It’s sad to say, but it seems like we’ve come to an age where lying and cheating seem like good ways to get yourself ahead, regardless of the effect it has on others. The latest way it appears to be happening? Uber.
This is how they do it…
You request an Uber and the ride goes fine, without any mishaps. You exit the car, send the electronic tip and not long afterward, maybe in an hour, maybe the next day, you get a note from Uber with an extra bill of $20 to $150. You figure there must be some mistake, so you click the “Help” button on the app, and the reply from Uber is something to the effect of, ““I understand that it can be disconcerting to receive adjustments to the tariff after your trip ended … In this case, your driver notified us that during your trip there was an incident in the vehicle and therefore a cleanup fee of $XXX was added.” That “$XXX” can be anywhere from $20 for a spilled drink to $40 for vomit to $150 for a “significant amounts” of blood, urine, or vomit that need to be cleaned up.
Except that it never happened. You were a 5-star, well behaved passenger who tipped well and definitely did not release any bodily fluids in the car. Not that it matters, because, according to this Miami Herald report, your Uber driver has already sent Uber a photo of the mess you allegedly made. Even though you never did it. But it doesn’t matter because according to Uber, it’s enough evidence to bill you so they can reimburse the driver for the time and money it will take to clean their vehicle. So the driver, who seemed so nice, just got another wad of money from you. Because he lied.
My coworkers got an uber Saturday night and their driver dumped his leftover mac n cheese on the floor and tried to charge them a $150 vomit fee. A BLOCK of MAC n CHEESE. pic.twitter.com/OM3EQB62Wa
— Hamp Briley (@hamp_briley) July 23, 2018
Some people don’t check their bill so they never even notice when they’re suddenly charged a $150 “clean up” fee for vomit that didn’t come out of them.
You can dispute the charge with Uber but the ride sharing company tends to side with the drivers, because they’ve shown photos of “proof.” And yeah, you can put the charge into dispute with your credit card company…and then find that your Uber account has been permanently closed.
Some passengers have won, and at least one person was released from his/her duties as an Uber driver after showing alleged messes that all looked exactly the same. In a statement sent to Business Insider, an Uber spokesperson said, “Participating in fraudulent activity of any kind is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines. We are constantly evaluating our processes and technology related to these claims and will take appropriate action whenever fraud may be detected.”
So I guess if you decide to use an Uber, maybe consider quietly taping your ride and holding the footage for a couple of days? You know…just in case. Personally, I’ve always been a little leery of Uber and generally only agree to use it when we’re out of town and don’t have access to a rental car or public transportation. Frankly, this “vomit fraud” thing doesn’t make me feel any better about utilizing the ride sharing company.
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