Seriously? Uber Driver Accused of Staging a Vomit Scene to Collect a Cleaning Fee.

The driver allegedly wanted $200 to clean up the mess.

By Michal Addady

Monica Dipres

This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

How far will someone go for a couple hundred bucks?

According to Meredith Mandel, her Uber driver was willing to stage a vomit scene in his car. Gothamist reports that she was charged a $200 cleaning fee when an Uber driver, named only as Muhammad, accused her of making a foul mess in the vehicle. Mandel claims that she did no such thing, and neither did her two companions. She instead alleges that he intentionally staged the scene to collect money. She has since complained to Uber, which has refunded her and says it will take "appropriate actions," and she has sworn off the company in favor of competitors.

Muhammad said that Mandel and the two other passengers were drunk. Mandel refutes that claim, saying that none of them had enough to drink to be intoxicated after their two-and-a-half-hour dinner. She adds that the pictures he provided as evidence don't add up for multiple reasons.

The mess is confined to easily cleaned parts of the car, such as the plastic dashboard and floor mat. It can also be seen in the front of the car and on the driver's side door, though Mandel says they had all been sitting in the back seat. Additionally, the color of the spill didn't make sense considering what they each ate for dinner immediately before being picked up.

Multiple accounts of similar accusations can be found around the web. Uber riders tend to think these incidents are scams rather than mistakes, likely because the cleaning fee goes directly to the driver. There have also been various viral stories about Uber drivers treating customers disrespectfully, which doesn't help the image of the group as a whole.

Uber responded to the incident in a statement to Gothamist: "We want riders and driver to treat each other with consideration and respect which is why riders who create a serious mess in a driver's personal car can be charged a cleaning fee. If a rider is wrongly charged a cleaning fee, we investigate the circumstances and then provide a refund, which is what happened in this case."

Michal Addady

Writer at

Michal Addady is a writer for the Fortune website.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Business Plans

5 Things to Know and Do Before Writing Your Business Plan

If you need a business plan, there are certain things you need to know and do before you sit down to create it. In this article, you'll learn five things to complete before writing your plan to ensure you get the best results.


Streaming TV Is the Future of Advertising — Without Breaking the Bank

Today's consumers expect personal, impactful ads. There's an advertising method that can get you there for half the price, making it the next frontier in digital advertising.

Growing a Business

Scaling Made Easy: How to Scale Your Business like a Fortune 500 Company

Once you have the night-vision skills of Fortune 500 restaurants, scaling becomes effortless. Here are 3 ways to scale, hidden in plain sight.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.

Business News

A Mississippi News Anchor Is Under Fire for Quoting Snoop Dogg

WLBT's Barbara Bassett used the rapper's "fo shizzle" phrase during a live broadcast, causing the station to let her go.