Driving for Uber is often long, arduous work put in by dedicated folks looking for some financial independence. But like any system, there are always those looking to take advantage, and it could hurt your wallet.
The Miami Herald has run a piece detailing a new type of scam affectionately dubbed 'Vomit Fraud." Turns out an Uber driver has an option in their app to add an additional charge to your bill from $80-$150 for vomit or other spills.
We did some digging into Uber's policy and its standard (and understandable) to charge $80 if a rider vomits or spills a beverage in the vehicle. However, the driver has the option to increase the charge to $150 in cases of "significant quantities of body fluids (urine, blood or vomit) in the interior of the vehicle." Uber, rightfully so, claims the extra charges help compensate the drivers for clean up.
Drivers who make such a claim are expected to include pictures of the incident to protect the passenger from such a scam. However, it appears drivers who don't include pictures can still process the extra charges, often unbeknownst to the rider.
Should the passenger realize what has transpired, things can get extra frustrating. The only way to currently contact Uber appears to be its help button on its website or in the app. The reply is something canned along the lines 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 $150 was added."
The onus now for action becomes the responsibility of the victim. They must inform Uber there was no incident, Uber must then investigate, and if the company agrees, the passenger then must wait to be reimbursed.
There are always going to be those who take advantage of a system, but it's unfortunate whenever it happens. The moral here, check your Uber bill, and maybe, snap a pic of the backseat for safekeeping before you get out of the car. Stay safe out there.