Driving services like Uber and Lyft have become quite a boon for us these days. Having largely replaced old-fashioned taxis and cab services, it has become easier than ever for us to call cars with a tap of our apps and take us to places without ever having to talk to a person (talkative drivers notwithstanding).
But with any form of public transportation, we still have to keep an eye on our belongings.
Despite the many advantages that services like Lyft give us, it hasn't exactly changed the fact that we have to keep a close eye on our personal belongings to avoid forgetting them in the vehicle. The fear of forgetting something in the car and having few resources to try and get it back is still very much with us.
A Lyft driver took off with a customer's pet cat still in the car.
In late September 2023, Palash started tweeting about his harrowing situation in which his Lyft driver took off with his pet cat, Tux, still in the car. According to Palash, he used Lyft to take his furry companion to a vet appointment.
"I got out from the driver side door and started walking to the passenger side door to pick her up," Palash tweeted. "Before I could open the door, the driver started driving. I banged on the back and passenger windows and screamed running behind him, but he drove off."
Thus began a days-long emotional search in which Palash tried everything to get Tux back. From the jump, he reportedly tried contacting the driver, but was limited by the app's messaging allowances. The driver didn't respond for another two hours, and when he did, he claimed to no longer have the cat.
After calling the authorities, Palash did everything he could to get in contact with Lyft support. While they were responsive and expressed a desire to help out with the search, they sent him a message with information on their $20 standard return fee for lost items. As far as we're concerned, a living creature qualifies as more than just a lost "item."
Palash even doubled down on his search, taking to Reddit to broaden his scope in order to find Tux. He provided consistent updates on both platforms, tagging Lyft support channels in tweets constantly for any clues as to Tux's whereabouts. Lyft even posted a blog post to their official site to aid with the search.
After constant searching and posting, Palash thankfully reported some good news. In the early morning of Oct. 2, 2023, Palash confirmed that he was reunited with Tux.
Palash had been in touch with a group of investigators, who reportedly found Tux in a real estate agency building. According to Palash, she was "very tired, covered in fleas, and dehydrated." He subsequently began keeping a closer eye on her as she recovered.
Many folks on the internet, including Palash, came to the conclusion that she was left on the side of the road by the driver. While he was all to relieved to have gotten his pet back, he stated on Reddit that he "[wants revenge now]" on the people who mistreated his cat. On Twitter, he claims that he'll never use Lyft again after they provided little assistance in his search and even posited charging him for the effort.
Distractify reached out to Lyft, who responded with the following statement.
"We’re so happy to report that Tux has been reunited with her owner and we are focused on ensuring Tux has everything she needs right now, including covering all of her veterinary bills. We’ll continue to work directly with Palash to provide the support that they both need. We are actively working with all involved to fully understand the situation — to help prevent it from happening again. We’re evaluating our policies to improve support for our community, including in cases like this."