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Lyft Lost and Found: A Guide to Retrieving Your Belongings

Last updated: August 5, 2021
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vector graphic showing a man dropping his phone after exiting a lyft vehicle and having to use Lyft Lost and Found to get it back

Have you ever gotten out of a Lyft and realized as the car was driving away that you forgot something in the backseat?

Rideshare companies like Lyft have sought to make it easier than ever for you to retrieve your lost item.

One of the more gut-wrenching feelings a person can experience is realizing that an item of value – a smartphone, purse, keys, etc. – was left behind in a Lyft vehicle.

Fortunately, the Lyft lost and found system can help coordinate the return of that item.

In this article, we are going to show you everything you need to know about Lyft lost and found.

By the end, you should be able to find lost items without a problem.

An Overview of Lyft Lost and Found

There was a time when leaving personal belongings behind in a cab was almost a guarantee that the item was gone for good.

At best, the return of a lost item from a random cab driver was very slim.

What is Lyft Lost and Found?

Lyft does not have a traditional lost and found system in the sense that there is no central pickup location a passenger can visit, prove the item was theirs and have it returned to them.

Retrieving an item requires coordination between the driver and the passenger.

To facilitate that coordination, Lyft uses a combination of tactics.

The first is the data every Lyft ride collects from a passenger, including:

  • Passenger contact information
  • Driver name and vehicle make
  • Passenger pick up location
  • Where the passenger was dropped off
  • Unscheduled stops made on the way

Essentially, this data can be used as a map to help a passenger locate missing items or provide a starting point for tracking the item down.

The second tactic is using the Lyft App to contact the driver.

If done soon enough, there is a good chance recovering that item can happen very quickly.

A passenger that discovers an item is missing after more than a few hours can use the Lyft App to initiate a forgotten item return procedure.

The passenger should realize, however, that Lyft drivers are independent contractors.

This means they will have to work with the driver to arrange a meeting time and location.

While the driver will be as accommodating as possible, getting the item back quickly will require the passenger to work within the driver’s schedule and may require the passenger to travel to meet the driver.

The other option is to wait until the driver has time to meet at an agreed-upon location.

There is also a fee associated with the return of the item.

For items discovered at the end of a shift, Lyft has an internal process it employs.

The goal of the process is to facilitate the quickest return of a customer’s property as is possible.

When to Use Lyft Lost and Found

vector graphic showing a man dropping his phone after exiting a lyft vehicle and having to use Lyft Lost and Found to get it back

The focus of the Lost and Found process Lyft employs is on the driver and passenger because the company no longer accepts lost items at its hubs.

The driver will have possession of the forgotten item until a return to the passenger can be arranged.

Lyft will only become involved if the passenger and driver cannot agree to a meeting time and location. Even that role, however, is limited.

Lyft as an organization will only facilitate a meeting between the two parties.

It will not hold the property for the owner or return it.

That puts the focus back on driver-passenger cooperation.

So the answer to the question of when to use the Lyft Lost and Found system is whenever a passenger discovers they are missing an item and suspect they left it in a Lyft vehicle.

At that point, the passenger is expected to follow the process.

The first step is for the passenger to input the information regarding the lost item into the Lyft system.

The driver is notified on their mobile phone via text, alerting them that a customer possibly left an item in their vehicle.

Once the forgotten item is found, the driver contacts the passenger.

A third-party app is used for all driver-passenger communications, both in voice and text.

Using that system, both the driver and passenger then arrange a meeting location to retrieve the overlooked item.

Upon delivery of the lost item, the passenger is billed $15 for the driver’s time on their account, so no cash trades hands unless the passenger decides to tip the driver.

After 24 hours, the passenger can contact customer support, fill out a lost item form and work with the customer service reps to arrange the location and return of the item in question.

Do Lyft Drivers Return Lost Items?

The short answer is “yes,” if they locate the item in their vehicle.

The longer answer is still “yes,” but the coordination of the return might require some patience on the part of the passenger.

Once a driver identifies a forgotten item in their vehicle, the passenger and customer can make arrangements to meet to transfer the item back to the passenger.

Any logistics involved in returning the lost item are dependent on the arrangement between the driver and passenger.

The driver is not obligated to alter their schedule and meet the passenger.

If the passenger immediately realizes that they forgot an item, Lyft drivers will usually return very quickly.

Depending on the driver’s plans and their work volume, they might be free as soon as the passenger notifies them that they left an item in their vehicle.

This is not guaranteed, though.

Suppose a passenger discovers they left an item in a Lyft ride after more than a few minutes.

In that case, the driver may return to the destination immediately, but more likely, some coordination will be necessary.

When a driver can’t find an item for several hours, a passenger trying to get a lost item returned should be willing to travel to the driver or meet in a mutually agreed upon location.

If the driver and passenger can’t arrange a meeting, the passenger should contact customer support to manage the meet and return process.

Lyft will not charge the $15 return fee to the passenger until the driver can return the item.

Passengers can also leave a tip in addition to the fee.

Things to Know

There are several specifics every passenger should be aware of when initiating a lost and found process with the Lyft driver.

1. There Will Be a Fee For Using This Service

If the passenger has lost a phone with the number linked to their account or they are unable to contact their driver, the passenger should activate the Lyft App’s “Contact Us” option.

Lyft also encourages passengers that lose phones to contact their insurance carrier or local police if applicable.

As a policy, Lyft will cooperate with any investigation focused on the lost item.

There is a $15 fee that is applied to the passenger’s account but only upon the driver returning the lost item.

However, Lyft Pink members do not have to pay this fee.

A passenger can provide an extra tip for a driver for the driver’s time returning their lost item, but Lyft will not apply the tip to the $15 lost and found fee.

Additionally, prior tips cannot be applied to that fee.

2. Lyft Is Not Responsible For Lost Or Stolen Items

Lyft is not responsible for lost or stolen items and does not carry insurance for passengers’ items.

If an item is lost permanently, no reimbursement for an item is available.

For lost items involving the police, the passenger should also access and fill out the Law Enforcement Requests page located on Lyft’s website.

Upon clicking on that button, the passenger will receive a prompt to leave a written message for customer support personnel.

Passengers should include their best contact number.

Lyft will cooperate with any investigation by local authorities within legal parameters.

This includes protecting privacy rights as well as rights associated with law enforcement investigations.

How To Use Lyft Lost and Found As a Rider

vector graphic showing a man dropping his phone after exiting a lyft vehicle and having to use Lyft Lost and Found to get it back

As soon as a passenger discovers a lost item, they should use the Lyft app to notify the driver.

They should include a description of the item in their message.

The passenger should also include any information to help the driver identify who they are and the ride when the passenger forgot the item.

If the passenger does not discover they are missing an item for a few hours, they should still use the Lyft app and try and coordinate a pickup with the driver.

In some situations, that meeting might not be possible.

When that is the case, the passenger should contact Lyft customer support directly through their app or website.

Customer support will help coordinate the meeting between the driver and the passenger.

How to Use Lyft Lost and Found as a Driver

vector illustration that indicates the answer to the question does lyft take cash

1. If You Notice an Item Before Contacted By the Rider

Drivers should contact the passenger via the Lyft communications system and arrange for the item’s return.

If a driver discovers a lost item, they can log a report in the Lyft system.

To do that, the driver should go to “Report Found Item” and select the ride in question. Lyft will contact the passenger.

The driver should input the following data into the Lyft system:

  • Item description
  • Passenger’s name
  • Specific ride pickup and drop-off locations
  • Time and date of ride
  • Permission for the passenger to contact the driver

Lyft does not provide holding services for lost items.

If a driver and passenger cannot arrange a meeting, the driver should contact customer support.

2. If the Rider Contact You Before You Notice an Item

If the rider contacts the driver before the driver discovers an item left behind, the Lyft system will arrange for a phone call or text.

Upon notification of a lost item, the driver should then inspect their vehicle to locate the item.

Once the item is found, the driver should contact the passenger.

If the driver cannot locate an item, they should contact customer support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I contact Lyft if I lost my phone?

Yes.

The simplest way is to use the Lyft website to log in a lost item or click on the Contact Us button.

It is also advisable to contact the appropriate insurance carrier for extremely valuable items like a smartphone.

A passenger can also initiate direct contact with Lyft customer support at the following phone number: 1 (855) 865-9553

Is Lyft customer service open 24/7?

The Contact Us system requires the passenger to leave a detailed message with a lost item description and the ride details.

The driver will be contacted by Lyft customer support as soon as possible, and the system will flag the customer ride account with a Lost Item tag that the driver sees when they check their smartphone (iPhone or Android) app or laptop.

Are Lyft drivers responsible for lost items?

No.

Per Lyft’s terms, neither Lyft hubs nor Lyft drivers are responsible or insured for lost items.

A passenger is encouraged to contact their insurance carrier and fill out the proper paperwork for a claim if an item is lost, and when applicable, to fill out a police report.

Still looking to learn more about Lyft lost and found?

Below are some of the questions most frequently asked about the program.

I am a Lyft Pink member. Do I need to pay a return fee?

No, Lyft Pink members  are not charged return fees.

This is one of the perks of membership.

If you tend to lose things frequently, the membership may be worthwhile.

Why am I having trouble getting in touch with my driver?

Lyft specifies that its drivers operate as independent contractors and are in no way obligated to remain in direct contact with the company.

So, the driver has no binding obligation to answer your requests to return a lost item.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, you are out of luck.

Lyft does not insure, reimburse, or replace any missing items.

My driver is not responsive. Are you sure there’s nothing else I can do?

If you are having trouble finding a missing item, Lyft recommends that you contact your local authorities.

If you have lost something that contains personal information — such as a cell phone — you may need to file a police report.

If the local authorities reach out to Lyft, the company will do everything it can to assist in locating the item.

I don’t want to meet my driver. How does mailing work?

Lyft does not protect against shipping times or delays when mailing lost items, specifying that shipping will likely take longer than an in-person return.

The company provides its drivers with everything they need to send the product to you.

Lyft will automatically charge the card you have on file.

You will still be charged the $15 return fee, since the driver is taking time to package the missing item and drop it off with a carrier.

I paid my driver in cash. Why am I still being charged a return fee?

Return fees are a standard at Lyft.

The $15 that you are charged goes directly to the driver.

The only way you can avoid having to pay this fee is if you are a Lyft Pink member.

Anything you give the driver in cash comes as an addition to, and not a substitute for, the return fee.

I also tend to take a lot of Ubers. Does Uber also have a lost and found program?

Yes, there is an Uber lost and found protocol as well.

The process of contacting your Uber driver to retrieve an item is very similar to the process of doing so on Lyft.

Wrapping Up

Losing an item is never fun, but recovery can usually be quick with Lyft customer service and the lost and found system.

By following the directions on the Lyft App, the passenger can contact and meet up with the driver in a timely manner.

For more information on the Lyft lost and found policy, the Lyft help center, or other information on Lyft services, contact Ridester.com.

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