1. UberPeople.NET - Independent community of rideshare drivers. It's FREE to be a person and enjoy all the benefits of membership. JOIN US! CLICK HERE

How To Handle A Lost Cell Phone

Discussion in 'Toronto' started by Kurt Halfyard, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    This article is intended for discussion on the minutiae of a situation that is bound to happen (often) to any regular Uber/Lyft Driver. While it happened in Toronto, Canada, it's a pretty universal experience in any market, and it is elaborated in full to foster discussion.

    Last night I got a ping that took me to Milton (A small bedroom community just outside of Toronto) at ~1 am. This is not the best place to get dragged to on a Saturday Night, but the PAX was one of my regulars (I have picked her up from her house on 3 or 4 occasions in the past) so off we went.

    While plugging my car into the Tim Hortons free EV charger and and taking a bathroom break and enjoying a hot tea, I was surprised to get a ping in the neighborhood so quickly. Off I went to a cluster of low-rise apartments a few minutes away.

    A young woman, L-----, hops in my car, both ready and waiting at the front entrance with a spring in her step (this is good). Immediately, after confirming her name and destination, I see that I was mistaken, and she was actually quite drunk (less good). After asking if she is OK, or if she wants a bag, just in case highway driving might make her queasy, or the window open a crack, she assures me that she is not sick, just tired, and is going to take a nap as we drive all the way to Etobicoke (A Toronto Suburb two towns over from Milton) on the 401 freeway (35km away). She is out in 2 minutes, leaning on the window.

    She wakes up a few minutes before we arrive at her condo apartment, and gives me instructions on which entrance to drop her off. She appears to have sobered up a fair bit. She thanks me and walks into the front lobby.

    I usually do a quick scan of the back-seat, but this time I was making sure she didn't fall down or hurt herself, and in this case, I did not check until after she had made it into the building.

    I see she accidentally left her iPhone in the back seat of my vehicle.

    I grab the phone, throw on the 4-way flashers, and run to the front entrance in the hopes of catching her before she gets into the elevator. There is a group of ladies waiting for another Uber. I ask them if the building has a concierge. It does not. I ask them if they saw the girl that came in, or know her. They do not know her, or which apartment she lives in. I am out of options. But I do wait in my car at the entrance of the building, and hope she will discover she is absent her phone, and come down for a look.

    After 7-8 minutes and no sign of L-----, I get another ping, so off I go. After dropping the next PAX off (4km SHARED ride, no match, $4.92...) I call LYFT and ask them what to do about lost phone, as normally PAX would get notification of lost item ON THEIR PHONE via the APP.

    I ask if LYFT has an email address or LAND-line they can inform the young woman that she lost her device in my car, and I offer to 'open up' my contact information so that she can call/text me directly going forward.

    At 3am (actually 2am with daylight savings time change, but still far after my bed time), I get a call from, L-----. I am currently chilling with a beer in my living room reading my book while winding down my evening. She asks me if I can drive her phone back to Etobicoke, ~26km from my house.

    I tell her this is at least a 25 minute drive for me (each way...) and I am done for the night. Sorry. I tell her I will text her friend's phone with various options the following day.

    image1.png


    Her friend texts me back the next morning saying they are fine with Option #2. But could they drop it at a house near Woodbine? (This is a community just north of the Airport, and about 5 additional kilometers from the original Condo/Apartment Etobicoke drop off the previous night.)

    IMG_6396-edit.png

    As I am driving to Woodbine, I get a call from L------ saying she doesn't have any cash, and do I take debit? (Seriously. As if, what, I'm retail? But I digress...)

    I tell her, that she can leave a $40 tip in the App, and I will happily do this for her if she does not know how to do so, if she will unlock her phone before I hand it back.

    She agrees.

    Now I am thinking: How will this play out? If she tries to grab the phone, or comes out with a few friends, what is the protocol here? If there is any funny business or conflict, I plan on asking her to give me her unlock-code through the car window, and she can change her unlock code afterwards. I'm not going to hand her her phone back and trust that she will honour our agreement, but I am also not driving to her at my convenience for 'nothing.' She was not able (for obvious reasons, not having her phone) to enter 'LOST ITEM' into the APP, because she left her phone, so there is not even a guarantee that LYFT will give me the $15 RETURN ITEM FEE.

    It all quickly becomes moot. As I drive up the house (not another Condo/Apartment in this case) near Woodbine. She comes out by herself. She unlocks her phone while it is in my hand.

    I go into the App and put in a 5* rating, a $40 tip, and an explanation in the comment sections that she is willing to pay $40 tip and the $15 found item fee. She agrees to this when I show her. I hit OK.

    I tell her the most important thing is that she got home safely on the previous night. I drive off, and carry on with my personal day of shopping, cooking, and generally doing things NOT related to ride-share, as per my regular Sunday. (Although I do log the 50+km of driving there and back in my ride-share mileage logbook) under return-item delivery. (This is for Canadian/Ontario tax purposes down the road).

    IMG_6400.PNG

    Now, when I was putting in the tip in the app, I did make the oversight of not keying in LOST ITEM in the LYFT app on her phone. I call LYFT customer service, and tell them that this was agreed to, and put into the APP, (And that they already had a record on file from the previous night). They quickly bonus me out the $15. I ask them to send me an email .

    $15 appears in my 'LYFT bonus dumping zone' in about 20 minutes. (No follow up email though...Alas, I like to keep good electronic records of all my customer service interactions.)
    L-lostphone.jpg

    So, no craziness, and perhaps a bit anti-climactic, I did receive CAN$55 additional compensation for my troubles. Pax was delivered comfortably and safely when she was intoxicated, and traveling solo (i.e. the main purpose of RIDE-SHARE late at night).

    Pax was also pro-actively communicated via LYFT Customer Service (via me calling them and explaining situation) that her phone was not LOST, but rather LEFT in my car. The item was then returned at the location of L-----'s choosing within 24 hours.

    What did I do WRONG?
    What did I do RIGHT?

    Comments welcome.
     
    Uberring, Uberchampion, hooj and 5 others like this.
  2. Ashoor

    Ashoor

    Location:
    Vaughan
    I think this is a textbook example of how to return a lost phone. Only problem is, not all riders may be this understanding and cooperative. For example, if it was a guy, they may have brought a group of friends with them.
     
  3. Very nice thought
     
    METRO3 likes this.
  4. METRO3

    METRO3

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    I know right? Kurt seriously go do something else. U work two jobs and waste whatever free time on here writing these lengthy posts. It's one thing to come on here and write a quick response but to write a whole story. U could have simply said u got $40 for returning an iPhone as a tip plus the return fee to a drunk woman.

    Also wtf 55$ isn't that a big of an ******* thing to do? Mr EV? Ur time is not wroth $55.
    Where was option 4 ull drop it off at her place when a pax takes u near her place?
     
  5. Now he will boast that free Ev and ****. Cost him 0$.
     
  6. Chaisomosa

    Chaisomosa

    Location:
    Toronto
    I read the whole thing just in a hope of any climax in this story.......
    Like metro3 said... its a story of "i returned the phone and got $40"
     
  7. Weekend Warrior

    Weekend Warrior

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    UberSELECT
    I would have charged the same to return the phone to her residence, but I drive a Q5. I would say $40 would be reasonable for an EV. Good for you for getting that though!
     
    hooj, i_k and Worstdriverever like this.
  8. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Wait, isn't this what the forum is for? Really? Isn't it?

    Well. That went well. Why so ANGRY?

    I like to write. There was a fair number of 'decisions' and 'risks' in solving this particular issue. I thought people might have something more constructive to add or discuss.

    On the subject of $55: This is half the reason for this post. Was that too much? I'm driving 60km (yes, it only cost me a $1 in fuel) but my Sunday afternoon is my grocery/cooking/chill day, so If I'm taking an hour to return a phone, that is the cost. I gave the PAX options, they can come to me, or I can go to police station and leave item. The theoretical 'option 4' I was not down with. I'm never in that area, and I'm not going to be carrying a phone on me, and then the hassle of finding someone when the opportunity presented itself (I was driving by or whatever) in real time and co-ordinating with them is frankly, not worth my time.

    This happened to me on College St. about 3 weeks ago, dude left his phone in my car. But his wife ordered the ride, and could contact me via the APP, and I politely asked a bunch of girls on an X-ride, if they minded if we stopped by the intersection and passed the phone out the window to the PAX as I happened to be driving by and managed to get hold of the dude, and he was waiting on the corner at the red light. That worked out (and had a happy ending -> only a $15 lost item return fee for him), but I drive regularly at College/Ossington, so I was far more likely to make it work out.


    Apparently you guys are cynical.
    [​IMG]


    I dunno, maybe 15 minutes? 20 max. This stuff isn't rocket science, and I happen to enjoy writing about things. Maybe someone will find this useful, I imagine 'lost phones' is a pretty common thing in Rideshare.

    THE REAL QUESTION: What is the value of WorstdrivereverWorstdriverever coming in and sniping all the time? Where exactly is the high value return on your investment? Seriously dude. I am sorry (not really sorry) your life is so miserable that you have to come and smack people in a forum on all things, 'for wasting time.' What value are you adding, exactly? Sheesh.
     
    Ashoor likes this.
  9. I don't think so there was need to write an essay. Be brief. To the point. Thanks
     
  10. i_k

    i_k

    Location:
    Toronto
    Don’t mind the haters. I like the fact that you wrote a well written and informative post on how to handle a situation like that. We don’t see much of that in this forum. The fact that it ended with both parties happy is a bonus; usually either the driver or the rider ends up dissatisfied. Good on you..
     
  11. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    Thanks. Much appreciated. WorstDriver was really grinding my gears. Nice to see some positivity here! (And this is coming from a crusty cynic, which is me most of the time...)

    In SHORT: The last 3 months, my mantra has been:

    1) Be Polite
    2) Be Firm.
    3) Be Transparent.

    It is the only way to make sure everyone is on the same page. Obviously, being confrontational with drunk people is not good, but for the just plain entitled PAX (and there are a lot of them), being nice, but not a push over, and clearly communicating boundaries/rules, seems to be the best way. (And in spite of all this, my rating sits at 4.98, without cancelling rides of entitled pax, just showing them that there are some boundaries and expected limits/behaviours in the gig.)
     
  12. MUGATS

    MUGATS Moderator

    Location:
    Hamilton
    Driving:
    UberX
    He has zero value. And won’t be missed.
     
    ryan137 and Kurt Halfyard like this.
  13. Ashoor

    Ashoor

    Location:
    Vaughan
    There is a reason Kurt has been promoted to be a mod without ever asking for it. Posts like these. Quality. Informative and very helpful. UP should be thankful for people like him.
     
    Kurt Halfyard likes this.
  14. Underground

    Underground

    Location:
    Toronto
    Lol sorry Kurt HalfyardKurt Halfyard

    The comment section much more interesting than the story!

    One of the reasons I like this forum. Cheers
     
    METRO3, trickynikki and Kurt Halfyard like this.
  15. i_k

    i_k

    Location:
    Toronto
    Even if they were to ding your rating it would be well worth it. Showing them how we properly conduct our business is a teaching point and better than just cancelling on them without correcting them. I’m glad you (and other good rideshare drivers) have the discipline and patience for that..
     
    Ashoor and Kurt Halfyard like this.
  16. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    The lord shall provideth! Glad to be at least the catalyst here. Cheers.
     
    Underground likes this.
  17. WillC

    WillC

    Location:
    Toronto
    I drive in different areas of GTA, trips with shorter pick up and drop off distance, regular is not common due to drivers saturation. If this happens in my areas, I would just drop it off to a police station of my convenience. Drunk, female pax & asking extra to return an item does sound very risky for false accusations.

    The way requires her to unlock and letting you put all the rating, tipping and commenting does sound somewhat ransom though.
     
    Santa, METRO3 and Kurt Halfyard like this.
  18. Aky56

    Aky56

    Location:
    Vaughn

    Thanks ! Useful information and experience you shared there.
     
  19. Kurt Halfyard

    Kurt Halfyard Moderator Author

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    This was a valid concern I had. Initially, I was asking for cash$, but when she called me and asked, "do you take debit?" This seemed like a reasonable compromise. The reason why I did it, was my concern after driving 25 minutes (each way) to drop her phone off to her, that if I just let her on faith put in the $40, there is a 95% chance that she would just walk off with the phone, and I'd be stiffed out of my time and effort to return her property to her.

    Frankly, I still have a concern that PAX could go into the ride, and edit out the TIP retro-actively. It hasn't happened yet. But that is why I logged everything with LYFT, and got a solid paper trail (not to mention, dash cam footage of the entire incident).

    But you are right: the POLICE STATION drop would probably be the least hassle method. The 'nice guy' option ($40+$15 aside) was ME GIVING HER OPTIONS.
     
    ryan137 likes this.
  20. METRO3

    METRO3

    Location:
    Toronto
    Driving:
    Lyft
    I'm sorry but you took advantage of her. Yes 55$ is high for a phone return. $25-30 thats reasonable. You and I barely ever go beyond that in any given hour. Plus you knew full well it would cost you next to nothing. I'd be pissed if it was me who left the phone in your car. How is no one else bothered by the amount? oh i know cuz your all "uber" drivers (all about screwing the pax so you can make more money)

    hell if you left it at the $40 tip that is reasonable too. but to go after extra $15 is a bit greedy.
     
    trickynikki likes this.

Share This Page