This is such a common occurrence amongst riders: They get a little buzzed from happy hour and then call for an Uber home. Just as the driver pulls away, is when they suddenly realize they have left their phone inside the car, or the next day if they've really been partying hard. Oops!
If this has ever happened to you in the past you know all you had to do was log on to your Uber account and get in contact with the driver, and according to Uber, coordinated a “mutually convenient time and place to meet” so you can get your phone back, or whatever it is you left behind.
Well, for drivers, returning the lost items was hardly ever convenient and many have complained to the company about having to track down the passengers to return their lost item.
Uber driver collects on average at least $13.36 on average per trip, and if they have to drive out of their way to return said item then they’re most likely losing money. According to the Business Insider, Uber driver Harry Campbell of therideshareguy.com blog states that it was like “the wild wild west.” “Drivers would sometimes oblige a pleading rider, but if it meant driving an hour across town to do a forgetful rider a favor some would opt not to.
Uber, which is in the middle of “180 days of change”, an effort to improve the company's relationship with its drivers, says they’ve heard the complaints drivers have made about the lost items as well as a few other things, and now are working on addressing them.
On June 25, Uber rolled out a new policy in Chicago and Boston that allows drivers to file a "lost item" report through the app, should a passenger leave something in the car and ask for the driver to return it back to them. The driver will return the item for a fee of $15, plus an additional tip, should the rider choose to give it. This new policy extended across the country on August 1.
Campbell also says “he liked the spirit of the fee, but that it needed to be variable. Fifteen dollars is not a lot of money for an hour of lost time that could be better spent giving rides – especially for power drivers who rely on the service for income.”
Here's a helpful tip to all the Uber riders out there: Make sure to double, and triple check before you get out the car so you won’t be out $15 for leaving your valuable possessions behind.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Flickr, llee_wu