Southern California couple charged nearly $30,000 for Uber ride on vacation

B.R. Shenoy

The mistaken charge ruined the couple’s holiday.

“The bank was blaming Uber, and Uber was blaming the bank. We were both distraught, stuck in limbo, feeling like there’s nothing we could do,” Dominique Adams told KTLA. 

A romantic getaway in Guatemala turned into a nightmare for a California couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. Their plans were derailed when they were unexpectedly charged almost $30,000 for an Uber ride, KTLA reports.

The couple, Dominique Adams and Douglas Ordonez, shared their frustrating experience with the media, shedding light on the financial and emotional toll this incident took on them. 

Charged $30,000 for $55 Uber Ride

Everything seemed to be going well for Dominique Adams and Douglas Ordonez as they prepared for their planned romantic getaway in Guatemala, per CW affiliate KTLA-TV

Little did they know that their journey would take an unexpected turn when they were charged an exorbitant amount for an Uber ride to an airport in Costa Rica.

Upon arriving at the airport, Douglas discovered that his credit card had been declined. To their astonishment, they found a charge of almost $30,000 in their bank account. 

The couple, rightfully confused and alarmed, was left feeling helpless and uncertain about what steps to take next.

Ordinarily, the ride should have cost them approximately $55 in U.S. currency, equivalent to 30,000 Costa Rican colón. However, due to an error, they were charged in dollars, resulting in the astronomical figure that left them in disbelief.

Vacation on Hold

The consequences of this financial mishap were significant for Adams and Ordonez. Their plans to renew their wedding vows abroad had to be canceled, leaving them stranded in a foreign country with their celebratory ceremony in ruins, per KTLA and Insider

Ordonez expressed his disappointment, stating that it was the worst possible way to begin their fifth wedding anniversary.

The couple shared their frustration at the delayed reversal of the charge, which took four days to resolve. 

Altura Credit Union, their bank, apologized for the error, according to Newsweek. However, Adams highlighted that the bank failed to provide a valid explanation as to how the charge bypassed their security measures and policies.

During those four days, Adams and Ordonez faced severe inconvenience as they were unable to access their funds. They managed to scrape together a small amount of cash to cover essential expenses like transportation, but their vacation plans were essentially put on hold.

Resolving the Issue

Adams attempted to seek resolution by contacting Uber directly, as suggested by her bank. However, she found it difficult to reach the company and expressed her dissatisfaction with their customer service.

This experience left her with a firm resolve never to use Uber again.

According to a bank statement obtained by People:

“We regret the inconvenience that Uber’s error caused for our Members. The funds were never deducted from our Members’ account, and Altura acted swiftly in correcting the authorization hold (from $30,000 to the correct amount) on the next business day after we became aware of Uber’s mistake.”

An Uber spokesman told KTLA in a statement:

“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.”


The unfortunate incident experienced by Dominique Adams and Douglas Ordonez serves as a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of relying solely on digital payment methods and the importance of vigilance in financial transactions.

It highlights the need for companies to have robust customer support systems in place to address such incidents swiftly and effectively. 

Additionally, this story underscores the importance of maintaining a backup plan while traveling to prevent significant disruptions in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Overall, this incident serves as a reminder for individuals to regularly monitor their financial accounts, opt for multiple payment methods while traveling, and be prepared for unexpected challenges that may arise, even with trusted services like Uber.

Have you ever had a financial mishap similar to this one? Let us know in the comments. 

A version of this story originally appeared on Medium.

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A seasoned content creator with an M.S. in Toxicology, specializing in unique narratives, heartwarming animal tales, and local news.

Texas, State

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