While the term “vomit fraud” might sound like utter nonsense, it’s a real problem that’s actually plaguing many Uber customers around the country — and costing them a considerable amount of money.
Basically, an Uber driver can charge a customer for “cleaning fees” if said customer trashes the vehicle. However, in fraudulent cases, drivers will use falsified photos to make erroneous claims about a passenger’s behavior, allowing them to charge the customer for a mess which never actually occurred.
Recently, a driver actually tried the tactic with a customer who was never even in their car.
Mike Platt from Greater Detroit claims that the company charged him $157 for allegedly vomiting during a car ride that never took place, and says that he only noticed the suspicious charge when he inspected his credit card statement. “I was only alerted when I saw that my credit card bill was suspiciously high about 30 days later.”
“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,” Platt told Bored Panda. Instead of taking care of the problem in a timely manner, customer service reps basically ran Platt in a circle via customer service chat messages and did not provide a number for him to call.
“All would have been OK with me if they would have simply said ‘OK, sorry this happened, we will refund your money. 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.”
The exchange in question went something like this:
Fortunately, some commenters were able to provide helpful insight and helped Platt get his money back by advising that he call his bank to report a chargeback fraud.
However, it’s still pretty alarming that this kind of occurrence has happened to so many customers.
It’s unclear how Uber plans to resolve this “vomit fraud” issue — but in the meantime, it certainly can’t hurt to maybe take a sneaky photo of your Uber backseat before you leave it. You know, just in case somebody tries to claim that you blew chunks back there.
H/T Bored Panda.