Joe is a fan of Uber and Lyft. I am not. My main concern used to only be if I had to take a ride-sharing ride by myself. I’m a female and, at 4’6″ tall, a pint-sized one, at that. So I just never felt safe taking a ride without someone else with me.
Unfortunately, even if you’re the type of person to follow the seven rules of being a good Uber/Lyft passenger, drivers have figured out ways to try to get more money from their ride customers. One of our Uber drivers in Las Vegas tried to screw us by taking a longer route, which caused our bill to go from $20 something to $40 something. We also wrote about drivers around the world who were falsely reporting their customers made a mess in their car – it’s called Vomit Fraud. Now there’s apparently this new thing that may be making the rounds:
I read this in a Facebook group I’m in. It was authored by a Nicole C., who lives in the U.K. but was on vacation at Walt Disney World:
….however the main bad part to our holiday has been a very dodgy encounter with a Lyft driver who picked us up from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He has charged us $150 for damages we didn’t make. He is claiming our son’s wheelchair scuffed his bumper. However he put the wheelchair into the boot [ETA: trunk] and picked it out. Hence he did the damage. But I remember seeing lots of scuff marks on the bumper in question….
I have raised the issue with Lyft themselves via email and they apparently conducted an extensive review from me raising the concern and the reply back telling me to basically accept it (9 minutes!!) Wonder how much they can review of anyone in 9 minutes 🤔 and have told me the charge stands even though I’ve explained to them we didn’t touch the chair
So yeah…for years, a lot of Uber and Lyft drivers refuse to pick up people who used wheelchairs. So people in the disabled community sued. And now this – a driver took advantage of someone who used a wheelchair, of all people? Really? How low can you go?
It might have been a possibly legit claim if Nicole or a member of her party had put the wheelchair in the trunk. But according to her, the driver did the lifting, so how/why could he claim the bumper was scuffed? How is that her fault?
Nicole says her follow-up will be to put the charge into dispute. That could be a good way to not have to pay, although the ride sharing company may also close the account with them when all is said and done.
Personally, when using ride sharing with Joe, I take pictures with my phone when I enter the car and when I exit it – that way there’s a timeline. If stuff goes in the trunk, again, I take a before/after shot of that, too.
Meanwhile, this is just one more reason for me to not use ride sharing. A taxi might cost more, but it’s not worth the potential headache of fraudulent drivers.
*** Thank-you to Nicole C. for allowing me to share her story and to Donna O., Administrator of the Orlando For Disabled Or Less Abled Travellers group on Facebook
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
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Uber has a specially trained UberAccess drivers in some places who are prepared to handle mobility equipment, and in some places, UberWAV for wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Lyft has a checkbox for access, but all I get when it’s checked is a generic message saying they promise to accept mobility equipment and service animals.
I use a mobility scooter, and I’ve never had a problem with drivers for either service; I use them to get to and from the airport, and sometimes when I’m in another city. I don’t travel that much, compared to some — 2-3 trips a year, usually. I’ve met some really nice drivers. I did have one try to take me to the wrong hotel in KC, MO once, but I don’t think he was trying to scam me; I think he just misread the destination, then ignored the directions because he thought he knew where he was going. Not my favorite driver — and I still think I lost me favorite travel mug in his van, though he claimed he looked for it and it wasn’t there — but I don’t think he was malicious, just a know-it-all.