TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER - Dec. 23
Uber charged me for a ride I never took. Can I get a refund?
December 23, 2021
TJ Cain is on the hook for two Uber rides she never took. How can she persuade the company to give her a refund?
Uber charged me for two trips from Katy, Tex., to Houston that I didn't take. The charges were both for $87 with a $60 tip, for a total of $295. I immediately contacted both Uber and my credit card company.
Uber only credited one charge of $87 and claimed I made that reservation from my phone. So I’m responsible for $207. Uber says a fraud specialist reviewed my case.
I haven't been to Katy. I'm certainly not going on any joyrides to Houston at 1:29 a.m. and 3:16 a.m., which is when these rides were taken.
My Bank of America credit card company said Uber claims I made the trips. I disputed the charges, but Bank of America sided with Uber.
Please help. I feel I did everything correctly by canceling my credit card and contacting both companies the day it happened. This is theft.
TJ Cain, Mount Pleasant, Tex.
Uber shouldn't charge you for rides you never ordered or used. And by the way, your bank should have sided with you in this dispute -- but you already knew that.
Uber doesn't seem to be that great with geography. You live in Mount Pleasant, which is just outside of Dallas and more than a four-hour drive from Katy. As you say, you were nowhere near Katy and didn't have a pattern of hailing early-morning rides, so this should be an open-and-shut case for both Uber and Bank of America. Someone accessed your Uber account and ordered these rides fraudulently.
I think the real tip-off that this was bogus was the two $60 tips. I mean, I've heard of generous tipping, but these tips are over the top. Come on! A 1:29 a.m. pickup with an oversize gratuity? That looks wrong. Someone at Uber should have immediately flagged this transaction and frozen the account.
You followed all the correct procedures to fix this. You canceled your Bank of America card and contacted Uber immediately. I see you also established a paper trail via the Uber chat app. That's excellent because you can prove that you tried to fix this immediately. Guilty people don't typically take those kinds of steps after committing a crime.
I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Uber executive contacts on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. You might have reached out to one of them to appeal this rejection.
It looks as if someone may have hacked into your Uber account. There's no way to know how someone got your password, but your case is a reminder to change your passwords often and never share them with anyone.
I contacted Uber on your behalf, and it refunded your charges.
Christopher Elliott's latest book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Get help by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help
© 2021 Christopher Elliott.