CNBC explaining how Uber used a secret “Greyball” tool to deceive authorities:

Uber could learn a lot from United Airlines CEO.

It is quite clear that charging customers credit cards for phantom trips is merely Uber’s way of re-accommodating customer’s funds into their own pockets.  That sounds so much better than stealing.

Earlier today I got to know that one of my friends had been defrauded by Uber in exactly the same manner that my wife was some 2 weeks ago.  Since they never reacted to the email I send at the time, I decided to give their Facebook page a shot:

Well, both my wife and I did exactly that – and while Uber did refund the money after 3-4 working days, they did not respond to my request for clarification.

The discussion at Facebook went on:

Ok, it is becoming obvious by now that Uber is using some kind of “bot” to reply on facebook and that it is all canned responses.  It is somewhat mind boggling that with 11000+ employees, none of them can take this serious.  Unauthorized credit card charges is theft – no more, no less and – well – they aught to take that very serious.

Ok, I’ve had enough of the canned responses and obviously there was no email from Uber, nor any phone call as promised by their bot.  But I guess their facebook bot is about as accountable as Uber themselves.

Since Uber refuse to respond on Facebook or indeed anywhere else let me use this opportunity to request that Uber answer the following questions in public:

  1. How exactly is it possible for an Uber driver to charge RM 200+ for a ride that took less than 3 minutes.
  2. How exactly is it possible for an Uber driver to charge a rider that was never in his car and without him being anywhere near the listed destination.
  3. The two incidents documented on this web site took place more than 2 weeks apart.  What exactly is Uber doing to prevent this from ever happening again.
  4. Why is it not possible to remove a Payment method from your web site?  I have lost all trust in Uber and I do NOT want my credit card details in your system any longer.

Uber is of course welcome to respond here, although I doubt they will.  They seem quite eager to ignore this as much as possible.

After multiple complaints and ~30 hours, I received 90% of the refund. It took another 18 hours and more bitching to get the remaining money back.

NOW, I notice that I can’t #DELETEUBER. I can’t remove the credit card and I can’t delete my account with them. If I am not mistaken, that is a financial industry regulated requirement, that users must be in control of removing credit card details if they so choose.

Speaking as a software engineer, with 33 years of experience, Uber’s inability to detect the fraud here is unforgivable, AND says volumes about their Security mindset. I bet that all credit card details at Uber are wide open for exploits by criminals. Maybe already happened, who knows. Uber probably would not even notice that they leak credit card details. Disgrace!

As should be obvious by now, I have lost all trust in Uber’s ability to handle MY credit card information in a secure manner, so I went to my account in order to remove all payment methods.

If that is indeed possible it is not obvious to me how to.  Adding a new one is easy, removing the old ones appear impossible.

If I were a new customer today, I would think twice before trusting them with something as important as credit card details.


UPDATE: Credit cards can be removed inside the Uber App, PROVIDED that there is AT LEAST ONE credit card in their system. What good is that, if I don’t trust them anymore?

I guess I am not the only one who’ve had unfortunate experiences with Uber.

On March 25, my wife was going to a function at a hotel approximately 8 km from where we are staying.  She booked an Uber to get there, and was informed that the trip would take around 18 minutes and the cost would be around RM 24 due to surcharge 1.5x (the return trip was charged RM 18 with no surcharge).

Immediately a driver took the trip but before he showed up the trip was started.  Within a few minutes the trip was finalized at a location more than 50 km away:

Link to Google Maps here.

know Uber is very much into technology, driverless cars, helicopters etc., but I still wonder how Uber’s software can be so poorly designed that they think a RM 210 trip can be finished in 3 minutes and allow that to happen.

No matter how and what, charging my credit card RM 210 for a trip that never happened is either theft or credit card fraud (or both – I am not a lawyer!) and Uber – for the sake of customer trust – need to issue a public explanation on:

  1. How this could happen
  2. What steps they have taken to ensure this can and won’t ever happen again

And it is worth noticing that this is not a single fluke.  Other’s have had the same experiences (more posts to follow).

I have been a loyal Uber customer pretty much since they launched their service in Malaysia (where I am currently staying).  Staying in Kuala Lumpur, where the traditional taxi service is an absolute horror story (taxies refusing to take rides, refusing to run on meter etc. etc.), the value proposition by Uber having no cash involved was an attractive one.

Underfortunately that also means entrusting Uber with my credit card information, and that has become a problem due to Uber’s less than trustworthy behavior.

This blog will be dedicated to shining a bright light on how Uber actually deal with the sensitive information that we – their customers – are supposed to entrust them with.