There’s a new thing going on in the world of Uber and it’s called “vomit fraud.”
The Miami Herald is urging customers to check their bill after taking an Uber ride to make sure that there are no adjustments to the total costs following a trip. Some drivers are reportedly accusing their customers of vomiting in the Uber, even if it isn’t actually true. Uber passengers can keep an eye out for this scam by checking their emails or the Uber app to see if there have been any sort of adjustment to their bill.
Depending on what the driver reports, there will be an extra $80 to $150 charged on the passengers’ credit card to take care of the alleged vomit cleanup. If there’s vomit or a drink spilled on the seats, there’s usually an $80 charge applied to the customer’s card. But $150 can be expected to be charged if the incident has “significant quantities of body fluids (urine, blood or vomit) in the interior of the vehicle.”
In order for the drivers to report the incident to Uber in the first place, they are required to submit photos of the “crime scene” before they cash in. And when customers see the extra charge on their bill, even if they didn’t vomit, they are required to go through the steps of contacting Uber support to try and make things right. Usually, the first reply to email is a canned response to the customer.
“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 $150 was added,” it will read along with “photos” of the car post-vomit.
The fees are given to the driver to compensate for the time and the money that they spend cleaning their vehicle. Sometimes, it can take up to four or five emails to try and resolve the issue but at the end of the day, it’s up to Uber as to whether or not they will reimburse the money to their customers.
Since the scandal was first brought to light, many people have voiced their complaints though Uber says that it is not a large issue. Since they do about 15 million trips a day Uber says that they are basically “immune” to these types of things.
William Kennedy of Miami shares that he was charged $150 two times in one evening from two different Uber drivers in the area who claimed that he vomited in their vehicles. Eventually, he was able to convince Uber that it wasn’t true and was reimbursed, though it was not an easy task.
Another customer in the Miami area wasn’t so lucky. Last year, Andrea Perez took an Uber trip and her driver accused her of vomiting. When she contacted Uber support, they sided with the driver and wouldn’t refund her money. Perez was forced to make a claim with her credit card company and was reimbursed by them but after that, Uber canceled her account with them.
There’s even a Reddit thread dedicated to vomit fraud and a lot of customers have shared their experiences on the popular forum.