On March 31, a North Carolina law student, Kimberly Mariduena, lost all of her possession, missed her flight, and had to deal with unexpected costs because of her Uber driver’s actions.
Mariduena, a North Carolina Central University student, used the Uber app to arrange a ride for March 31 to catch a flight home for Easter weekend. When the Uber driver arrived, Mariduena put her belongings in the trunk, put her backpack on the backseat, and asked the driver to wait as she checked her front door to make sure it was locked.
Less than one minute later, Mariduena returned to find the driver, who was only identified by his first name on the Uber app, had driven off with her belongings, including her cellphone, laptop, passport, and wallet.
Without her phone, the only way Mariduena could contact 911 was to use her neighbor’s phone. According to Mariduena, 911 told her to call Uber, which gave her the driver’s phone number. When she called the driver, he kept saying, “I’m on a ride.”
Mariduena still had access to her iPad, so she used the location feature to track her cellphone and found the Uber at the airport. A screenshot of the trip confirmed the driver went to the airport before returning. While the driver eventually returned Mariduena’s possession, Uber charged her $40 for the trip. She also missed her flight and had to rebook, resulting in $700 in total losses – the original airfare, plus the $400 for a new flight the next day.
When Mariduena reached out to Uber, she received a text saying that if she was dealing with a criminal matter to contact the company’s law enforcement team. They won’t talk to her over the phone because all the business they conduct is through the app. In addition to that, local police can’t do anything because her property was returned.
On April 6, a CBS 17 Consumer Investigator reached out to Uber to ask if there was an ongoing investigation, if action was taken against the driver, and if Mariduena would be compensated. A company representative said they would look into the matter but has yet to respond further.
In an effort to recover from the incident, Mariduena is considering filing a small claims lawsuit against Uber to recover the $700. She also wants to know what Uber is doing about the situation.