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Was your Uber ride more expensive than you were anticipating? Upon further investigation of your receipt did you notice a charge titled "cleaning fee"? If so, your driver felt that you left their car in an unsatisfactory condition and as a result charged you with a cleaning fee.
According to Uber, "Riders are responsible for damage to the interior or exterior of a vehicle caused by incidents such as vomiting or food spills. Cleaning fees are assessed and charged according to the extent of damage." If your driver claims that you left a mess in their car, you’ll receive an email from Uber detailing the extra charge.
Cleaning fees are usually between $20 and $150 and there are 4 levels of severity that you can be charged with.
1. Damage that requires vacuuming or simple cleaning (e.g. small messes, food or drink spills) is charged $20.
2. Vomit or spills on the exterior of a vehicle are charged $40.
3. Vomit and larger food or beverage spills on fabric or other hard-to-clean surfaces inside a vehicle typically require detailing and are charged $80.
4. Significant amounts of bodily fluids (e.g. urine, blood, or vomit) on the vehicle's interior or messes that require cleaning between the window and door are charged $150.
Some riders are shocked by the big cleaning fees, but Uber bases them off of average professional cleaning fees across the country. These fees are paid in full to the driver.
I was scammed! What stops a driver from simply claiming you made a mess in their car and charging you a cleaning fee? While this is a scam that some drivers have tried to pull, it is not that easy. Driver's have to send photographic proof of the mess before they can collect the fee. If they are caught fabricating messes, the driver can be deactivated from the Uber platform. For more information on Uber cleaning fee scams or if you think you were scammed discuss the incident on our forum.
How to dispute an Uber cleaning fee: First, open the Uber app and locate “Your Trips". Find the trip where you were charged a fee, then tap “Review my fare or fees.” Find the line that says, “I was charged a cleaning fee.” There will be a text box that allows you to share details and dispute the charge.