DENVER — The morning after her $22 Uber ride, Jaeda Porter got hit with an additional $150 price “adjustment” after the driver claimed she vomited in his car.
“I was wearing a mask the whole time. It would have been a lot to forget,” Porter told 9Wants to Know about the surprising charge.
After spending hours trying to get an answer from Uber about the price adjustment, Porter and her husband later learned the driver uploaded a photo of vomit to substantiate his claim.
Porter’s husband took the photo and did a reverse image search on Google, and found it was an old photo from the internet.
“Yeah, it’s actually on Uber’s Yelp page where it originated,” Porter’s husband, Bryan Johnson said.
Porter’s case fits a phenomenon called “Uber Vomit Fraud” which began to surface with passenger complaints around 2018.
Nefarious drivers will try to tack on a vomit clean up charge believing their passengers may be too intoxicated to remember if they did lose their lunch in the back seat. Drivers will upload fictitious photos of vomit as part of the claims process.
After 9Wants to Know contacted Uber about Porter’s claim, her charges were reversed.
“We apologize for the rider’s poor experience,” an Uber spokesperson said over email.
Uber would not say if the driver in Porter’s case was banned, but indicated in their statement dismissal is a possibility.
An Uber spokesperson wrote in part, “... in instances where we find a confirmed case of fraud, we take appropriate action including removing the driver from the app."
Porter and her husband said they want people to be aware of the scam and hope Uber can improve its claim process.
“I think they should expect more of their drivers, instead of just being able to send in a picture of any generic backseat of a car,” Porter said.
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