Check Your Uber Charges For Bogus ‘Vomit Fees’

Check Your Uber Charges For Bogus ‘Vomit Fees’

Next time you take an Uber, particularly one after a night of bar hopping, you might want to double check your bill afterwards.

A scam has started to become somewhat prevalent on the ride-sharing network, wherein drivers will falsely accuse a passenger of vomiting in their car, sometimes even with falsified pictures, in order to collect a hefty cleaning fee, reports the Miami Herald. One of its reporters was even charged for a trip they never took on the service as well as a vomit fee for the same ride.

I remember reading a few accounts of this on Twitter a couple of years ago, but it appears as though the practice has gotten significantly worse, especially in the Miami area. And it isn’t just an issue in the US – in January, a woman in Melbourne claimed she was wrongly charged a $150 cleaning fee.

As we can all (hopefully) agree, if a driver does need to clean up your vomit from their car, they deserve a decent chunk of change. It means that not only do they have to clean up a stranger’s vomit, but also they miss out on rides while they do that cleaning, and they have a car that smells like someone’s vomit.

When a driver reports someone for vomiting or making some sort of other mess, Uber pays them a cleaning fee that’s charged to the same credit card you paid for the ride with based on the amount of cleaning involved.

If you aren’t paying attention, then it’s a charge you might not even realise happened, since it comes after you receive your initial receipt for the ride. There’s a whole Reddit thread dedicated to talking about the practice.

The chances of it happening to you aren’t high, but like most things, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I personally recommend just checking your credit card statements on a regular basis, and not just for your Uber rides. I pull mine up every few days and look at recent charges, just to make sure nothing unexpected has happened.

I’ve never been charged for vomiting in an Uber, but I have been charged for stealing a hat from a hotel weeks after I checked out that was never in my room to begin with; a $100 tip for a server that was meant to be $10; and my personal favourite, a $5000 charge for a $500 hotel room.

Bottom line: Pay attention to your credit card statements and try to not spew in any Ubers.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.