Uber cleaning fee question
On Saturday night, my partner and I found a woman slumped on the pavement in London. She was not in a good way, was vomiting and could barely hold herself up in a seated position. It was midnight, and no buses were available for her until 7am, so I got her into an Uber (unthinkingly, I ordered it with my phone...) and told the driver that she should be ok, but to help her get to her house when they arrived.
Unfortunately, on Sunday morning, I was informed by Uber that she had been significantly sick in the car. Consequently, I was charged a cleaning fee of £110 as well as the ride charge. No good deed goes unpunished, it seems...
They provided photos which shows vomit on the back seat. The seats are leather though, and it would have been easy enough to clean off and air. However, looking at their site, it is unclear how they distinguish the fee. A "significant" charge (their highest fee) apparently runs from £50 - £110. Yet, their site says that the driver must produce a receipt proving that it has been professionally cleaned. I have asked Uber twice if they have this, and they have refused to answer both times.
Sadly my main takeaway from this whole experience is that you should only use the unfortunate person's phone if you want to help them out. I am contacting the woman to see if she will repay me, so that isn't the issue here (although I have a feeling I may get no response).
My concern is that there appears to be no kind of verification about what drivers can claim for, or the amount. For all I know, the mess was wiped up and the car aired in the space of ten minutes, by the driver himself. I absolutely have no issue with a cleaning fee being charged given the driver will not be taking fares while it is happening. But I take issue with the lack of Uber's transparency about the sliding scale and what exactly is in place to stop it being abused. Does anyone know what kind of rights customers have in this kind of situation to request proof, if any, especially as it is stated on their site that a cleaning receipt is required?
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