It’s called ‘vomit fraud’ and it can make your Uber experience an expensive nightmare. It has been around for a few years, surfacing in different parts of the USA (including New York, California, and Florida). Basically, some drivers with the rideshare are cashing in by using fake photos of their trashed seats to charge unwitting customers “cleaning fees.” According to Uber, these extra fees compensate the drivers for the time and money they spend cleaning their vehicles. But this case is a little different. The customer claims the ride didn’t even happen.
“I never saw the $157 charge because it was placed immediately before a legitimate Uber ride I took,” Mike Platt from Greater Detroit wrote. “Must be their tactic. I was only alerted when I saw that my credit card bill was suspiciously high about 30 days later.”
“I was only alerted when I saw that my credit card bill was suspiciously high about 30 days later.”
After contacting the company’s customer support, a long back-and-forth began. Mike thought the whole ordeal was so absurd, he shared everything online. “I’ve been using Uber since mid-2014,” Platt told Bored Panda. “Never experienced anything like this.”
“I’ve always liked Uber, never had a problem until this one. I was even going to give them the benefit of the doubt that this was a rare hiccup / driver-related fraud attempt until I had the awful experience with their customer service.” It was so ridiculous, Mike even wondered if anyone was reading the messages he sent or if he was talking to a bot.
“All would have been OK with me if they would have simply said ‘OK, sorry this happened, we will refund your money,'” Platt added. He also thinks that the company could easily minimize situations like this. “It would be nice if Uber had a help phone line to call ( I think they used to, must have gotten rid of it). I can see how chat-only systems may be cheaper / easier for them, but I would think they could afford it. I wonder how they can afford NOT to have it with things like this happening. Only thing I would add about my experience is that it was more confounding than frustrating for me.”
“Participating in fraudulent activity of any kind is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines,” Uber told Bored Panda. “We are constantly evaluating our processes and technology related to these claims and will take appropriate action whenever fraud may be detected.” The company also stated that they have specific criteria and a review process in place and in instances where they find a confirmed case of fraud, they take appropriate action, including removing the driver from the app.
Scroll down to check out the unbelievable exchange!