It Was Only A Matter Of Time Before An Uber Driver Tried To Scam Me

I’ve read many stories about shady practices used by some Uber drivers. We’ve written about some of them here. There’s when a driver reports you threw up in their car, otherwise known as “vomit fraud”. When a driver takes a longer route and you end up with a higher charge. When a driver asks you to cancel the ride and if you do, they get paid and you get dinged. Even worse is when a driver claims you damaged their car and puts a claim for the money against you.

It took until this trip for me to be a victim of dirty trick from a driver.

I was headed from Queens to Midtown Manhattan. I could have taken public transportation but I was in a time crunch. It would be an expensive ride but a necessary cost to make the show I had tickets for.

I called for an Uber and was connected with a driver. I followed their car to my location and received the text they were arriving.

Almost immediately afterward, I received another notification thanking me for my ride and wanting me to rate my driver.

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For my 1 minute ride, Uber was charging me $8.01. I went and ordered another ride which went on without a hitch. My rider was nice and we had a good conversation during our hour-long ride.

That is except for the time where I was trying to find how to report this to Uber to get a refund. Turns out, there’s not a choice of “My driver ghosted on me but reported I rode with him for a block and charged me $8 for the privilege”.

I ended up using the heading “My pickup or dropoff location was wrong” and added a comment that the reported ride never happened and I requested another ride right afterward.

It took several hours but I did receive a reply saying they’re looking into the matter and will refund my $8 and will be further reviewing my driver’s account.

Final Thoughts

If there was any Uber scam I was going to be caught by, this is the least harmless of them. It was easy to prove my case and get a refund. Why would I take a trip for 1 minute? Maybe the driver didn’t want to go as far as my ride was taking him. He could have canceled the ride but instead tried to weasel an extra $8 from me. So now I had to report him to Uber, which is something I really dislike doing. I don’t want to prevent anyone from making a living but when you don’t want to work with the rules of your employer, there’s really no other option.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

7 thoughts on “It Was Only A Matter Of Time Before An Uber Driver Tried To Scam Me”

  1. FYI – this could just as easily have been a mistake on the part of an inexperienced driver. Having driven for years myself, I can tell you that this kind of thing isn’t worth getting kicked off the platform over. Not that there aren’t dishonest drivers out there, but I wouldn’t assume this one was trying to scam you.

    1. “this kind of thing isn’t worth getting kicked off the platform over.”

      Really getting scammed by a fraudulent thief is definitely worth it. Some people have no work ethic and are just dishonest, this was one.

  2. My wife and I had something similar happen at Universal in Orlando. I ordered an Uber. The app showed a car approaching, then repeatedly circling around the area, except the driver showed that she had picked us up. After a couple of minutes, the “ride” ended, so I figured there was some mistake and tried again. According to Uber, she took us for a ride a total of three times. I quickly disputed the rides through the app and ended up not paying the woman for hosing us repeatedly, but it was a lesson to watch out.

  3. Lyft makes it easier to cancel without a fee. I watched a driver accept my ride but then he went in the opposite direction of my location. After several minutes I canceled without a problem.

    Uber screws you on this stuff and makes you jump through hoops. They need to make it easier. And drivers who cancel on riders should be penalized. Only had it happen once but there was no way to give him a low score.

    1. I had a Lyft ride where it said the driver was “waiting” as I saw him driving away. I waited to see if he turned around, but no. I took a screenshot of the map and went to cancel the ride. Lyft’s in-app response was that they see there was a “problem” with the ride so they wouldn’t penalize me for cancelling the ride.

  4. Note 10 allows you to video record the screen – to a ride from the airport said driver was three minutes away – accepted rider was 15 min away finishing a trip – would have cancelled and taken a lyft that showed 5 min away. But honestly take ride share just from airport when it’s more expensive to park or family can’t pick up/drop me off.

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