A young woman has issued a warning after she claims she was charged a $150 fee, saying she is the latest victim of an Uber “cleaning fee scam.”
After finishing work, Nikki, 23, from Sydney, ordered an Uber from the CBD on April 27 before taking a $90 ride home alone to Kellyville.
She says due to torrential rain, she took cover under a bus shelter while she waited, before accidentally sitting on a bench soaked with rain.
Two weeks later to her disbelief, a $150 “cleaning fee” was taken from her bank account without a warning email or notification.
“I emailed Uber regarding the fee. They claimed that the driver had taken a ‘cleaning fee’ for urine found in the Uber,” Nikki told Yahoo7 News.
Uber supplied Nikki with pictures the Uber driver had taken from the evening, showing an unidentifiable liquid on the back seat.
“I believe the Uber driver decided to take advantage of my situation by wrongfully charging me a cleaning fee,” she said.
She says there was “no possible way” she had urinated in the Uber and no way for Uber to prove what the substance on the seats was.
“I wasn’t intoxicated,” Nikki noted.
She said after constantly pursuing Uber over the matter, she eventually received a refund for the charge but warned others to remain vigilant, especially if travelling alone.
“Be careful about travelling alone in Ubers. I don’t think the driver would have claimed a ‘cleaning fee’ if I were in the car with another passenger,” she said.
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“It’s difficult to claim you didn’t make any mess when it’s your word against the driver’s.”
She also urged passengers to take photos if anything appears that may be contended by the driver.
Following a similar incident in January, where another customer was charged the same amount for a mess she says she had nothing to do with, Uber stated they take allegations of fraudulent behaviour in this manner very seriously.
“While messes and spilled drinks can happen in moving vehicles, we actively look into reports where fraud may be detected and take the appropriate actions on those accounts,” a spokesperson said.
Yahoo7 News has contacted Uber for comment on Nikki’s claims.
The 23-year-old’s ordeal follows another alleged scam, where customer’s bank accounts were being charged from an account claiming to be Uber.
Uber said it was not responsible for the charges and issued a warning to their customers following several reports of people being scammed, prompting users to safeguard their personal information.