A Toronto woman says she was charged more than $200 by Uber for water that allegedly came through a window after arguing with a driver about keeping them open due to COVID-19.

Alyssa Schwartz said as soon as she entered the Uber vehicle on Monday she tried to open the windows but noticed they were locked.

She said when she asked the driver to unlock them, he said no because it was cold outside.

“I said, ‘Sorry, I prefer that they're open because of COVID. That's Ubers policy, can you please unlock them?’ So he said no, again,” Schwartz told NEWSTALK1010’s Moore in the Morning on Thursday. “I actually just at that point offered to get out of the car.”

Schwartz said she told the driver she would order another Uber if he didn’t comply, so he allowed her to open the windows. But, according to Schwartz, the driver also told her he was going to give her a bad rating because of it.

“He said something to me about how he was going to give me a bad rating and say that I made a mess,” she said. “The bad ratings seemed obvious to me. I was going to give him a bad rating too for the exchange. But I didn't realize what a claim of making a mess in an Uber involved.”

She said she woke up on Tuesday morning with a $207 bill in her inbox.

When Schwartz appealed the claim, she was sent a photograph of the damage. The photograph, which she posted on social media, shows a small amount of water on the back seat.

She said she isn’t even sure the water came through the window as there wasn’t a lot of snow falling at the time. She also said she closed the window before leaving the vehicle.

In a text message exchange with Uber, which was also posted to social media, Schwartz argues that a $200 fee is an “outrageous” amount of money to be charged for such a small amount of water on the back seat.

She also said the company needs to be clearer with its policies so that customers know they could be charged for weather-related damages if they choose to keep a window open amid the pandemic.

Uber has since refunded Schwartz for the ride and the cleaning bill. They have also given her a $50 credit, although she says it’s unlikely she will use the service again.

Back in May 2020, Uber put a number of policies in place to protect its drivers and customers as COVID-19 spread through the community. That policy included mandatory mask wearing, encouraging customers to sanitize their hands prior to entering the vehicle, and keeping windows open to increase ventilation.

As it stands, Uber’s website instructs both drivers and customers to roll down the windows when possible.

In a statement to CTV News Toronto, a spokesperson for Uber confirmed the policies on its website and said “the rider’s experience did not meet our expectations."

"Uber’s committed to the safety of riders and drivers and is constantly educating users on the best COVID-related safety practices while on a trip," the said. "We are reaching out to the rider and are working to resolve the issue.”