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Uber is a handy way to get around town. With thousands of drivers operating in cities across the world, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a ride. The large supply of drivers, however, can create problems if you happen to misplace an item in your Uber ride. What are you to do if you lose an item during your trip with Uber? What steps can you take to get it back?
In this post, we’ll take a look at how to recover Uber lost and found items, including what you can do to maximize your chances of getting the driver to return the important things you’ve lost.
- How to Report Uber Lost Items
- Lost Items: What Are Uber Drivers’ Obligations?
- How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting an Item Returned
If You Can Imagine It, Uber Riders Have Lost It
Forgetful riders never cease to amaze when it comes to the things they’ve managed to lose while riding with Uber. According to the Uber Lost and Found Index, passengers have lost some pretty strange things. Here are some of the strangest (and most concerning):
- Gold grills
- Leaf blower
- Flat screen TV
- Emoji lunch box
- Hair extensions
- Mario doll
- Minnie Mouse light
- Marriage certificate
- College diploma
- Nintendo 64
- Bulletproof vest
- French bulldog statues
- Rhinestone mask
- Kevin Durant jersey
- Feather headband
- Tax returns
- Mouse light-up ears
- 1.3 carat round diamond
- Burger King visor
- Dead Sea mud
- Divorce papers
The most common things people forget in Uber rides, on the other hand, are not as surprising:
- ID/Drivers License
The pain and frustration of losing something in an Uber vehicle are great no matter what it is you’ve lost. So what steps can you take to get the lost item back?
How to Report Uber Lost Items
To get help with lost items, you first need to report the item as lost. To do this, you’ll need to follow these steps:
First, open the Uber app, go to the menu, and tap on “Your Trips”:
Then, select the trip where you lost the item from the list of past trips:
Scroll down till you see the option that says “I lost an item.” Tap on this option:
To inform the driver you lost the item, tap “Contact driver about a lost item”:
From there, you’ll need to read Uber’s various disclaimers about lost items (which we’ll discuss below). Once you’ve read the disclaimer, enter your personal phone number into the field (or a friend’s mobile number if you’ve lost your phone) and tap “Submit”:
You can now attempt to contact your Uber driver about the lost item, leaving them a message if they don’t pick up when you call.
Lost Items: What Are Uber Drivers’ Obligations?
While you’d like to think that every driver would return lost items to you, this isn’t the reality of the world we live in. There are a variety of reasons for this. To start, your Uber driver may not know that you’ve lost the item to begin with. It could be buried somewhere between their back seats, or another rider after you may have taken the item.
Beyond that, the driver is under no legal obligation to return the item to you. Uber drivers are independent contractors, meaning Uber does not directly pay them for their time. Any time they spend trying to give an item back to you is time they could be spending giving more rides and earning fares.
To help compensate for this issue, Uber has instituted a policy in which all passengers must pay a flat $15 fee for the return of lost items. This fee goes entirely to the driver, helping to pay them for their time. Still, the fee might not be enough to make it worth it for some drivers to meet up with you.
Finally, not all drivers are honest. This is a sad reality, and there’s not much you can do about it. A driver could decide to take whatever you’ve left and deny knowing anything about it, especially if it’s a valuable item such as a lost phone. This is the least likely reason you might not get an item back, but it can happen.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting an Item Returned
Even though there’s no guarantee you’ll get your items back, there are steps you can take to increase the chances of a driver returning it.
To start, you should do everything you can to accommodate the driver’s schedule. In an ideal world, you and the driver would find a mutually convenient time for you to get the item back. In practice, however, the driver may not be interested in working around your personal schedule. Whatever you can do to decrease the amount of time it takes to return your item, you should do.
Beyond the amount of time it takes the driver, there’s another way you can increase your chances of getting the item back: offer a reward. Sure, Uber does already require you to pay $15, but this will hardly cover the cost of going to meet you somewhere while the driver isn’t working.
It’s better to offer the driver an additional cash reward for returning your item. How much you want to offer is up to you — it depends on the item’s monetary and sentimental value. But you should make it enough that it’s compelling for the driver.
Turn Lost Into Found
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to get back items you lost during an Uber ride. Remember that you can also report trip issues to Uber customer service, though you should save that as a last resort for after you’ve tried all other possible ways of getting your item back. Did you lose an item in a Lyft ride? Learn how to get it back with our guide to Lyft Lost and Found.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.