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Uber Customers Complaining Of Fraudulent Cleaning Fees

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A number of Uber customers are complaining that they've been wrongly charged for a cleaning fee, prompting the company to investigate.

Steven Winkler uses the ride-sharing service all the time and never had a problem until he recently spotted an issue on his bank statement.

"I noticed a $50 charge from Uber," he said.

He contacted the company online and was told he was charged a cleaning fee. Uber also sent him pictures from the driver of what appears to be a wet seat. But Winkler says it wasn't him.

"There is no way I could have done that without knowing about it," he said.

Uber said the cleaning fees include not only the cost of cleaning up a mess but also lost time for the driver.

Winkler is not alone. Social media is filled with upset Uber customers insisting they were wrongly charged for a mess they didn't make.

The Better Business Bureau said they've received more than 130 complaints about Uber cleaning fees.

John McGann and Crystal Drake were charged $150 and were sent a picture taken by the driver. But the two insist it never happened.

"They definitely need a better system in place than what they have," said McGann.

Uber is aware of these disputes and said in a statement to CBS News that the company is "... enhancing our internal processes and investing in additional resources when investigating cleaning fee claims. While messes and spilled drinks can happen in moving vehicles, we are actively looking into reports where fraud may be detected and will take the appropriate actions on those accounts."

After complaining to Uber, both Winkler and Drake received a refund.

"My advice for other people would be to take a video when you get out of your Uber," Drake said.

Uber says drivers who submit a fraudulent cleaning fee could lose their ability to drive for the company.

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