The most common item passengers have accidentally left in my car is their cell phone. But so far, people have also left their wallets, hats, sunglasses, and lipstick.
When a passenger leaves an item in your car the Uber app has a Lost and Found feature that allows you to report the lost item and also contact the owner. However, there’s currently a bug in their system and I’ve never been able to place the phone call to the owners of the items. I always get an error message telling me that I’ve placed too many calls and to try again later. Which is obviously a bug because the system has always given me this same error message preventing me from being able to make any calls when an item is left behind.
The Uber app does provide other ways to reach out to the passengers who’ve left items behind but it’s a cumbersome process and it’s never worked for me yet.
Uber encourages drivers to return lost items to their owners by offering a financial incentive to do so. For example if you successfully return a lost wallet to the owner, Uber will pay you $25. But in order for this to happen, the passenger has to report the retrieval to Uber which is highly unlikely to happen in my experience.
During my first week of Uber driving, a passenger left his wallet in my car but since I couldn’t contact him through the app, I had to do a little detective work to find the guy. I basically googled his home address since his drivers license was in the wallet and luckily the guy was a residential building contractor so he had his business listed at his home address along with phone number.
When I finally met up with him to give him his wallet, he gave me a $20 cash tip and was super grateful. Not that I didn’t appreciate the tip, but considering he would have had to cancel like ten credit cards and get new ID’s etc, and the fact that by the time I realized he had left his wallet in my car, I was already almost an hour drive away from him so I had to waste over an hour of my time, while not taking any new rides, to take the wallet to him. So the smart, or most profitable, thing to have done was probably wait until I was done driving for the day and then ask the guy to come and meet me at my convenience which anyone would gladly do to get their wallet back. Or I could have simply offered to mail it to him.
I did consider these options at the time but I put myself in his shoes and thought about what I would have wanted to happen if it were me that left my wallet in an Uber. So I decided to simply try my best to get the wallet back to him as quickly as possible.
That’s been the only time I was able to successfully return a lost item to its owner because of the bug in the Uber app….so I have a small collection of items people have left behind in case they decide to respond to the messages I’ve sent them through the app about their lost things. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these things or how long I’m going to hold on to them, but at this point I’m not too worried about it.