When an Uber Passenger makes a mess spilling a drink, or worse, vomits in your car it can turn what was suppose to be a money making night into a night of lost wages.
You may not get paid what you estimate you lost in money (I lost $150 when someone vomited in my car), but you can collect a cleaning fee from the passenger and I’m going to show you how.
Today, I’m going to show you how to collect an Uber cleaning fee from a passenger and answer questions like:
- Types of messes you can charge a fee for
- The amount of money a passenger can be charged
- What to do when an Uber passenger pukes
- Steps To Filing a claim for the mess
If I don’t answer all your questions, you can always ask in the comment section below.
Steps to Take When Requesting a Cleaning fee From Uber
From the moment someone gets sick in your car or makes a mess; here are the steps to take when requesting a cleaning fee.
Step 1 – Finish the ride. Before you even worry about a thing, Get the passenger to where he’s going.
Step 2 – Once you complete the ride, rate and leave some feedback of what happened in the comment section. Take a screenshot of what you sent for your records if you’d like.
Step 3 – Park the car and take lots of pictures at different angles of the mess. Sometimes the first picture doesn’t do justice. You want to make sure you have proof of the incident and the evidence can be seen clearly in the pictures.
Step 5 – Start the process of filing your request for a cleaning fee.
In the driver app, Go to:
Account < Help < Trips and Fare Review < Select the trip that caused a mess < Rider Feedback< Fare adjustment: request a cleaning fee < Fill out the form and submit photo evidence < hit submit < done.
If you choose to use Uber’s website, you can file a cleaning fee request here.
Step 6 – Once you submitted your claim wait for Uber’s response. You may be asked for additional details about the incident. Make sure you are responsive so you can get the cleaning fee as soon as possible.
Step 7 – If you haven’t already started, get your car cleaned. When a passenger got sick in my car my friend helped me clean the mess (we lived together as roommates).
If you’d rather not clean the mess yourself you can get your vehicle professionally cleaned. But this means the money you receive from Uber will be going to somebody else instead of yourself.
Note: If you drive for Uber or Lyft in the San Francisco Bay area, there is a cleaning company called spotless. They can come to you, clean your car, and are suppose to get you back on the road within the hour.
You don’t pay until the passenger pays and they run 24/7. I personally have not tried them, but if your shift just started and somebody get’s sick it may be worth it to use them.
Severity of the Mess Determines Your Reimbursement For Cleaning Cost
Below is the cost of what Uber will charge a passenger based on the type of mess that occurs. The fee ranges from zero dollars for Spilt water or grabbing a napkin from off the floor to $150 for major messes like blood, pee, or vomit spreading in the car.
$0 – Not a Significant mess. Cleaned or wiped up quickly and easily. Includes water spills.
$20 – Small interior mess that requires vacuuming or simple cleaning (minor food or beverage spills, dirt)
$40 – Moderate Mess on Vehicle’s exterior (food or beverage mess)
$80 – Moderate interior mess (Larger food or beverage spills on fabric or other-to-clean surfaces, minor bodily fluid messes).
$150 – A Major mess that requires cleaning between the window and door or air vents (major bodily fluid messes).
So something like dry food crumbs on your seat, that can easily be vacuumed, would fall on the low-end of the spectrum. But, somebody bleeding all over the place or vomiting in your car would fall on the high-end of the spectrum for what you would receive as a cleaning fee.
Uber will examine the photos you provide and base the cleaning fee on the criteria I listed above. So make sure you send in the photos capturing the entirety of the mess.
How Long Do You Have to Request a Cleaning Fee From Uber?
In order to receive a cleaning fee, you are required to report a mess within 48 hours of the incident happening.
This isn’t something you should be procrastinating on either. This is your money that we are talking about.
When a passenger puked in my car, I got out, paced back in forth for a few minutes in anger, and then started the process. File your request right away.
Do You Need a Cleaning Receipt?
In my personal experience, I got the cleaning fee 15 minutes or so after the incident happened. So even if I did get my vehicle professionally cleaned, I still would’ve been paid first since it was around midnight and there weren’t any cleaners in sight. Not every mess made will require professional cleaning either.
When Can a Request For an Uber Cleaning Fee Get Declined?
If you waited past the 48-hour mark or forgot to take photos of the mess then you may be shit out of luck. It’s unfortunate, but you can at least look at the situation as a learning curve for next time.
I recommend keeping some emesis vomit bags in your car or some trash bags for your passenger to puke in. It could save you some money and time since you may be able to escape the bad ending and continue takings fares next time.
It’s unfortunate, but people in the past have filed claims and charged passengers for messes that never occurred. Reports were made with false images or some drivers created their own mess in the hopes of collecting a fee from the passenger.
This is wrong, and anyone that is caught will more than likely become permanently deactivated because of fraud on the system.
Riders Should Never Give Cash for Vomit
Unless you are OK with compensating your driver more than the $150 you will get charged, do not slip the driver any extra cash. All transactions are done through the Uber app and this includes any cleaning fees you may incur.
There are people that have ended up paying $250 because they gave the driver $100 in cash and then found out later on their receipt that they’ve been charged another $150.
There’s nothing to really prove that you exchanged cash with the driver except hearsay which makes it difficult for Uber to do anything for you.
If an Uber driver claims that you have to pay them cash they are trying to scam you out of extra money. Can’t say I don’t get it, but it’s wrong and I would recommend reporting that driver.
On a side note: If you split your fare with a friend that gets sick during your Uber ride, you both will be splitting the cleaning fee.
While somebody making a mess or getting sick can ruin a night, as long as you follow this information the process to receiving compensation for the mess will be much easier. Requesting a cleaning fee is a rarity in my books, and I want to say most drivers as well.
Haven’t signed up with Uber yet? Learn the three steps to becoming an Uber driver here.
What was your experience with a sick passenger? Any issues receiving an Uber cleaning fee?