Is There a Ride Share Scam Happening in Portland, Maine?
Uber (or Lyft, or any rideshare program really) has been a God send to us for years. Whether it's a ride to or from the airport for a flight out of the area, or just making sure you aren't getting behind the wheel after a night out (or a Happy Hour that turns into a few hours) -- it's super convenient and easy to open an app and get a ride.
Unfortunately, like everything else in the world, nothing is foolproof or incident-proof and that includes rideshare programs, and that's the issue that a woman named Ana and her mom ran into with Uber recently.
Uber Scam or User Error?
As Ana put it in her post (that's clearly meant to be helpful and spread the note of safety) to the Portland, Maine group on Facebook, her mother was visiting her from out of state and ordered an Uber to bring her from the airport to Ana's house. According to Ana's post, the Uber driver told Ana's mother that the address she put into the app is actually for a Home Depot.
Sounds like a super friendly Uber driver trying to get his customer to her destination safely and accurately, right? Here's where Ana says stuff got a little weird.
He had her cancel the trip and then told her he would do it for $30 cash. My mother got charged $20 for the cancellation and then paid this man what he asked.
And after Ana referenced the situation as an "Uber Scam," the debate began in the comments, with a good amount of Mainers putting the blame on Ana's mother for putting in the wrong address in the first place and commending the Uber driver for making sure he got her mother safely to her destination.
Other commenters brought up a good point and echoed a point that Ana was also trying to make in her post -- safety concerns. Yes, the Uber driver was super nice to make sure he got her mother to her final destination safely -- but if Ana's mother had run into a different driver who wasn't as good of a human as the driver she got, it could've gone sideways very easily.
Had her mother turned up missing, there would have been no trail that she had even been in the car if she paid cash. - LaDeen Barrick Arthun
Exactly! If something happened to her, he could have denied ever picking her up because it would've shown she canceled. - Heidi Cianchette
Uber Cancellation Policy
According to the Uber Help Section, both users and drivers can cancel a ride at any time, and occasionally a cancellation fee could be applied after matching with a driver.
Cancellation fees vary by location and may increase depending on how busy it is. In some cases, your cancellation fees will be based on how far the driver has already driven, how long it took the driver to arrive at your pickup location, and the time your driver has been waiting. These fees pay earners for the time and effort they spend getting to your location.
At the end of the day, this story has a happy ending but also brings up two important reminders: 1) If a situation seems fishy, get out of it as soon as possible. Always better to be safe than sorry. And 2) Always confirm you have the correct address for your destination to avoid situations just like this.