Vomit in ride shares: How do companies investigate damage claims?

A group of women say they didn’t cause the damage the driver says they did.

Vomit in ride shares: How do companies investigate damage claims?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A group of young women in Cleveland said the ride share company, Lyft, has charged them money for damages to a vehicle they said they didn’t cause.

The women claim the company tacked on $100 for cleanup fees, after their driver submitted photos he told the company showed vomit on his car seats.

The women said they never threw up in the car.

This all happened as the women caught a Lyft home from a night out in downtown Cleveland last Saturday night. They said none of them were intoxicated and that they had a pleasant conversation with their driver before he dropped them off at their destination, after what they say was an uneventful ride.

A few hours later, the $100 cleanup fee appeared on one of the woman’s credit cards. The company then told the passengers the driver had submitted photos, claiming they had thrown up in his car.

“There needs to be some kind of thorough investigation, a time stamp on the photos, did the driver take any rides after that, because after seeing those photos, there’s no way he would have been able to take any rides after that,” said Danielle Macklin," who was in the car that night.

Photos the women provided to 19 News, which they said were submitted to the driver by Lyft, show what appears to be two separate areas of vomit in the vehicle. It’s not clear what kind of car is pictured.

The women say there were six passengers, filling every seat in the van, and told 19 News it would be impossible for the vomit to appear as shown in the photos.

They said the company took the money without giving them an opportunity to dispute the driver’s account of the damage.

When passengers get a Lyft or Uber, they do agree to pay for any damages they cause to a ride share car, including cleanup fees for bodily fluids or injuries. Therefore, the company does have the ability to charge the cost to a customer’s card on file.

However, the women said there are not enough safeguards in place to protect people from false accusations.

19 News reached out to Lyft about their investigation into the ride the women took. The company sent us a statement, which said, “We take damage disputes such as these very seriously.

Lyft’s support team investigates each incident individually and makes a determination based on the evidence available.”

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