Riverside residents Douglas Ordonez and Dominique Adams were excited to celebrate their five-year wedding anniversary with a vow renewal during an idyllic getaway, but an Uber charge for nearly $30,000 left them without money in a foreign country.
It all started when Adams was in Costa Rica and took an Uber to the airport so she could fly to Guatemala to meet her husband.
“I took an Uber, everything was fine, I didn’t think twice about it,” Adams told KTLA in an interview.
Adams said as soon as she got inside the airport in Costa Rica, her husband called her saying his credit card was declined.
“He checked our bank account and saw the almost $30,000 charge, and we both were like ‘What the hell? What do we even do?'”
What was supposed to have been a ₡30,000 Costa Rican Colones charge – which equates to a little more than $55 – was processed as a $30,000 charge.
With no money, the couple had to postpone their vow renewal.
“The bank was blaming Uber, and Uber was blaming the bank,” Adams said.
The couple spent their vacation pinching pennies with the little cash they had brought on vacation.
“We were both distraught, stuck in limbo, feeling like there’s nothing we could do,” she added.
“We were constantly calling the bank asking for an update, and that’s when we were blamed for the mistake because we called our bank to give them a travel notice, the bank said ‘That’s what allowed the charge to go through,'” Adams said.
The couple said it took four days for the charge to get reversed.
“To this day, Uber hasn’t contacted us. They haven’t emailed us back. Before this was resolved they marked this case as resolved in their app. They were very negligent,” Adams said.
In a statement to KTLA, an Uber spokesman said, “At Uber, we take every report seriously. As soon as we received the user’s report, our support team promptly addressed the issue and released the authorization hold mistakenly applied due to a bank error in Dollars and not in Colones. However, the time it takes for the refund to be processed depends on each bank’s policies.”
At the time of publication, Altura Credit Union hadn’t responded to KTLA’s request for comment.
When asked if she had any advice for international travelers, Adams said, “Yes, use a credit card rather than a debit card. I should’ve taken my own advice.”
The couple says they don’t plan on using Uber ever again.