File Image: Uber. Image by: Reuters

CAPE TOWN - Uber South Africa will be charging users in South Africa a  “cleaning fee” for vomiting in drivers’ vehicle, according to a report by Business Insider.  

An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider SA that when a rider is charged a cleaning fee, they will receive an updated 'trip receipt'. 

Costs to pay for your mess can vary as it is based on how much it costs the driver to clean the vehicle.

According to Business Insider, it could cost upwards from R450 to R550 to deep clean a vomit-contaminated car based on what cleaning companies have said. 

“Uber wants all users (drivers & passengers) to exercise good judgment and behave decently towards other people in the car when riding with Uber, just as you would in any public place,” Uber said. 

Uber South Africa said if any users feel they were incorrectly or unfairly charged, they can query it through the in-app support.

Recently, Uber’s vomit policy in the US made waves, after users reported that they were falsely accused of vomiting in vehicles.

In these related incidents, users were charged anything between $80 (about R1,000) to $150 (R2,000) after drivers reported that they threw up inside their vehicles. 

UBER UPDATES 

Earlier in the month, Uber said that they will be releasing a new suite of tools that are designed to help communication between drivers and riders and make pick-ups less stressful.

According to a report by The Verge, Uber said that  it’s constantly looking for ways to cut through the clutter and reduce the number of rides that ultimately get canceled.

“When the driver has not yet arrived at the pickup location, there’s this resounding sense of stress on their part, because they don’t know what to look for necessarily,” said Ryan Yu, Uber’s product manager for rider experiences". 

One of the first tools that will be available is called Spotlight. 

Spotlight can be used to light up your phone screens with a specific color, giving drivers a clearer sense of which person they are picking up.

This was introduced as riders will hold their phones up in the air to signal their driver, according to Uber. 

 Also, drivers will receive a message so they know to look for, such as a yellow screen rather than a pink or green one.

Uber is also providing a better way to communicate your location to your driver.

You can either send a message in the app with an extra detail, like “I’m wearing a red hat” or “I’m standing on the corner,” or you can choose from a list of canned messages like “be right there.”

The app will read the messages you send out loud so that drivers are not distracted when they are driving.

Lastly, Uber says it now guarantees that all pre-scheduled pickups will be on time. 

So if your scheduled ride is ever late, Uber will compensate you with some money towards your next ride.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE