MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Ride sharing apps like Uber have changed the way we travel.
But a local political leader is looking to change the way Uber does business after she says it unfairly took her money.
“I supposedly criss-crossed the country 56 times in two weeks and – in one ten-hour span – I supposedly took multiple Ubers in five different cities stretching from New York to Honolulu,” New Jersey Assemblywoman Amy Handlin said.
Handlin quickly realized her Uber account had been hacked.
“Uber, the master of technology never even noticed that anything is wrong.”
She’s not the only one this has happened to.
“Ninety-seven dollars and ten cents,” Lisa Howe said.
The Uber customer also discovered more than $550 worth of unauthorized charges on her account.
“I was mad, I was very mad.”
It’s a sentiment echoed online by even more Uber customers who say the ride-share company makes it very difficult to resolve the fraudulent charges.
“There is no way to get ahold of them directly,” one customer said.
“There are no phone numbers, it is not possible to reach a living being, I tried to go through their app,” Assemblywoman Handlin explained.
Handlin says she tried unsuccessfully for a month to reach an Uber representative. During that time, hackers continued to take rides on her dime while she was denied access.
“The system kept telling me that my email and phone number were not associated with the account, therefore you’re out of luck.”
In a statement emailed to CBS2, an Uber spokesperson said “fraud-related issues are supposed to be escalated to a dedicated team of experts for investigation,” but admitted that did not happen in Handlin’s case.
Now, the Assemblywoman is proposing legislation requiring companies like Uber to alert customers to suspected fraud and provide access to a human to resolve these issues or face serious consequences.
“To operate in a state, in particular, at state funded facilities, like major transportation hubs is a privilege, it’s not a right,” Handlin added.
Uber claims it always refunds riders for unauthorized trips. Since the assemblywoman’s experience, the company has implemented a new, two-step verification feature for all new log-ins that adds extra protection from fraud.