We have to ask ourselves: What is the world coming to, when not even the time-honored act of horking up a bucketful of $12 cocktails in the back of a taxi can still be considered sacred? That’s the depressing takeaway from a new Vice story this afternoon, which dives deep into the latest scandal projectile-launching itself all over the grubby interiors of the ride-sharing industry: The insidious threat of “vomit fraud.”
This is originally from a Miami Herald report—because of course this is happening in Florida—which alleges that Uber drivers have been padding their bills lately by charging passengers a “cleaning fee” for their rides, then backing up their claims with pictures of vomit-covered backseats. Except, claim said passengers—irate, presumably, both at the cost (ranging from $80 to $150), and also the impugning of their resistance to chunder—the images are fakes. The Herald purportedly talked to at least one ride-share driver who confirmed the accusations, too, saying that some of their fellow drivers have “been doing it for a long time,” and noting that the practice relies on customers failing to check their bills for extra fees.
Tragically, we don’t have a clear answer to the most pressing question of this story—i.e., whether drivers are re-purposing old photos of past vom-crimes, or carrying around fake puke in order to freshly stage “the scene”—but it does sound like just one more way unregulated taxi service can bring up issues for consumers, with no recourse but to regurgitate their complaints to the parent company time and time again.