Sometimes I wonder what people did before Uber existed. To get to the prime late-night hot spots near my apartment, it costs about $6. When you divide that by five or six friends, you’re looking at an inexpensive way to get from point A to point B safely.
Yet the popular company has been in the news recently for its questionable background checks and sneaky scams. Most recently, Uber drivers have been linked to taking photos of fake vomit to collect hundreds of dollars.
Basically if someone barfs all over your car, you have the right to charge them with a $200 cleaning fee (which is acceptable because that’s nasty AF). That being said, if you get charged and get sent a picture of like creamed corn, then you’ve got an unfortunate issue to deal with.
One New Yorker in particular is now swearing off the service altogether because of a complication she had last month. Meredith Mandel, an art director in Manhattan, said she went out for dinner and drinks with her friend and boyfriend on February 21 and took an Uber back to Brooklyn where she lives. Each member of the group had two “small” drinks with dinner over the course of two and a half hours yet were charged $200 on top of the $19 fare.
“I was infuriated, because I realized that it actually is a scam,” she said. “At first I was trying to actually give them the benefit of a doubt, but I realized [it] because all of the money goes to the drivers.”
Yet there were more than a few things that didn’t add up in driver Muhammad’s case.
At least one of the three photos is taken in the passenger seat; she said that she and her friend and boyfriend sat in the back.
The puke appears to be confined to easily washable plastic surfaces, like the floor mats and dashboard.
There have been other instances of alleged vomit scams in cities like Tampa and Los Angeles.
When Mandel uploaded the photos to a metadata website, no time or date was attached to the photos.
No one in the car was drunk.
The vomit in the photos is super yellow, but Mandel says she and her friends ate dark food.
Mandel did get her $200 back, but it doesn’t solve the issue of just how far people will go for a little extra cash. Smh.
Luckily not all Uber drivers are shallow a-holes. In fact, the guy I had over the weekend was cool as hell. Shout out to Wayne from Jamaica. You rock, man. 👊