Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"Uber's 'Vomit Fraud' Sounds Worse Than Surge Pricing"

Well...sure. The phrase has the word 'vomit' in it.

From Gizmodo:
As an Uber driver, you have to deal with low wages, an uncertain future, and the possibility of getting yelled at by the company’s billionaire founder. There’s also the more common issue of drunk people puking in your back seat. But a news report claims passengers in Miami are getting hit with fees even after they kept their puke to themselves, a practice called “vomit fraud.”

Uber’s policy stipulates that passengers can be charged a fee that ranges from $80 to $150 if they cause damage or make a significant mess in a driver’s vehicle. A user typically gets a notification saying that an “adjustment” has been applied to their bill, the alleged damage is given as a reason for the fee, and photos of the issue are included.

The Miami Herald spoke with multiple passengers in the Miami area who claim they’ve been victims of vomit fraud. One man, William Kennedy, said that he was wrongly billed for cleaning fees twice in one night. After “numerous emails” fighting the charges, he was reimbursed but, according to the Herald, the process of disputing the fees is invariably difficult and Uber typically backs the driver’s claim.

One journalist who works for the Herald’s Spanish language sister paper claims that she ordered an Uber and the driver never arrived to pick her up. After canceling the trip and getting a different driver, she later found she’d been charged $16 by the driver who never arrived for a ride she never took, a $6 cancellation fee, and a $150 vomit tax. After four emails disputing the charges, Uber reportedly agreed to give her a refund, saying “it was an uncomfortable experience because the driver started the trip without you in the car.”

Uber passengers have vocally complained about erroneous cleaning fees for years. In January, a woman in Melbourne, Australia went to the press claiming she was wrongly charged $150 for what the driver called, a “Level 4 major bodily fluid mess.” And in 2016, a Tampa area driver was reportedly booted from the platform after charging multiple customers cleanup fees for suspiciously similar looking messes. One Uber driver speaking on condition of anonymity told the Herald that it’s not uncommon for drivers to file illegitimate charges, fight any disputes, and win. Many people don’t check their credit card receipts and the charge simply goes unnoticed....MORE 

March 2015 
Uber Has A "Bodily Fluids" Cleanup Fee
First up, the New York Times Style section:...  

June 2018
"Uber patent filing reveals AI project that could deny drunks a ride"
Isn't that like half of Uber's business?...