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'Vomit fraud' likely happening in Nashville, Better Business Bureau says

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jul 27, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Some Uber drivers are filing false cleaning fees on riders, costing up to $150 per incident.

It's a scam those with the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee call "Vomit Fraud."

Typically, if a rider loses their lunch in an Uber, causing the driver to clean or pay for cleaning, it can cost the rider up to $150 to reimburse the driver.

But in a number of cases, drivers are charging their fares the extra money without the mess actually happening.

"A passenger who thinks that they're taking a $7 ride around town ends up getting charged $157 without knowing," said Lisa Smith with the BBB. "They didn't vomit in the car. They didn't leave a mess. They got out, and as far as they knew, everything was fine. And then they go and check their credit card statement, and they see there's a $150 charge for something they didn't do."

Uber said they're looking into particular cases, but they don't have a number of how many times this has happened.

A spokesperson for the company sent this statement:

“Participating in fraudulent activity of any kind is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines. We are constantly evaluating our processes and technology related to these claims and will take appropriate action whenever fraud may be detected.”

There are ways for customers to dispute the additional charges. Uber suggests riders contact them immediately if they believe they've been falsely charged.

Smith said customers should file a complaint against the driver, contact Uber, and also file a claim with the BBB. That way, there are three records of the driver claiming the charges are false. Smith said Uber will stand behind the driver if that driver has a picture of vomit or a spill in their car.

"Typically if you file a complaint with Uber, they're going to stand behind the driver, and that's why you have be persistent, make sure to file the complaints, file the review against the driver, talk to the credit card company, and don't give up. $150 is a lot of money to be added to your bill for something you didn't do," said Smith.