An Uber customer has warned of a cleaning fee scam by the transport company after she was charged the maximum $150 (NZD $163) cleaning fee for a mystery mess she said she didn't make.
The customer, Ebony, who took a ride in an Uber vehicle from Sydney's CBD to the North Shore on Wednesday, was billed the full cleaning fee on top of her fare.
When she complained, she was sent a photograph of a white liquid with mysterious lumps spread on what looks like the floor of a vehicle, reports news.com.au.
Ebony says she and her partner Matt were picked up by an Uber driver behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry at 8.18pm on Wednesday.
The driver, who Ebony described as a "creep", "barely made eye contact, was dressed in a singlet showing off his back and shoulder hair and barely murmured a word".
Ebony said she and Matt "both commented on how odd he was".
The couple took a nine minute ride the five kilometres to their home and the following morning she realised they had been charged the cleaning fee.
On its website, Uber lists cleaning fees of $20 (NZD $21) for a "small interior mess or moderate exterior mess" and $40 (NZD $43) for both these types of messes.
The next level is a $80 (NZD $87) fee for a "moderate interior mess" on "hard-to-clean surfaces, large food and beverage spills" and "minor bodily fluid messes".
The maximum, level four fee of $150 is for a "major mess that requires cleaning between the windows, doors or air vents" or a "major bodily fluid mess".
The photograph forwarded by Uber from the driver to the customer Ebony appears to show the kind of mess that might only qualify for an $80 fee.
After she posted on Facebook the details of the incident entitled "UBER SCAM ALERT!!! $150 Sydney central business district", Ebony's friends responded.
"What a friggin a***hole, I hope you can get your money back sister. What an absolute *bleep*," wrote Ashleigh Heane.
"That's disgraceful," posted Fran MacDonough. "So yeah where's the proof of when the spillage occurred.
"Poor response and I would hv thought a mess like that would be noticed immediately, and contact would hv been made straight away. What a scam."
Following Ebony's Facebook posts, Uber has now agreed to refund her the $150.
Ebony posted on Facebook that following Uber's promise of a refund, "I have urged them to investigate the driver in question as his dishonest actions reflect very poorly on an otherwise useful business.
"I will continue to use Uber moving forward as my previous experiences have all been largely positive."
When contacted by news.com.au, a spokesperson for Uber said "Uber is always evaluating its customer service processes and looking for ways to better serve our riders and drivers.
"While messes and spilled drinks can happen in moving vehicles, we actively look into reports where fraud may be detected and take the appropriate actions on those accounts."