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Trans woman, 33, slams Uber for refusing to let her change the name on her account meaning drivers constantly refer to her as 'sir'

    Charlie Hadley began transitioning a year ago and wanted to change her name
    But because she has Uber driver account the app wouldn't let her use new name
    She said: 'I really hate getting in cars and being asked, 'How's your night, sir?'''

By Isabella Nikolic For Mailonline

Published: 10:32, 26 July 2021 | Updated: 11:02, 26 July 2021

A trans woman has slammed Uber claiming trans customers 'are not on the company's list of priorities' because the app didn't let her change the name on her account meaning drivers refer to her as 'sir'.  Charlie Hadley, 33, from Bristol, began transitioning a year ago and wanted to change her name on the app but her request was rejected.  She filled in a form explaining: 'I'm trans. Martin is my deadname (a term used by trans people referring to their birth name), Charlie Hadley is my name now'.

But her request was rejected and the company even called her Martin in their response.   The software engineer claims she was then told it was not possible to change her name as she had previously applied to be a driver 'due to strict regulations'.  Instead she was told she'd have to create a new account but has been struggling to do so as she already has an account linked to her phone number, claiming trans customers are 'not on Uber's list of priorities'.  She said: 'I've transitioned for almost a year now. I really hate getting in the cars and being asked, ''how's your night, sir?'  It makes me feel unsafe. I've had that experience while wearing women's clothes and I've been called sir.  I feel my account is outing me as a trans woman and it shouldn't. I shouldn't be outed as a trans woman because of a stupid internal software process.  I feel much safer with Uber than with other taxi drivers because I know there's a record of who drove me, but I still worry something could happen.  I don't want to get into a conversation [about being trans] with the drivers, especially if I've had a few drinks and I'm coming home.'

She says she first tried to change her name via the app, but after being told this wasn't possible because of her driver account, which had never been used, she was told to make a new account.  She claims this immediately failed as all Uber accounts are matched to user's mobile numbers and she was unable to make a second account.  Now she has been left messaging back and forth with Uber as she attempts to continue the 'frustrating' process as messages from Uber appear to show them state that they never allow their drivers to change their name.  She said: 'I tried to change my name through the Uber app and when you try and do that, you have to fill out a form to verify why you're changing your name.  The message I got back was about internal processes.  In the past, I tried to become a driver. I created a possible driver account and went along to their information session, but my car wasn't new enough for them. It didn't go any further.  They said they don't allow their drivers to change their name at all not even once.  They should have processes for drivers to change their name. I understand they might be worried about drivers with a bad reputation changing their name, but Uber should be able to [handle that] through other mechanisms than just a name.  They said I need to create a new account, then I can manually message them and they'll merge my old account with my new account.  But if you've used Uber before, you can't create a new account because it's linked to your phone number.  Now I have to fill in another form to try and get them to create a new account. It's just another thing. It's very frustrating.'

Now she has highlighted the difference in Uber's name changing process compared to other large companies, such as Facebook.

She has also questioned why Uber, who change their logo on Pride Month, appear to have kept trans customers off 'their list of priorities'.

She said: 'It might be that they will change it but there's absolutely no reason for it to be like this.  Facebook have a ''real name policy'' and they are fine with changing your name. The dating apps are fine with you changing your name.  Uber sponsor Pride events and they are one of the companies that change their logo every Pride Month. It should be much easier to change your name and email address on your account.  They don't help their [trans] users and I feel really bad for drivers if they're not able to transition.  It's not on their list of priorities. I think they've never considered what the journey of a trans person would be.'

An Uber spokeswoman said: 'Uber is committed to diversity and inclusion and has zero tolerance policy for discrimination including based on sex or gender.  We are sorry that the user had such a poor experience with us, and we are currently investigating how we can improve our processes.'