man showing Uber email and adjusted receipt for car cleaning


‘She just probably wanted a free car cleaning’: Customer says Uber driver falsely reported he was drunk, charged him $100 cleaning fee

‘I have a strike against me on Uber for nothing.’


Braden Bjella


A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming that an Uber driver attempted to charge him a fraudulent cleaning fee of over $100.

According to user Sam Cushing (@sam.cushing), he had attended a “calm, professional networking event” on a Wednesday night. After the event, Cushing ordered an Uber home.

“I had maybe a fourth of a glass of champagne,” he says in the video. “I’m taking antibiotics, so unfortunately for me I can’t really drink.”

When Cushing woke up, however, he was greeted with an email from Uber accusing him of “consuming alcohol” during his Uber ride—alongside a cleaning fee of over $100.

“It makes me so mad, because she just probably wanted a free car cleaning,” Cushing explains. “Now this is being pinned on me. I have a strike against me on Uber for nothing.”

The video currently has over 248,000 views.

@sam.cushing #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Sam Cushing

Fraudulent claims are an issue for both drivers and riders.

In August 2022, an Uber customer went viral after claiming that a driver used a picture of vomit from Google Images to attempt to charge her a $150 cleaning fee. The fee was later reversed.

In February of this year, a driver alleged he was banned from the app after a rider falsely accused him of drunk driving. The driver’s account was later reinstated, but he estimates that he lost anywhere from $700 to $800 in the time that Uber was processing this fake claim.

In Cushing’s case, he can dispute the cleaning fee with Uber within the app. Per Uber’s website, “To dispute a cleaning fee, please navigate to ‘Trip Issues and Refunds’ > ‘Review my fare or fees’ > ‘I was charged a cleaning fee.’”

The Daily Dot reached out to Uber and Cushing via email. 

Back on TikTok, commenters shared their thoughts about Cushing’s predicament, with many saying they had been in a similar situation.

“I had a driver claimed they ‘brought back an item to me’ after they dropped me off and charged me $20 for [inconvenience,” recalled a user.

“Had a driver say that my friend puked on his car and attached a photo,” alleged another. “[I] was able to open the file and prove the meta data was from weeks prior.”

“I got an Uber from work (bar at 3am), and basically just stared out the window. dude said I was drunk and puked in his car. like $200 fee,” stated a third. “I had to send security cam video of me cleaning and locking up and not drinking to get my money back.”

Many voiced their dissatisfaction with the service in general.

“I’m not saying Uber/Lyft air bnb/vrbo we’re not good things but they have seriously got out of hand. I think sticking to taxis & hotels are the best,” summarized a commenter. “With all of their policies and people being able to report you it’s just ridiculous.”

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot