A mum says she ordered a £4,500 taxi to Ukraine from Salford to 'help' after 'one too many double pink gins and shots of Sambuca'. And was only saved by having 'insufficient funds'.
Leoni Fildes, 34, claimed Uber tried to take the payment NINE times. Uber said they were 'looking into this further to understand what happened'.
Mum-of-two Leoni - who was woken in the morning by her bank questioning the transaction and admits to a drunken mistake - had been out celebrating a friend's birthday last Saturday in Swinton, Salford, when talk turned to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The dog grooming business owner, from Worsley, Salford, said she had already downed a 'few double pink gins' and 'shots of Sambuca' as well as Prosecco when she decided to make the 1,700-mile trip in a taxi to 'help' the Ukrainian cause.
Leoni said she then attempted to order the Uber, which was estimated to cost as much as £4,578, but was told she had 'insufficient funds' on the app. She told of having only 'flashbacks' of her risky mistake when her bank called her the following morning thinking her card had been fraudulently used. She said the bank claimed Uber had tried to take the money nine times.
Leoni said she's glad she didn't have enough money in her account and has questioned what could have happened if she had embarked on the transcontinental trip.
"I'm 34 - I should know better," she said. "The next day I didn't remember doing it. I was like 'oh my God'. I woke up to my bank ringing me, thinking my card had been used fraudulently.
"Uber tried to take the payment nine times out of my account. They were pretty determined. I had a little flashback when the bank called - and I said 'I think it was me - sorry'.
"Normally, Uber allow a trip in advance but they've recently stopped it so I was lucky. I remember when we were looking, we said 'oh, we'll get the comfort one'. That's dearer - the XL one."
Leoni said she got involved in the political chat when she was asked if her boyfriend, who is in the military, might be forced to fight if the UK intervenes. But she said the conversation soon spiralled out of control - resulting in the Uber order.
A regular UberX taxi from the Church Inn, Swinton, would have cost her between £2,564 and £3,313, but if she had splurged on an UberXL, the cost would have been between £3,688 and £4,758. Uber's Comfort option, which offers 'extra legroom', temperature and conversation choices, would have left her between £3,014 and £3,891 out of pocket.
Leoni said: "I'd gone out with one of my friends in Swinton. We came up with the conversation about the war in Ukraine. My boyfriend's in the military and we were talking about if he had to go. I said 'if he goes, I'm going with him'.
"One too many drinks later, we were trying to get a taxi home. We said 'shall we get a taxi and go help them'. We'd been out for about four hours so I'd had a few double pink gins, and quite a lot of shots of Sambuca and a bottle of prosecco. I think that might have tipped me over the edge.
"I don't know what I'd do if Uber had let me order it. I don't think I'd have got in but you don't know after a drink. I might have piled into the taxi and realised when we got further out.
"It would have been coming out of my account and I don't know where I'd have woken up.
"After we'd done that, I couldn't get a taxi for about an hour and a half. They were allowing me to go to Ukraine but not 10 minutes up the road back home. It was only about 10.30pm and I had to ring a few different taxi companies then to get a taxi. I got in at about 12."
Leoni later wrote on Facebook: "I'm so glad I didn't have the funds available (was only a quid short) but this is the reason I shouldn't go out. Trying to order an Uber to Ukraine last night coz I'd had a few sambukas (sic)."
An Uber spokesperson said: "We can confirm that no trip requests were successfully made in this instance. We are looking into this further to understand what happened."
[via Manchester Evening News]