Will Uber Drivers Get A Cleaning Fee For Water Spills?

We all know that if a rider leaves a real mess, there’s a good chance we can get paid a cleaning fee. But will Uber drivers still give us a cleaning fee if our seats get wet? I’m talking about pool, beach, sand, that type of thing. They are things that could potentially ruin your night, so you might think that you get reimbursed. I want to share what I found out about cleaning fees for water, and I want to share some tips on how you can take a proactive approach to these types of problems.

Check out my video, then read the transcript of the video below if you want to read what I say in the video.

How the Uber cleaning fee works generally

You guys should probably already know by now that Uber’s official cleaning fee basically works that if someone pukes in your car,  you need to document it with photos. Take a bunch of photos, and then send in two to three to Uber, and hopefully that will be enough. And it must be within 48 hours of the incident.

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So right now I’m going to read to you guys Uber’s official policy straight off their website. And I can definitely link to that in the notes below for this video, but basically it is:

“A clean up fee for cosmetic or physical damage to the interior/exterior of the vehicle incurred as a result of events such as vomiting, or pet accidents will be accessed and charged when applicable. In most cases this fee will be between fifty and two hundred dollars but the exact amount depends on the extent of damage. You will always receive an update or receive an explanation when this fee is being charged.”

This policy is on the rider side and it’s saying, hey, we’re basically if you vomit, or if you pee in the car, or if your pet pees in the car, the driver is going to get reimbursed and you’re going to be charged for that. So fifty to two hundred dollars and what I’ve seen is that the more mess is made, the bigger the cleaning fee. I wouldn’t say it’s super likely to have a puker, but I know a lot of drivers out there take the proactive approach, they use the emesis bags that I recommend, or trash bags, or plastic bags, or trash cans. And I even got an email from one driver who said that he doesn’t like having anything at all because that makes the rider think that it’s okay to throw up.

One driver’s story – Wet passengers ruining a night of driving

One reader named Carl emailed me and told me a story where he picked a group of people up and it was early evening, maybe eight or nine pm on a Friday or Saturday night, and when he picked them up they looked like normal passengers. Maybe they’d been drinking but they weren’t overly intoxicated. They didn’t appear wet and I don’t think they were at the beach. They must have just gotten out of a pool though, because when they got out of the ride, Carl sent me a bunch of pictures and you could tell that the entire seat was wet. He smelled it and said it really smelled strongly of ammonia. And to me it looked pretty obvious that it was pool water, because it was pretty wet and generally people aren’t going to just come into your car if they’re not super wasted and pee all over the backseats.

Water damage isn’t on Uber’s website, but he emailed customer support and then I followed up with them and checked, but basically Uber’s cleaning policy does not allow cleaning fees for water, pool water, or ocean water. In this situation Carl got screwed because this happened at the beginning of the night and he couldn’t drive the rest of the night because all of his backseats were completely soaking wet. He sent in to Uber for a cleaning fee and they wouldn’t give him anything because they don’t reimburse for pool water, salt water, or sand, or even pet hair.

They’ll reimburse if a pet urinates in the car, but not for general wear and tear, I guess you would say. For Carl it really sucked because he was counting on this cleaning fee. He even told them that it might be urine, and they said the stains aren’t consistent with urine. Which is honestly surprised me that they probably have a dedicated team that really assesses cleaning fees.

The proactive approach to take with water

Carl’s night got ruined, and if it’s a big Saturday night, that could be a couple hundred bucks in your pocket that you now lose. There’s a simple, proactive approach that you can take to avoid this.

Keep a big towel in the back of your car, and if you notice that anyone’s wet you can just throw a quick blanket down. And if you get puked on in your car in the very last ride of the night, that obviously sucks but you’re going to get a cleaning fee and you’re going to get it taken care of.

So the thing you really have to keep in mind guys right, remember Uber is a very passenger-centric company. They’re generally going to side with the passenger.

Always have a blanket or a big towel back there. It’s just a good thing to have in general. I have a nice little handy trunk organizer that keeps a few items, and one of those items is a towel.

Hopefully you guys found this video useful and if you’ve ever experienced anything like that, definitely feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you guys did, and how you handled it. I’d love to hear from you. All right, take care guys.

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