www.***************/news/article-3474187/Are-Uber-drivers-using-fake-vomit-scam-customers-Passenger-says-charged-200-two-mile-ride-cabbie-created-fake-vomit-pictures.html Are Uber drivers using fake vomit to scam customers? Passenger says she was charged $200 for two mile ride after 'cabbie created fake vomit pictures' By Hannah Parry For *********.com05:53 03 Mar 2016, updated 17:41 03 Mar 2016 http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/03/03/13/31CEFDF600000578-0-image-a-4_1457011532824.jpg +6 Facebook Twitter e-mail 130comments Meredith Mandel charged hundreds for a two mile trip across Brooklyn Art director found a $200 'cleaning fee' had been added by Uber driver He claimed she threw up in his car and provided photographic evidence Mandel insists pictures are faked as part of a scam by the driver Similar incidents have been reported in Manhattan, L.A. and Tampa, Florida Uber say it investigates each incident and will refund charges made in error Uber drivers are using a fake vomit scam to force customers to pay hundreds of dollars in 'clean up' fees, a passenger claims. Meredith Mandel had caught an Uber home to Williamsburg in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and a friend after enjoying dinner out, the Gothamist reports. The ride, which was uneventful, ended at just before 1.30am. But when Mandel, who says she and the rest of her party were sober, checked her email the next morning, she discovered she'd been charged more than $200 for the two mile trip from Fort Greene. http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/03/03/04/31CAE88C00000578-0-image-a-1_1456980316469.jpg +6 Uber drivers are using a fake vomit scam to force customers to pay hundreds of dollars in 'clean up' fees, a passenger claims After challenging Uber over the extortionate fee, she was told that a $200 cleaning charge had been added to her $19 fee after the driver claimed she had thrown up in the car. He even provided photographic evidence - all of which Mandel insists is fake. 'I was infuriated, because I realized that it actually is a scam,' she told The Gothamist. '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.' MORE... Uber shooting suspect's wife says there were no financial problems, no estrangement and NO warning signs the day of his rampage Uber shooting victim, 14, is 'breathing on her own' just nine days after doctors declared her dead and prepared her body for organ donation The Manhattan art director began picking apart the driver's claims, stating that the pictures showed vomit in the front seat while she and her fellow passengers had been sat in the back. she was also suspicious that the throw up seemed contained to easy-to-clean plastic surfaces. Mandel, who temporarily closed her Paypal account, was still mid-dispute with Uber when she realized the driver had even attempted to take a second $200 installment. And it appears she isn't the only Uber customer to be fall victim to the alleged scam. Last year, another New Yorker, who is only referred to by his first name as Billy, described a similar scenario. Reddit post, he described being 'completely sober' when he took Uber across Manhattan at 7.30am. So he was shocked when, half an hour after arriving home from his girlfriend's house, he found himself landed with a $200 cleaning fee for soiling the car. Once again, the driver submitted pictures of the vomit to Uber, he wrote. But after a little detective work, the Billy discovered the images appeared to have been taken from a 2014 post on a ride sharing website. Billy writes that he was eventually able to get his money back but other incidents have been reported across the United States including one in Los Angeles and two in Tampa, Florida that resulted in the driver getting fired. Uber say that passengers who soil driver's cars are charged a cleaning fee and are sent an explanation of the charge. http://i.***************/i/pix/2016/03/03/04/31CA4D1800000578-0-image-a-3_1456980328615.jpg +6 Uber say that passengers who soil driver's cars are charged a cleaning fee and are sent an explanation of the charge The firm will investigate if riders believe they were wrongly charged and provide a refund if the fee is found to have been unfair or made in error. Drivers also describe the nightmare of cleaning up after drunken customers which can take them out of service for hours - costing them hundreds of dollars - as they try to find 24-hour car wash and scrub away the vomit. One driver said he had never heard of the scam but said it seemed like a lot of trouble for a few hundred dollars. 'You could make that in two or three hours of working,' he said. Mandel, who also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, says she has now been refunded the cleaning charge. But the experience had put her off using the popular taxi app for good.