- An American woman vacationing in Costa Rica was charged nearly $30,000 for an Uber ride due to a currency conversion error.
- Both Uber and her bank, Altura Credit Union, allegedly provided little help initially, leaving the woman in financial distress for four days.
- She advises people to use credit cards when traveling internationally for easier and quicker dispute resolution.
A dream vacation turned into a nightmare for an American woman when she was charged nearly $30,000 for an Uber ride in Costa Rica.
Dominique Adams was en route to the airport to meet her husband in Guatemala for their five-year anniversary celebration when she discovered the staggering charge.
She told Newsweek, “My heart sank.”
The huge sum was mistakenly charged in U.S. dollars instead of Costa Rican Colóns. While 29,994 Colóns equates to around $55, Adams was left facing a $29,994 debit from her account.
A 2022 survey by Bankrate revealed that eight out of ten travelers experience at least one issue while vacationing.
The most common problems cited related to higher costs than expected, with 57% of respondents reporting this issue.
However, Adams’ experience took this common travel hiccup to an extraordinary new level.
Adding to her ordeal was the alleged lack of assistance from both Uber and her bank, Altura Credit Union.
“I was definitely worried that I was not going to get my money back because Uber and my bank were not helpful or providing me with any type of solution,” Adams lamented.
Altura Credit Union seemingly blamed Adams for the issue, stating that the travel notice she put on her account allowed the charge to bypass their security measures.
However, she believes such a hefty sum should have raised fraud alerts.
Following a protracted struggle, including attempting to contact Uber and only receiving pre-generated responses, Adams’ charges were finally reversed after four days.
This rapid reversal, she believes, was due to the issue being publicized on social media.
She expressed disappointment at Uber’s lack of communication, despite providing her number as requested by the company.
Despite an apology from Altura Credit Union, Adams noted that the bank failed to provide a valid explanation for how the charge slipped through their security measures.
The ordeal has left her with a resolve to use credit cards when traveling abroad, as she considers credit card disputes to be easier and quicker to handle, without freezing her entire funds.