Ottawa Uber Passenger Charged $50 Cleaning Fee for Being Too ‘Dusty’

If you’re an Uber passenger, you better make sure you’re not too dirty, because you may be charged a cleaning fee, according to one Ottawa passenger’s experience.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, 30-year old Chet Schofield was charged a $50 cleaning fee by his Uber driver, after the latter said the passenger’s dusty nature caused damage to the vehicle:

Uber told Schofield in an email after he complained about the charge that it has strict guidelines for charging customers damage fees. Uber also told him that he agreed to the terms of service before he took the ride. Uber Canada could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Schofield also contacted the driver after using his first name to find him on social media. The driver sent Schofield a photo of what he believes looked like dust on the passenger seat.

The issue here was Schofield was charged automatically without his knowing and only found out after the fact. He told the driver he was dirty after a day of demolition work, but it was not an issue at the time.

Uber emailed Schofield to note despite the driver’s permission to enter the vehicle, that doesn’t free the passenger for paying for the mess made.

Schofield’s credit card company has reversed the charge, but this incident won’t prevent him from riding Uber again in the future.

Last week, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson called local taxi drivers “thugs” after they secretly taped Uber rides and posted them to YouTube in efforts to report the service to authorities. A blitz against Uber drivers last week saw 32 charges laid upon drivers by bylaw officers in Ottawa.

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  • MrXax

    Doesn’t sound unreasonable to me, except for perhaps the price tag. But who knows; maybe a gas-station vacuum wasn’t good enough.

  • hmmm… that’s a tough call… The driver should be compensated for cleaning, damage, etc, but the question is $50 really worth a 5 minute vacuum job? it would be hard to choose a clear winner here, but I would be pretty angry if I had a charge on my card without reason. There’s always people out there who’ll try to exploit that, charging for various minor things just for extra pocket money.

  • SV650

    How much are my snow covered boots going to cost this winter?

  • hub2

    Addressing the cost issue only, not how this was handled…

    It’s not just the actual cost (time and effort) of a cleanup, it’s a punitive fee meant to discourage repeat incidents.

    If it’s at cost or otherwise too low, people can come to accept it as a “cost of ride”.