South Florida residents are under another Uber scam cleaning attack; the last time was in July when a couple of passengers picked up from Miami International Airport were falsely charged for a $150 cleaning bill. After a brief investigation, Uber removed the charges and deactivated the driver. If Uber thought that the problem was over, well more and more complaints came flooding in including one from bartender Samantha Owens who uses Uber regularly to commute to her work in Oakland Park and received a cleaning fee of $150 for a drive she was supposed to have taken back in September with her daughter. Owens suspicion grew into amazed reality when a photo of the alleged vomit was sent to her. The driver, named Robert, made a claim submitting photos of vomit in the front passenger seat. In reality, Owens was seated next to her daughter in the back of the car. Owens stated, "I was dumbfounded because I couldn't believe somebody would do that." Owens went on to state that this is a really bad scam, she is an easy target since the time of the ride is always after the bar closes when she finishes her shift at 2 am, so to Uber it will look like a drunk passenger pickup routine.
Another incident involved the mother in law of Christine Tellez who had booked a ride with Uber on Miami Beach and was taking her 1-year old granddaughter with her. The next day Telez received an email from Uber stating that they will charge her $150 for cleaning fees due to a urine stain in the passenger seat. The driver, Edwin Ayerdis Castellon claims that he had no memory of the incident and stated that as a driver he sends in claims as and when it is necessary. Castellon went on to state that these things happen when someone vomits or pees in the car. Tellez stated to the media that Uber should investigate these cases in more details before immediately demanding payment from the customer.
Uber has refused to make an on-camera statements to the media regarding fake fee issues in South Florida; they just stated: "We recognize there are challenges for our support teams to look into these types of situations, so we are enhancing our internal processes and investing in additional resources when investigating cleaning fee claims."
Castellon was deactivated from Uber after the incident while Robert's case is still being investigated.