Start keeping better track of what you leave in your Uber, or else it’ll cost you.
Rideshare giant Uber announced a new $15 delivery fee for drivers who return a forgotten item. Though costly for absent-minded riders, the move is a win for drivers who waste time and money returning lost items. A driver returns 11 items a year on average, according to the company.
“I hate when passengers leave something in my car because often it means going far out of my way to get it back to them,” said driver Harry Campbell, known to many as The Rideshare Guy from his blog of the same name, in an e-mail newsletter. “I get there, hand over their stuff and receive no tip. To be fair though, I usually get a good tip for returning lost phones but there have been times I didn’t and it sucked.”
The new fee is part of a series of ways Uber’s improving driver experience, part of its “180 Days of Change” attempt to get drivers to forget all the terrible things it has done to them, like not providing benefits, keeping them from unionizing, forgetting to pay them and even yelling at them. Including the delivery fee, Uber announced a 24/7 support hotline and a improvements to driver ratings Tuesday afternoon.
Uber’s in the midst of a massive PR nightmare of sexual harassment lawsuits, intellectual property theft allegations, and mass exodus of executives galore. Internal problems may have attributed to this year’s declining driver retention rate TechCrunch reported on last month. Lyft is reaping some of the benefits of its rival’s company catastrophe, but Uber still has 77 percent of the ride-hailing market share according to The Verge.
Fifteen dollars for delivering a lost iPhone will probably not be enough to fix years of driver mistreatment, but they’re trying. Right?