As much of a hassle as it is for a rider who forgets something in an Uber car, the annoyance is double for the driver who has to waste time returning it…time that could otherwise be spent earning money, or at the least, not wasting gas due to someone’s simple mistake. Drivers have been vocal about this and Uber is finally listening. As a result, you’re going to have to pay from now on to get your forgotten items back.
It’s easy to forget something in an Uber car, particularly if you take the driver up on their offer to plug your phone in to charge (or, you know, if you’re drunk). Up until now, getting your forgotten item back meant contacting the driver and arranging a pickup location and time for the driver to bring your item back. It’d be best in that situation to tip the driver for their time and gas, but not everyone does.
Drivers have been notified via email that they will be receiving a $15 flat rate payment now when they have to return a forgotten item to a rider. That ensures the driver gets compensated for their time and gas, and may help encourage riders to double-check their belongings before getting out.
Uber’s help page about this new fee says that it is instituted in ‘some’ US cities, though it sounds like it will be rolling out everywhere eventually. Uber explains to riders, ‘Drivers are independent contractors and this is to compensate for their time. The entire fee is passed onto the driver.’ Uber is also advising riders that they need to be considerate of the driver’s own schedule and the fact that they may not get back immediately.
The move appears to be part of Uber’s ongoing effort to address some of the many complaints drivers have against it. Another example of Uber’s increased attention to drivers’ issues was the recent addition of an in-app tipping option introduced in 100 cities, making it easier for riders to toss their driver a few bucks.