a passenger in San Francisco earlier this month, Uber driver Mike Ramos thought the ride-share company would help him get back on his feet.

A representative for Uber finally called two days later, and after a brief interaction, the agent hung up on him.

“He just got upset when I asked them why they didn’t respond to the scene,” Ramos told The Standard. “He hung up on me. I didn’t cuss at him or anything.”

Now, the 65-year-old Turlock resident—who is traumatized from having guns, including a shotgun, shoved in his face during the robbery—believes the company should have done more in the aftermath to support him and his passenger.

“I mean, this was a serious situation, and I don’t know exactly what they could have done, but, hey, a little empathy or compassion shown,” he said. “Instead, I get a robotic-sounding support representative who sounded scripted.”

Ramos was driving along 48th Avenue around 12:45 a.m. March 5, when his Infiniti Q50 was rear-ended. Thinking it was an accident, Ramos pulled over to exchange information. Instead, three men in masks jumped out of the car with guns drawn, demanded his wallet, hopped into his car and took off with the passenger still inside, he said. The passenger, who wrote about the incident on Reddit, was ultimately let out of the vehicle before walking home.

Ramos said investigators notified him on Tuesday that they recovered his car and were taking evidence from the vehicle. Police have not notified The Standard or Ramos of any arrests in his case.

After the thieves took his car, they brazenly tried to use his ATM card at an Oakland McDonald’s drive-thru, Ramos said. In total, the thieves attempted to use his card in over 10 transactions.

“You would think that if you stole a car, you would want to take it to a hideout right away, but no, they went to have a meal,” he said.

After spending about an hour trying to get a hold of Uber support that morning, Ramos said he was connected with what appeared to be an answering service.

“The woman spoke as if she had a scripted response,” he said in an email. “All she said was, ‘Any other concerns?’ No type of human reaction or concerns for me or my passengers’ well-being.”

Over two days later, a member of Uber’s trust and safety team called him but hung up after less than two minutes. A spokesperson for Uber told The Standard the representative cut the call short after Ramos became contentious, describing the situation as “unfortunate.”

Insurance woes

Adding insult to injury, Ramos said his car insurance company, United Services Automobile Association, is refusing to cover the cost of the damages from losing his car due to theft because he was using it for a ride-share service. USAA did not respond to The Standard’s request for comment. 

Meanwhile, Uber has asked him to fill out forms and have a document notarized in order to be compensated for his loss, which he feels is ridiculous as the company already has the police report. Additionally, the deductible for Uber’s insurance is $2,500—something Ramos is not happy about.

“They aren’t helping me or guiding me through the situation,” Ramos said. “They claim they’ll compensate me, but they are making me do all this stuff, and I don’t feel comfortable with that.”

Uber told The Standard that it’s a regular practice for its insurance company, Progressive, to send a vehicle theft affidavit in a situation like this. Uber did not say how much it would compensate him for the incident.

Ramos said he has been provided a rental car through Uber’s insurance, but at this point he doesn’t think he’ll ever drive for the ride-share service again.

“For me, I’m 65 years old. Social Security isn’t cutting it. This was to make a little extra money to pay for a couple of things,” he said. “I just don’t think I can drive for them anymore because this took a lot out of me.”

Joel Umanzor can be reached at