SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Lyft rider Adolfo Gonzalez and Uber user Daniel Doldier say their rideshare drivers slapped them with cleaning fees for damages they did not cause.
Lyft sent Gonzalez pictures as proof that he vomited in the vehicle during a Lyft ride, charging him $150 to clean it up.
Gonzalez denies the claims saying, “I did not damage this car.”
He believes the driver made up the story to earn extra money.
Daniel Dolider has a similar story. After a recent ride, Dolider gave his Uber driver a one-star rating for taking a longer route. A short time later, the company produced pictures of a spill and charged him an $80 cleaning fee. But Dolider claims he didn’t have any liquid in his possession at the time of the ride.
“I think it was retaliation for the bad rating,” said Dolider. “I want to know how many people they do this too.”
Scroll through social media and you’ll find abundant claims from upset customers insisting they were wrongly charged for messes they did not make.
“This is a loophole that they can take money from people,” said Doldier.
So how can riders protect themselves? Some riders suggest snapping a picture of the car when you get in and when you leave the vehicle.
Uber says it is aware of the complaints and is investing in additional resources to investigate cleaning fee claims. According to Uber, if their drivers are caught submitting fraudulent cleaning fees they can terminate business with any driver.
Lyft says, “We have not seen an uptick in damage claims. But fraudulent claims can result in immediate deactivation from the Lyft platform.”
Doldier believes more should be done to monitor what happens inside each vehicle. He believes he was taking advantage of and suggests the use of cameras to protect all parties involved.
“It was straight fraud,” said Doldier.
In both cases, the companies investigated the claims. Uber refunded Doldier’s cleaning fee.
After Lyft’s investigation, they said they are standing by Gonzalez’s cleaning charges because of time-stamped photos the driver provided.
“I’m sure if this happened to me, it’s probably 1000 other people that got the same problem,” said Gonzales.
We recommended Gonzales challenge the charge with his bank, which worked. He got his money back.
It should be noted that cleaning fees cover the damage and the lost time for the driver. Both companies insist you should contact them right away if you suspect a fraudulent cleaning charge.