With snow and slush a cold reality in many parts of the country, one Calgary family is cautioning Uber riders after being charged for making a melty mess in an Uber driver’s car.
Lauren Munroe was charged a $40 cleaning fee after taking an Uber ride last month. Screenshots of the damage show floor mats covered in road salt and melted snow.
“I was confused as to why I would be charged a cleaning fee for having wet shoes, because it’s winter time,” Munroe told CTV Calgary.
Munroe says the driver never commented on the mess as she left the car and the charge came in later as a correction to the fare.
After contacting Uber, the company sent Munroe a statement and a link to the company’s policy on spills and messes.
“Riders are responsible for damage to the interior or exterior of a vehicle caused by incidents such as vomiting or food spills while in a driver’s vehicle,” the company’s policy states. “Cleaning fees are assessed and charged according to the extent of the damage. If charged to a rider, these fees are paid in full to the driver.”
Nowhere on the company’s policy does it mention melted snow or slush.
Uber did eventually say they would retract the charge, but the process would take a couple of business days. As Munroe’s mother Lisa says, Uber only agreed to the refund once they threatened to contact the media about the issue.
“I was quite mad that they felt they could charge $40,” Lisa said. “My concern is: How often are they doing this to other people? It’s a buyer beware thing.”
When CTV Calgary reached out to Uber, the company said the charge was a “misunderstanding” and an “isolated case.”
This isn’t the first time Uber’s cleaning fees have been challenged in Canada. In August, an Ottawa woman claimed Uber charged her $150 after the driver claimed she had urinated in the car.
In that case, the woman said the incident never happened and was eventually given a refund.