It’s likely that you, your friend or a friend of a friend has lost something in a Didi during your time in China. If so, you’ve probably heard some kind of a horror story about the driver charging an exorbitant amount of money to return the lost item or simply refusing to meet.
On June 11, Didi requested public opinion in a post on their official Weibo account to put an end to those oftentimes ugly disputes. The ride-hailing company included a link in the post that gave a rundown of the rights and responsibilities of both the passenger and driver in the case of a lost item. Within the next two weeks, Didi is expected to provide an updated plan to ensure better safety and transparency.
Didi has put forth initiatives to improve this aspect of the passenger experience dating back to 2016, with the item recovery rate improving 30% over the last three years. While they’ve had some success, it’s far from perfect.
In their announcement, they noted that during the first three months of 2019, a staggering 419,663 items were claimed to be missing, among them 31.2% were never recovered.
An apparent focus in the company’s new lost and found guidelines is quick response time, encouraging passengers and drivers to contact each other immediately upon realizing an item has been left behind. Didi also plans to categorize items into valuable (RMB2,000 or more) and non-valuable items. The company is telling passengers to call the police if the lost item is deemed valuable. Didi states that they will work with the police once a case is opened.
The lost and found guidelines that Didi put together still puts much of the onus on the passenger and driver to reach an agreement, which we've learned can sometimes yield some ugly results. An expat that lived in Guangzhou last year told us that a Didi driver once charged her RMB100 to meet after she left her keys in his car the previous day.
China Daily reported that Didi is encouraging passengers to pay drivers for the time and travel spent to return the lost items. The question is how much?
Pro tip: always check your seat before you hop out of the car.
[Cover image via @AmosD911/Weibo]