The couple mistakenly charged $29,994 for one Uber ride says the issue is resolved. But they won't take an Uber again.

The couple mistakenly charged $29,994 for one Uber ride says the issue is resolved. But they won't take an Uber again.
Douglas Ordonez and Dominique Adams were charged nearly $30,000 for an Uber because of a currency conversion mistake.Courtesy of Douglas Ordonez
  • Douglas Ordonez and Dominique Adams were mistakenly charged nearly $30,000 for an Uber due to a currency conversion error.
  • The mistake left them without access to their funds for days while on a trip abroad for their 5-year anniversary.

Douglas Ordonez was buying a cup of coffee when he noticed something was off with his bank account.

"I got the notice of insufficient funds and I knew we had money in the account, so I tried it again, and it said the same thing too. Then I checked my bank account and that's when I saw the 29,000 US dollar charge," he told Insider.

Ordonez was on his way from the US to Guatemala to meet his wife, Dominique Adams, for a trip to celebrate their 5-year anniversary. She'd been in Costa Rica for a week prior. In that time, she'd booked a ride with Uber, which the app said would cost 29,994.33 in Costa Rican colón, or roughly 55 US dollars. But there was a mistake.

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"I took the Uber, everything was fine, I got the receipt emailed to me, and then that next morning is when we both realized that I was actually charged in US dollars," Adams told Insider.

Adams and Ordonez said they began trying to contact customer service at their bank, Altura Credit Union, and at Uber, both of which they say were not very responsive and kept giving "generated messages." In the meantime, they were unable to access their funds for several days while a hold was on their account, and they had little cash on them for the duration of their trip.


"That's the worst way you could possibly start your 5-year anniversary, to have to deal with this and then in the back of my mind, try to enjoy everything else that's going on, knowing that this pressing matter should be resolved as soon as possible," Ordonez said.

"I think we both kind of felt just completely helpless," Adams said. "Obviously, I knew that it was a mistake, but it's still shocking when you see that on your account and especially for that amount."

Ordonez and Adams say they usually charge Uber rides to their credit cards, but charged this ride to their debit card by accident. Adams said Altura Credit Union told her that the charge went through despite her much-smaller daily limit because she'd put a travel notice on their account for the trip.

Altura Credit Union and Uber did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this story. Earlier, Uber responded to Insider for the initial news of the erroneous charge, with a spokesperson saying: "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."

Indeed, the couple said after several days, the issue was fixed: They received their money back, and the Uber ride was comped on their account. The couple say it's unclear whether Altura Credit Union or Uber resolved the matter because they say their communications with both were patchy.


For its part, Uber previously told Insider that it takes time for a refund to be processed, and can depend on individual bank policies.

But one thing's for sure, Ordonez and Adams now say: They won't be taking an Uber again anytime soon.

"I will probably never use Uber ever again just knowing that their customer service is really horrible," Adams said.