Southern California couple accuses Lyft of vomit fraud

BEVERLY-FAIRFAX, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Lyft may be behind a new phrase moving through the ride-sharing community: vomit fraud.

Jennifer Watkins Bielasiak says she was the latest victim when she was billed $100 by Lyft after a driver submitted photos of vomit in the back of his car.

"It's a scam," she told Eyewitness News. "They can claim that you threw up in their vehicle and then you can do nothing about it."

Bielasiak says she and her husband used Lyft last weekend and had an uneventful, quiet ride home from a friend's house. But the next day, she received a shocking message from the company.

"I get a notification from Lyft that I'm being charged a $100 damage fee," she explained. "The driver was claiming that we threw up in his vehicle. I was really upset and I thought this is a mistake right off the bat."

But Bielasiak says Lyft would not listen to her side of the story and refused to drop the fee. She even pointed out that the timestamp on the vomit photo showed it was taken more than an hour and 15 minutes after she and her husband were dropped off.

"I continued mailing Lyft," she said. "I asked them to call me repeatedly, they never called. There's no phone number that I can call. So I'm just left with a $100 charge that this driver essentially stole from me."

Lyft did not respond to calls from Eyewitness News but after our story aired on Tuesday, Lyft finally refunded Bielasiak's $100.
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