This is a recent situation, just before I went travelling where a pax left their 'phone in my car. I had dropped them off at a major hotel in the guts of the city and was on another trip to an inner city suburb, perhaps 15 minutes from where I dropped them. I didn't even realise that the phone had been left in my car and was alerted to it by my next lucky rider. I thought the strange sound was coming from my rider's phone but she indicated the 'lost' phone on the rear floor.
I dropped my current rider off and the 'lost' phone had a message on the screen to call the number of what turned out to be the owner's boyfriend. The text conversation is below, but it is worthwhile mentioning a couple of points. This young couple were staying at the Ibis hotel, a lot more than a couple of steps up from a backpackers hostel. They expected me to return the 'phone for petrol money which would have been insulting at less than $5. They then blew it by indicating some urgency with "my phone have important information and my university code".
I considered this to be ridiculous, so I made an outrageous counter offer. The boyfriend came back doubly quick with an offer of $50.
This was perhaps equivalent to more than a 10X surge in cash for this 10 minute trip. The boyfriend shook my hand and handed me the $50 note. The girl was so grateful she gave me a hug.
The guy is probably still talking about the 'bargain' he got when he only had to pay $50 for the return of his girlfriend's phone. The last two messages were exchanged after the handover. This was a good transaction and everybody walked away happy.
WiJG, I seriously need you to be my Item Return agent, please. I've never been able to do that slick bargaining thing.
Even when a young Brisbane Bears rookie left his wallet in my car and I hiked in the next day to drop it off at Melb Uni.
And when you do the night-running, drunkabandoned phones are almost like rear seat accessories. Have all these comments saying what a lovely person I am for returning their phones... but you can't really bank comments can you...?