MIAMI, Fla. (CBS Local) – Several Uber customers are warning their fellow passengers to check their bill after their next ride.
Customers of the ride hailing service in Florida told the Miami Herald they had been falsely charged for cleaning fees of messes they never made. Drivers are being accused of “vomit fraud,” as many of the Uber drivers allegedly claim their passengers threw up in the car after being picked up from a night of partying.
“It was a total fraud by two different drivers. They have everything planned for the fraud,” Miami resident William Kennedy told the Herald. Kennedy told reporters he was overcharged twice in the same night, after both drivers added $150 charges to his bill. Both Uber drivers, who each took Kennedy on a $20 ride, claimed he vomited in the two vehicles.
The Miami man says it took “numerous emails” to Uber to get them to refund the $300.
“I immediately contacted Uber through the app. I told them that I was alone, sober, that I was not carrying any drinks and that it was impossible for me to have caused that damage,” Andrea Pérez also said to the Herald’s Spanish language reporters. “But every new email from Uber came from a different representative and always favored the driver.”
Uber had emailed Pérez a bill with a $98 cleanup charge and a photo of vomit on the seat of the SUV she had used. However, Uber reportedly never refunded the Miami woman’s money and instead her credit card company intervened to return her $98.
“They’ve been doing it for a long time,” an anonymous Uber driver admitted to reporters. “Many people don’t review their emails or credit card statements, so the drivers wind up pocketing the $80 or $150.”
“My advice for other people would be to take a video when you get out of your Uber,” passenger Crystal Drake told CBS Miami in 2017 after being charged $150 for another fictitious mess.
“With 15 million trips a day, Uber is unfortunately not immune to these types of incidents,” Uber officials said while claiming that the “vast majority” of cleaning charges were legitimate.