Highway Robbery: Uber Now Charging for Lost Item Returns

A $15 surcharge for your own property? We call that extortion.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever absentmindedly left something behind in the back of a taxi or Uber, Philadelphia. I’ll bet a fair share of us, myself included, answered in the affirmative.

But get this – Uber is now charging riders $15 for each item returned to them by its drivers. That’s highway robbery. Literally. Come to think of it, this is really more like extortion in the two-bit Mafioso sense.

And that’s not all: the San Francisco-based company actually had the stones to tell its drivers in an email that riders would actually considering tipping on top of this blatant theft!

If you expected that slight to be the last of it, you clearly don’t know how wiseguys like Uber operate. They also have set up a 24/7 call center to take driver support, but customers are still left in the Stone Age emailing complaints.

I recently just randomly just got two weeks of 50 percent off on Uber rides and had no idea what it was for. Now I get it. It must’ve been a little “sorry we’re going to start sucking in a few weeks” thing. Alright then.

A corporate email written to Uber’s contractors states that the changes were made in response to feedback the company received from their “180 Days of Change” for drivers.

Craig Ewer, Uber’s communications chief for PA-NJ-DE, tells Philly Mag that the $15 goes directly from the riders to the drivers, who return an average of 11 items a year. The company takes no commission.

The bill for returning items as a kindness shouldn’t come out of drivers’ pockets, of course. If Uber were to cover this nominal fee as a courtesy to their customers, I’m sure this nicety would be repaid by a nice tip for helpful drivers. Just a thought.

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