My Worst Uber Experience: Don’t Leave Your Phone Behind

In this post my friend Andrew B will share his recent experience with losing something in an Uber. As some of you may recall, Andrew won an OMAAT contest several years back, and we’ve been friends ever since. Earlier in the year he took Qatar Airways A380 first class and Megabus on the same trip, and shared his thoughts here (it’s not often you get such contrast)!

I’m a big fan of Uber, though have also had my fair share of negative experiences. However, I’ve never left anything behind in an Uber, so I found the resolution (or lack thereof) to be quite interesting.


Like Ben, I’ve generally had great experiences with Uber. I take them several times a week, and almost all of my rides have been good.

Recently I had a terrible Uber experience. A friend requested an Uber to take us to dinner, and the second the ride ended and the driver pulled away, I realized my phone had fallen out of my pocket and was still in the car.

I called the driver right away from within the Uber app. He couldn’t have been more than 1,000 feet away at that point. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him back in a half an hour. When I called him back, he didn’t answer. He didn’t answer my texts either.

After several unanswered texts and calls offering to meet him anywhere that’s convenient for him (as well as an email to Uber), the following morning I offered him $50 cash to return my phone. Immediately he texted back and said “on my way.” I was in a big rush because I was leaving LA early that afternoon. He did return my phone, but the experience left me with a terrible taste in my mouth.

I e-mailed Uber support again. I told them that I’d recovered my phone, but only after bribing the driver. I was hoping Uber would tell me they’d talk to the driver.

Uber’s response was:

To respect the privacy of all users, our Privacy Policy restricts us from making any changes to or discussing an Uber account without the account holder’s consent. To expedite this request, cc the account holder and have him or her respond to confirm and we’ll take it from here. Alternatively, have the account holder write in on a separate thread and we’ll be happy to assist directly.

So, I did that. The account holder (my friend) then responded and said, “Please let me know if you need further details. You have my authorization to deal with Andrew directly.” He included a screen shot showing the details of the ride.

Uber didn’t respond to either of us, so a couple days later I requested an update. They said they would need the account holder to write in (he already had)! They also kept referencing how they want to help me recover my lost item.

I sent two more emails explaining that I’d already recovered the item and that my friend had already written in. Each time, unbelievably, Uber continued to ask me to have the friend write in so that they could help me recover my lost item.

This whole experience made me wonder: if you ride along in an Uber requested by your friend and something bad happens, what protections do you have? At this point, I’m not sure if I have a good answer to that question.

I’m at a loss for what to do, and I guess I might as well just give up. All I really wanted was for them to tell me they’d spoken with the driver to explain that holding customers’ property for ransom was not company policy. Now I’m just upset by the fact that their responses indicate that they didn’t even read my e-mails.

What would you guys do: give up and move on with your life, or keep pursuing this issue?

If you’d like to read the lengthy exchange between me and Uber, I’ve included it below.

Me:

Last night (8/21) around 6:45 pm Pacific time a friend ([friend’s name]) ordered an Uber (a Mercedes S-class), and I left my phone in it. I realized it as soon as I stepped out but the driver drove off quickly. Within a minute I called him, and he said to call him back in a half hour! I did, and I texted him, and he hasn’t been responsive. I am leaving LA in a couple hours and still do not have my phone. I’ve offered to meet him anywhere. The driver’s phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Please help!

Uber:

Sorry to hear about your phone, Andrew. We’re happy to help. To respect the privacy of all users, our Privacy Policy restricts us from making any changes to or discussing an Uber account without the account holder’s consent. To expedite this request, cc the account holder and have him or her respond to confirm and we’ll take it from here. Alternatively, have the account holder write in on a separate thread and we’ll be happy to assist directly. If you are the account holder, just write in from the email address associated with your account and we’ll be able to help right away. Hope to hear from you soon.

Me:

Thanks for your response. cc’d here is [friend], who requested the Uber. I was able to recover my phone, but only after bribing the driver to bring it back to me. Here is a rough timeline of what happened starting 8/21:

7:20 pm: Driver drops us off at restaurant in LA

7:21 pm: I realize I left my phone in the car

7:22 pm: I call the driver using your system. He says he sees the phone in his car but I should call him back in a half hour.

7:55 pm: I call back, no response.

8-10 pm: I text the driver several times and don’t receive a response. I explain that I am flying home (to DC) tomorrow. I offer to meet him anywhere that’s convenient for him.

10:30 pm: Driver texts that he is on his way to drop off the phone. Tracking my iPhone shows he is a 10-minute drive away.

11:30 pm: Driver is now an hour away according to tracking.

1:40 am (8/22): Driver texts to ask if I am still in Hollywood. 7-9 am: I text driver several times to explain that my flight leaves soon and plead with him to meet me somewhere to recover my phone.

9:45 am: I text driver to say that I will pay him $50 to meet me and return my phone.

9:48 am: Driver texts that he is on his way. 10:50 am: I finally get my phone back and pay him the $50. I’ve been an Uber customer for years (you can look up my account: [account info]) and have had almost uniformly great experiences. This was terrible. I feel as if my phone was held hostage, and only when I offered a bribe was I given prompt service. I would have paid him anyway upon getting the phone back, but the fact that I had to offer was absurd.

I hope Uber will explain to this driver that the expectation is that lost items are returned promptly and that they should not resort to extortion. The fact that I called the driver within two minutes of him dropping me off and he was unable to deliver my phone at that time is still very puzzling to me. The additional fact that it took 50 bucks to get it back just in time for me to rush to the airport is not ok. You guys are awesome, but I don’t think this driver has represented your brand well in this situation.

Uber:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Andrew. This experience sounds completely unacceptable and not what we expect from any of our partner drivers. As Uber is a cashless service. In order for us to properly resolve this for you, kindly provide us the date/time of the trip and name of the driver so we can able to pull up the trip and take a closer look into it. Thank you so much for your patience while we work on resolving this for you. Hope to hear back from you soon.

Me:

I’m ccing [friend’s name] here, who requested the ride. [friend’s name], can you provide the details from your trip history? Uber: Thanks for keeping in touch, Andrew. For us to properly resolve this, we will be needing you to contact us using the associated email address that you use to order the Uber ride. To respect the privacy of all users, our Privacy Policy restricts us from accessing and providing information of the account.

My Friend:

Please let me know if you need further details. You have my authorization to deal with Andrew directly. [Screen shot showing trip on 8/21 at 6:47 pm, with driver named Daniel]

Uber:

We completely understand where you’re coming from, Andrew. Your friend needs to be the one to reach us regarding this concern. That is for us to locate the drivers account and take necessary actions to help you retrieve your item. We hope you understand us on our end.

Me:

Hi there, [the friend] did respond and gave you authorization to access his account and deal with me directly. Any update on this? Just to clarify, as I said, I did receive my lost item — just very dismayed that it occurred only AFTER I had to bribe the driver.

Uber:

We’re sorry to hear that you’ve had such a bad experience with your recent Uber ride, Andrew. We’ll always do whatever we can to help, but to protect your account’s security, could you please have the account holder write in from the e-mail address associated with your Uber account? Just letting us know the email address won’t be enough as we do need to confirm the account holder. Let us know if you have any other concerns.

Me:

He HAS written in, as I’ve said several times! I don’t understand what the problem is! Per the instructions in your very first email, he responded on 8/23 at 10:37 pm Eastern. His email was sent from [email address] to contact_9d415891-5e81-4490-a9dd-9bc9965ebf7a@help.uber.com. I’m really not sure why I’ve had to write the same email so many times. Would it be easier for someone to call me? I’m at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Below is a screen shot of the beginning of his email.

Uber:

I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble here Andrew. I understand how frustrated you are at this point in time. However, for us to be able to properly assist you in retrieving your lost phone. We need the person who requested for the trip to directly communicate with us through email. You mentioned that he already has reached out. So I strongly suggest that you ask him to check on Uber’s reply to his email. As we do take matters like this seriously and make sure that we address them with utmost priority. I’m sure somebody has responded to your friend with instruction on how to go about reaching the driver and getting assistance from us for the return of your item.

[I checked with the friend. Nobody responded to him.]

Comments

  1. As much as I sympathize (losing a phone is the WORST), the alternative would have been to have dropped it in a taxi. Or a bus.

    And in those cases, getting it back would be next to impossible!

  2. Friend recently lost his phone in a taxi. Company and driver unhelpful. The taxi regulator was very interested and after a complaint was filed suddenly everyone was into getting his phone back.

    Accountability.

  3. This is completely typical of the customer service interactions I’ve had with Uber. It almost seems like it’s their strategy – to pretend to not understand, to reply with the reasons that they can’t help, to let you know how badly they wish they could help if only you’d provide more info, do something else, etc. It’s all designed to drive you so crazy that you give up.

    At some point they’ll figure out their issues are because of crap customer service.

  4. I lost my phone on an uber once aswell, and after texting and calling the guy, he drove to where I was asap and gave me my phone. No problem at all. Sorry to hear you had such an awful experience.

  5. agree completely with keitherson,

    my sister in law same situation last week, never got the phone back

    i would say of all possible outcomes, for $50 aint so bad

    , i think most would be disappointed in the driver’s behavior and larceny, but all in all a great outcome

  6. Yes, this seems typical of their customer service. I contacted them about applying a $20 referral code to my UberEATS account. I contacted customer service and apparently I had spelled the code wrong, so they gave me $10 credit. However, the original referral code was worth $20. I contacted them again and they just gave me a generic apology and gave me another $10 code. I told them I wanted $20 total not two $10 codes so I could use them for one larger order and if they could combine them. They just gave me ANOTHER $10 code!! They don’t listen at all. But I guess I was okay with $30 of free credit in the end…

  7. Back when Uber was a black car service (remember that? feels like forever ago) their customer service was top notch. I imagine with the quality of a lot of the X drivers they simply can’t keep up. There are some great drivers out there and plenty of equally terrible ones.

  8. If an Uber driver refuses to return the phone it’s simple – call the police. It is a conversion to stolen property (He admitted to having the phone and that he knew it was yours and refused to an agreeable location for return).

    Personally I’d reach out directly to the executive team at Uber.

  9. Call the driver, offer him 50$, call the police, meet together, save 50, get him arrested, its called theft.
    Where is the Problem?

  10. Could you not file a criminal complaint? Granted, you left the phone in the car. But once you’ve notified them and offered to collect anywhere, it would then be a crime if they don’t respond, no?

  11. Seems to me the issue was you were a “third” party communicator with Uber and your friend whom ordered the ride should have done all the communication from the first communication to Uber regarding this issue. I see Ubers point and unfortunately you fell under that situation. The one time email cc concent did not work with Ubers communication system. One email cc does not constitute a “power of attorney” to Uber. So for all in the future, you have helped us acknowledge this irk in Ubers system. I would let it go and move on. You helped us from your poor experience going forward. Safe Travels..

  12. Water under the bridge, I guess. It is frustating but there is no point to make further effort with those unhelpful response. The driver is questionable, but maybe he is on reserved ride again and again. You don’t want to make your friend uncomfortable with that situation either. Lesson for all of us here: we should book our own uber ride.

  13. Hello Ben & Andrew, may I comment here that I am a great supporter of UBER and have also been invited by UBER to join its team behind the expansion in a few cities in Asia Pacific region.

    For as much as I would like to praise UBER but I must let go a few dissatisfaction about them as I find that their Customer Support team are quite “robotic” and uses templated emails. They do not really know how to reply in real life to begin with. I tell you why. I spend a short stint as part of my interview process with them and what I have found out was true. I immerse myself and threw many scenarios on how the staffs would actually reply to customer complaints, it is when they pull out standard template emails and showed me how “robotic” they were.

    That basically solves the puzzle that I have had for years before I was invited by UBER to join them. Did I join them? I gave a lot of thinking and I told myself it is probably gonna be sleepless nights for me if I were to join them.

    So I didn’t.

  14. If you left your phone on a bus, do you expect them to go out of their way to return it? Bottom line: this was your mistake. Just be glad you got your phone back!

  15. You raise a very good point: “if you ride along in an Uber requested by your friend and something bad happens, what protections do you have?”

  16. I don’t understand why there is such a need to communicate with Uber.

    Remember, the Uber driver is an independent contractor working on the Uber platform.

    You left the phone in the car, so it’s on you.

    The driver wasn’t obligated to go out of his way to return the phone, and graciously did it for only $50. That’s a big of a low value to any driver considering the time required to do the transaction

  17. Panda’s response is ludicrous. When I leave something on a bus I expect it to be forwarded to their lost and found service, which all companies have. So yes, I damn well do expect my phone back. Whether it happens or not is another issue altogether. But that is the basis of customer service.

    Lastly I’ve had TERRIBLE customer service interactions with Uber. One where they responded finally, SIX months later. And apologized but offered a measly $10 for the six month wait. I agree with other posters. Deal on Twitter where it’s public and call the police in the future.

  18. Similar situation happened to me in NYC where a driver wanted $$ to return my phone. So I simply showed up with two NYPD officers.. got the phone back without having to pay and the driver was arrested. Simple as that. Don’t ever pay ransom.

  19. what a whingy post, $50 is not a lot of money to pay (the alternative being to buy a new phone for hundreds) and it was YOU that offered it to begin with. If you were not willing to pay 50 for the driver’s retrieval service and your phone return, you should not have offered it!

  20. So for Luke Hubert 50$ is nothing, nice.. It’s all about perspective, down here its 2 MONTHS salary worth.

    Totally agree with Oscar! is absolutely worth the extra hassle to get the society a little better, double dipping: save your 50$ and give the POS a lesson on civility.

    Wonderful comment from Oso too, common sense is really lacking these days.. That’s the least you can expect, even from a bus company.

  21. Reading comments sections like on this thread makes me understand why the American elections are as bad as they are.

  22. Totally agree RCB, that’s the first thing that came to my mind but if I mentioned you know.. Democraps would jump in that ‘we are always mixing with politics’ and that.

    Typical Liberal shitty way of thinking, you are guilty for working too much to get a decent life so you accidentally leave your phone, expecting that a good society helps you.. But the poor driver is not guily for not being a decent person and even go to lenghts of requesting a ransom for your property!

  23. Totally agree RCB, that’s the first thing that came to my mind but if I mentioned you know.. Democraps would jump in that ‘we are always mixing with politics’ and that.

    Typical Liberal shitty way of thinking, you are guilty for working too much to get a decent life so you accidentally leave your phone, expecting that a good society helps you.. But the poor driver is not guily for not being a decent person and even go to lenghts of requesting a ransom for your property!

  24. Just move on with your life! Uber customer service obviously leaves a lot to be desired, but I don’t see any huge issue with the driver. You lost the phone, your mistake. It might have only been a minute before you called, but the driver could have easily picked up another fare already. And it sounds like the driver was visible on the app all night, which meant he’s still working. Why should he lose money returning your phone? He was probably hoping that a different fare would bring him close by, but it never happened so he brought it over in the morning. IMO, $50 might have been steep but you should have absolutely paid him to return the phone, since it’s essentially another ride.

  25. I have yet to have a good experience with Uber, I stay completely away now. Dirty cars, no trunk space, not knowing where they’re going, texting and navigating on their phones while driving. One ride I had to rearrange stuff in the trunk so we could fit even one carry-on. And that was after renting a Silvercar at SFO…just stay away from ride shares.

  26. I don’t know if the Uber driver is so malicious here. He probably got another fare immediately after dropping you. For him to drop a fare and find you would entail a real cost.

    The CS issues are strictly because Uber has expanded way faster than they can find competent $3/hr CS employees in the Phillippines. Every CS issue I have had recently that has been at all not cookie cutter has been met with an utter failure to comprehend. Easiest thing is to email the area manager’s corporate Uber account. You also can request to escalate to a manager in the Phillippines. It’s not malicious. They are just incompetent. It’s a staffing issue. Not a company policy to hurt people.

  27. This is not about $50 and Andrew is not “stupid” for leaving a phone in the car. Paying for uber, you expect a certain service level, and this falls under this category.

    The thing is Uber drivers are *required* to return left items to customers at no charge. This driver is a scumbag. People forget items in cars all the time. I drove for uber x for several months and would actively look at the back seat after each fare because of the headache involved for me having to return items.

  28. Not sure what the point is in further pursuing this. Just posting your experience here is amounts to millions of dollars in bad publicity for the company. You’ve won! And $50 to get your phone back is not a huge ransom.

    I found an iPhone in a seat back pocket recently after the door had closed and we had pulled away from the gate at JFK. I turned it in to a gate agent in SAN and wondered what the airlines do with the phones they find.

  29. LOL, some of the responses on here crack me up, but this story gave me a great idea.

    My airline rewards employees who submit ideas that help make money for them. As it stands, if you leave something on a plane, we’ll send it to the nearest airport to passenger free of charge. I think there should be a $100 fee for that service.

  30. @Donna — If you ever find an iPhone, you can ask Siri, “Who am I?” Chances are the phone will let you know who the phone belongs to as Siri is available even when the phone is locked. You can then handle getting the phone back to the owner without turning it into lost and found, where it’ll likely be lost and never found.

  31. Sounds a little like everyones fault but mine Uber only address issues or intervene while on the Platform once the trip is complete and ended it can be here say the driver say I didn’t find anything or already returned it The Rider says I lost something never got back there can be on honor and dishonor on both sides of using Uber

  32. Oso, Where did I say that the driver should never give the phone back? The point is that Andrew had a self-imposed time crisis (flight leaving) and wanted the phone back instantaneously instead of sending the driver a self-addressed stamped envelope. He offered $50 for the convenience. It was not a ransom. Good luck in getting a bus company to get your phone back in less than 2-3 days.

  33. A few years ago, I left my work phone in the seatback pocket after a UA redeye to EWR. I called customer service and gave them my flight info. Within an hour, someone from the airline called to get my mailing address and a credit card number to bill for shipping. They overnighted the phone to me via FedEx. Gotta say, I was pretty pleased with the experience.

  34. I left one of my cell phones in a Uber in Philly, when I realized I called back on my other phone, he turned around came back and dropped off! Tipped him a $20.

  35. Sadly, this is typical of their customer service the past 3+ months from my experience. Repeating same thing at least twice to get them to understand, and no good resolution. I’ve started to use Lyft, and get better care and they reach out if you give a low rating.

  36. I left my iPhone in an over priced Ritz Carlton limo in Bahrain. Even they did not lift a finger to trace it for me.
    I had a new phone delivered from my supplier upon landing in Oslo !

  37. Interesting comments here — the diversity of opinions is fascinating.

    For what it’s worth, I tried my best to minimize the inconvenience to the driver. Aside from the fact that coming back to me immediately after I called him about the missing phone would’ve added maybe 4 minutes to his trip at the most (and I’ve had drivers divert for much longer than that before picking me up), I offered to meet him anywhere at any time. He shouldn’t have had to forego a fare to return his phone to me.

  38. I still use Uber, but honestly as much as I don’t like the on-screen UI, Lyft is way better both for the driver and for the customer. The drivers are paid better, which means they’re more likely to stay driving for a while, which means they know the city better and understand where you’re trying to go, how to get there, etc. I also have a personal issue with Uber using their status as the big fish to burn through money trying to destroy their competition. That’s my two cents!

    Ra

  39. I had my phone fall out of my pocket after being dropped off at Westfield London, and my usual backup travel phone was left in my hotel. In my case, I had no choice but to continue my attempt to get an additional suitcase (oops overshopping) then head back to the hotel to get in touch with the driver. I found this process really interesting, because Uber actually had a web-based way to connect directly with the driver. All I had to do was punch in my contact number, and within minutes the Uber tech support system had the driver call me back and tell me he was right outside my hotel with my phone – which could not have worked out better because I was flying off in 4 hours. No payment or reward was requested by the driver but I insisted on tipping him GBP40 anyway. I was super impressed but how Uber solved this issue with minimal fuss.

  40. Left my sons Uggs in our sleeper car on an Amtrak train when we left about 1 hour from train’s final destination. Filed report never heard anything back (Amtrak policy not to acknowledge). My loss $150, and one of the cleaning people gets new Uggs for her kids. Free ticket, no fees, so no credit card coverage. Unfortunately this is the way things work now.

    As for the suggestion to file a police report – that’s ludicrous. First of all I don’t know where these people live but SFPD and LAPD are not going to respond to call about a phone left in an Uber car. They have many more pressing “crimes” to investigate, though I’m sure you could try to file a report at the station.

    Second, I gotta agree that $50 for the driver’s time to make a special trip seems about right, particularly in LA where everything is some distance from everything else. Write it off as a mistake and be glad you got the phone back which simplifies your life immeasurably.

  41. Sounds like most customer service for any large corporation. There is no accountability so whoever is handling your case, by the time you hang up the phone that person no longer cares and neither does the company. If somehow the system doesn’t pick up the issue then it doesn’t get resolved. So when you call back its like calling the first time. Both AA and UAL drove me nuts this year with their customer service. One resolved their issue in 5 months and the other in almost 4 months. In the second incident with UAL who owed me a refund I didn’t even bother after the first try. I just told amex and their awesome billing dispute dept handled it for me.
    As for your incident, both Android and apple cell phones have device location management. You could just go find the person directly. I probably would have gone that route.
    This one is tough to decide. On one hand you can’t say its the driver’s fault because he didn’t lose your phone, you lost your own phone. Since its not his responsibility to recover lost items for passengers he didn’t really do anything wrong. I suppose he could have gone out of his way to help you but if he didn’t does that make him a bad person and should we be upset about it? Hard to say.

  42. Über ..The guy decided to show with your phone after you said you would pay him 50 .. That is theft , he knew it was lost on his job , he knew he had it and only responded after you offered cash . Uh wrong . I personally will rent a car or walk before I ever bother with Uber .The drivers are in it to make a buck . Not professional , not that the Pakistani taxi driver in NYC is professional either 🙂 …

  43. @Andrew B. Did you (or are you going to) have your friend email Uber from the account that was used for the ride? I think it would be worth it even if he just copied and pasted the original message you already sent. I think it would be interesting to see how they respond when their CS software can actually connect the complaint to the ride.

    Sorry this happened to you!

  44. That’s what you get for not tipping in the first place. $5 tip when the ride was over would have gotten that phone back immediately.

  45. Don’t be a bitch – you lost your phone, you pay to get it back. Live and learn, $50 isn’t that bad anyway.

  46. @Tracy T: Yes, he emailed them from the e-mail address associated with the account — that’s the email where he said “You have my authorization to deal with Andrew directly.”

    Appreciate everyone’s thoughts!

  47. I drove for uber for a month or so, right before moving to supplement my savings with a $1k new driver bonus they were offering. I had a customer request a ride for his mom, about an hour later i get a call from him asking if she had left her phone in the car. I ended up finding it and driving to his office, his reply, “thanks”. I spent about 25 min driving this phone to the owner at his convenience, and would have appreciated come compensation, although he is under no obligation to do so, as I am simply doing the right thing.

    Five or so months later, I took an uber home and during the ride I dropped my phone in between the seats, where it fell i knew it would be easier to get it once the car was stopped. Driver dropped me off and I went into the house, a minute later realizing that my phone was still in the uber. Because i had only been there for a day or so and did’t have my internet and home phone set up I had to log into my uber account on my neighbor’s phone in order to contact the driver. As soon as he answered he knew who it was, etc, and I offered him $20 (all the money I had on me) to bring the phone back asap. He was about 15 miles away at this point and he brought it about an hour later.

    I think if Uber or the law would hold the driver accountable for something that a customer leaves, there should be some type of “returned item fee” as the driver is not making any money for driving that item back to you. Also, still waiting on AA’s “lost item services” for my iPad I left in the seatback of 8J on the 772 from MIA-LAX. The iPad that apple notified me had been turned into a brick for someone trying to unlock it too many times lol. Should I call the cops on AA? lol good one.

  48. No wonder contact centres are so poorly literate – many people here suffer from the same infliction…

    If you think it’s reasonable behaviour to ignore requests to return a phone and only respond once you’re bribed then I can only assume you’re morally deviant yourselves.

  49. Reading all these comments on bus makes me quite sad. I’ve lost my phone on the bus once here in Taiwan. I called the bus company about five minutes after it had left the stop. The CSR was able to radio the driver and had him look for it, but he didn’t find it. Then they pulled the security camera footage and saw a passenger took it and got off the next stop. The bus company forwarded the tape to the police who was able to track the person (there are CCTVs everywhere in Taiwan) back to his apartment and have the person arrested. I got my phone back in 3 days, although it was wiped clean and SIM card replaced.

  50. Contrary to what some think here, I have first hand experience on Uber’s lack of customer service.

    As you mentioned, it felt they are not even reading the emails. See for someone to be able to read, they need brains to do so and decipher; uber doesn’t have that.

    I happen to drive for uber and can also tell you they don’t give a damn for the customer or the driver.

    Yes Andrew was in a tight position interns of time but any driver with a conscience would accept the call or communicate.

  51. What the hell happened to just being a decent person??? Blaming the author for leaving his phone in the car, $50 is no big deal?! Damn…it was an accident, can’t the driver do the right thing, turn around, give him his phone back and life goes on? Why people gotta suck….

  52. @Andrew B. Sorry I wasn’t clearer. I meant have your friend start a new conversation pretending it was his phone.

  53. I am in a similar situation. My RayBans were left in an Uber last week and I keep getting those stupid macro emails exactly like you posted about the account holder and privacy policy. I’ve given them every detail about the ride, they ask for more information like they can help and then boom nope privacy policy crap.

    I’m not asking for the drivers contact info or the person who paids information, I was just out with friends on a Saturday night and some nice guy thought I needed a ride home and wanted to ensure I got there safely so he ordered me an Uber and paid. I don’t know this person or have their contact information as I’ve told them a dozen times. It’s so frustrating this privacy policy thing is total crap from them to hide behind. My sunglasses certainly cost far more than the Uber and I just want them to reach out to the driver so I can get them backs

  54. To begin it was your fault to leave the phone there, not the driver and not uber. Uber drivers get call after call after dropping off a passenger, why would he stop, lose money and waist time when it was not his
    Fault. Ultimately, uber can only tell the driver to mail you the phone since they pay for the shipping. It can take up to One ot two weeks. You could also agree with the driver to go and pick up the phone.

  55. What I would have done would have been to offer that same bribe, and when he showed up I’d take my phone back and give him a New York hello…aka go F yourself.

  56. I think what the OP is wanting to know here is what kind of protection is there for the passengers? Where does the responsibility lie? He didn’t complain about the $50.00 but was interested in the process of dealing with the problem. The driver is wrong to only respond after money was raised.

    I have left an expensive pair of sunglasses in an Uber, contacted the driver through the app and received confirmation that the driver has found my glasses and will be returning them to the head office, this is nearly a month ago and I am getting nothing from Uber but “we have already replied…” “we are checking with the driver…” etc.

    There is no accountability, driver doesn’t care, Uber don’t care. This is the problem with a revolving door hiring policy, get the driver in, make some cash, bounce the driver out, who cares? No one.

    Wait Twitter #deleteuber

    BTW I have been a big fan of Uber, my faith is waning

  57. Having driven for Lyft and Uber both let me put a different spin on this. Drivers are independent contractors. Any time doing anything other than a rider in the car is losing them money. I only drive Saturday nights for extra income. It is easy to average $100 to $400 per hour on a Saturday night. BUT a large part of that is surge pricing. Miss the surge miss a lot of money.

    I average several cellphones every Saturday night, left in the car. Saturday nights are busy enough that I don’t look through the car until after I wake up on Sunday mornings. Rarely does anyone call right away. But even if they did, is it fair of them to make me take an hour break, an hour I am not getting paid for, to return an item due to their own irresponsibility? Especially if it is during a peak surge time? Is it fair to the driver to miss hundreds of dollars worth of rides to them, to not get paid delivering your mistakes?

    Anytime anyone leaves anything they think the driver going out of there way to deliver it isn’t a big deal to expect. But when it happens several times a night, every time they drive… That turns into hundreds of dollars lost each week. It’s just too damned expensive.

    We are not employees paid per hour. We are independent contractors. We get a percentage of the ride fee you pay. We pay our own gas, insurance, maintenance etc. If we got paid by the hour and it paid the same whether driving someone or returning an item. Sure maybe. If it was a once in a blue moon kind of thing, okay maybe.

    I can’t afford to spend several hours every Saturday night not making money so I can return phones left behind. Making it worse I have a “Plus” size vehicle, so often times its not the person requesting the ride its one of the many people with them. If I have back to back to back rides for hours, it is very likely I’ll have no idea who’s phone it is when I do find it.

    I used to go out of my way to try and return things. But I was spending more time on Sundays driving around to meet people who were either late to show up, or completely ungrateful, than I did working Saturday night.

    All I do now is gather up anything left when I clean out the car on Sunday mornings and drop it all off at once at the nearest police station. If they want it bad enough they can pick it up there.

  58. All I do now is gather up anything left when I clean out the car on Sunday mornings and drop it all off at once at the nearest police station. If they want it bad enough they can pick it up there.
    great response to those nerds who think they run the world and every one else is there to fix their fuck ups
    out of their pocket. go fuck off snub.

  59. My daughter left her iPhone in an Uber ride in Ann Arbor, MI. She didn’t remember where she’d left it right away but when she did, she tracked it with Find my iPhone and it was clear that the Uber driver had it. It even tracked to the driver’s home (easy information to find online). The driver would not return her calls even though she was offering a $50 reward and costs to return the phone. Her only contact with him was through Uber. They reported that the driver claimed he did not have the phone and there was nothing more they could do. She filed a police report, but police don’t help recover lost phones. Uber’s non-resolution was “they would reconsider this driver’s contract with Uber.”

  60. You pay for what you get. Love Uber and it’s exploitingly low prices, don’t leave anything behind. Leaving valuables in public places in most parts of the world is a losing situation. Personally as a cab driver of seventeen years, I return things for no charge if I’m near by or at my convenience, but if you want it now, you must pay accordingly and I am NOT cheap!

  61. Im a uber driver and someone left a phone in my car but didnt contact me til 3 hours later i live over 100 miles away it is ridiculous to expect driver to return for free it would cost me 30 in gas and 2 hours to bring item back plus anothe 2 hours to het back home as it is drivers spend more than what they make half of the time

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