If You Leave Something In An Uber, You'll Have To Pay To Get It Back

There's no dancing around it: Accidentally leaving something behind in an Uber sucks. From the more commonly forgotten items — keys, phones, and wallets — to the more obscure ones — Nordic walking poles, lobsters, and engagement rings — the moment of realization is never fun.
But it's also not pleasant for the drivers. On average, Uber says that a driver returns 11 lost items each year, all of which is done on their own time. But starting today, that will change. As part of "180 Days Of Change," an initiative Uber launched last month to improve working conditions for its drivers, Uber drivers will be able to charge $15 for the return of forgotten goods. The feature is rolling out now in Boston and Chicago, and will be available nationwide by the end of August.
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Here's how it works: Riders can contact a driver about a lost item by going to Menu > Help > Trip and Fare Review > I lost an item (select the trip in question to see this option) > Contact Driver about the item they're hoping to get back. If the driver has found your item, you can coordinate a meeting spot. After the item has been returned, the driver initiates payment on their end and the rider is contacted by Uber support. You'll have an option to tip, but also the option dispute the charge if you didn't actually get your item back.
Having to pay extra to receive your lost item might seem like a pain, but given that the driver is returning it to you at their own expense — both in gas and time — it's a fair exchange. Plus, it might make you think twice about what is really worth getting back. Forgot a bag of apples, and now have to make an extra grocery run? Sure, that's doable. Getting your locks changed and a whole new set of keys, on the hand, makes $15 well worth it.
This new function follows the introduction of an in-app tipping option. Uber has also added a ratings protection for drivers that will stop penalizing them for factors that were outside of their control.
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