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Currency conversion mix up saw Uber customer charged $29,994 for $54 ride

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

In an incident that unfolded during a holiday in Costa Rica, Douglas Ordonez took to Twitter to express his frustration after being charged a staggering $29,994 by Uber for a simple ride that should have cost only $54.

The exorbitant charge was a result of a currency conversion mix-up, leading to a major financial headache for Ordonez.

The incident came to light when Ordonez, who hails from the United States, shared his experience via a Twitter post. He expressed disbelief at the charge, revealing that the cost was not properly converted from US dollars to the local currency in Costa Rica. Furthermore, Ordonez criticised Altura Credit Union for allowing the transaction to go through, despite the discrepancy in the amount.

Following his initial complaint, Ordonez provided an update on 2 July, four days after the incident occurred. He reported that Altura Credit Union and Uber Support were shifting blame onto each other, creating further confusion and delay in resolving the issue.

Ordonez highlighted that Altura Credit Union claimed the $29,994 charge bypassed security measures and their daily charge limit due to a travel notice.

Expressing his frustration and growing more concerned, Ordonez emphasised that there was absolutely no reason for such a hefty amount to clear the transaction process. However, after four long days of intense back-and-forth discussion, he finally received news that the $29,994 charge was to be adjusted, meaning the ordeal finally came to an end.

While it remains unclear who was ultimately responsible for the conversion error and the subsequent incorrect charge, this incident highlights some of the risks and reliability when it comes to digital payment systems.

As for Douglas Ordonez, he can now breathe a sigh of relief after rectifying the erroneous charge that left him with a negative balance during what should have been a joyous 5-year anniversary celebration in Guatemala.

Douglas Ordonez said via Twitter: “Uber charged me $29,994 USD for a Uber ride in Costa Rica. They did not convert that into the Costa Rican currency $54 USD.

“Altura credit union allowed this charge to process and Uber is not complying. Now I’m in Guatemala with a negative balance on my 5 year anniversary.”

In the update four days later, Ordonez added: “$29K UPDATE. Altura Credit Union and Uber Support are blaming each other.

“Altura Credit Union stated that the 29k amount bypassed security & daily charge limit because we put a travel notice.

“ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why this amount should have cleared.

“After 4 full days the 29k was finally adjusted.”


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