Weekly Round-Up: Holiday Returns Made Easy With Uber Return Package Feature

Now that the holidays are winding down, consumers are going to be scrambling to return presents.

Uber has made this process easier with its new “return a package” feature.

Join Paula as she uncovers the latest news in the delivery and rideshare industry.

Uber, DoorDash Help Holiday Shoppers Return Unwanted Items


Watch the overview video in the above article!

My Take

Returning packages, especially around the holidays, is always such a pain in the butt. I’m glad Uber and others have hopped on board for this kind of feature. I hate going into stores to shop, and returns are always 10X worse.

I am a happy camper if I can return unwanted gifts without stepping foot in a retail store.

Learn more about DoorDash’s package pickup and returns feature in our RSG article here.

Uber Driver Saves Christmas By Returning $8,000 Cash A 16-Year-Old Left In His Car


When you’re a rideshare driver, passengers leave a lot of things in your back seat. According to Uber, the most common items left in vehicles in 2023 were clothing, phones, backpacks and purses, wallets, headphones, jewelry, keys, books, laptops, and watches.

Uber Driver Saves Christmas By Returning $8,000 Cash A 16-Year-Old Left In His Car
Uber Driver Saves Christmas By Returning $8,000 Cash A 16-Year-Old Left In His Car.

The strangest things left in Ubers in 2023 were a Danny DeVito Christmas ornament, a toy poodle, and a fog machine. The rideshare company also notes that the most forgetful cities in the United States are Jacksonville, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Palm Springs, California; Houston, Texas; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

As reported by WVTM13, Esbon Kamau, an Uber driver in Alabama and father of 5, may have seen the most eye-popping thing left in a car in 2023: $8,000 cash. How he handled it has to make him one of America’s most honest Uber drivers.

My Take

That is quite an honest Uber driver to return that much cash. I know several drivers who would have kept it just for the reason that passengers should be checking for their belongings before leaving the vehicle.

Also, it tends to be a pain point for drivers to try to hunt down their passengers after the fact. I know I’ve tried it before and had to arrange a drop-off, or I’ve had to drop off at the hub before, and the passenger doesn’t ever like that option. Plus, the payout for returning items rarely covers the time and gas that it takes to actually complete it.

What would you have done in this driver’s situation? Would you have kept the cash, or would you have done your best to return it?

Uber, Lyft Drivers Hold Hours-Long Protest At Atlanta Airport


Rideshare drivers for Uber and Lyft held a protest at the Atlanta airport on Saturday, disturbing travel during one of the busiest holiday travel periods to demand better pay.


The drivers shut off their apps at 4 p.m. and remained parked for several hours at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to disrupt holiday travel, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.

“As long as we protest, passengers will continue to be stranded, and maybe that will make an impact,” one driver told FOX Atlanta.

The protest was intended to send a message to the rideshare companies that drivers deserve higher wages, as drivers claim they are enough per ride.

My Take

Of all the times to stage a protest, the holiday season would likely have the biggest impact and definitely frustrate stranded passengers the most.

Of course, the main issue the drivers are trying to address is low pay. Uber, Lyft, and other platforms have famously reduced the amount they are paying drivers while charging passengers more. This is how the companies are starting to make an actual profit.

Chris Gerace and Sergio Avedian addressed the issue of Uber’s share of driver earnings in their latest Show Me The Money Club (SMTMC) video on YouTube.


The First EV With A Lithium-Free Sodium Battery Hits The Road In January


JAC Motors, a Volkswagen-backed Chinese automaker, is set to launch the first mass-produced electric vehicle (EV) with a sodium-ion battery through its new Yiwei brand. Although sodium-ion battery tech has a lower density (and is less mature) than lithium-ion, its lower costs, more abundant supplies, and superior cold-weather performance could help accelerate mass EV adoption. CarNewsChina reports that the JAC Yiwei EV hatchback deliveries will begin in January.

Yiwei is a new brand in 2023 for JAC. Volkswagen has a 75 percent stake in (and management control of) JAC and owns 50 percent of JAC’s parent company, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holdings (JAG). The Chinese government owns the other half of JAG, making for one of the auto industry’s stranger pairings.

My Take

Keep up with the latest EV news on RSG’s EV Facebook group.

As the world of EVs evolves, more options will become available, making EVs an option consumers may consider for future purchases. We want longer-lasting batteries and ones that are easier to mass produce, hopefully making them more affordable as well.

The Year Food-Delivery Prices Went Insane Your Go-To Chipotle Order Cost Double? Blame The Apps


It’s so easy, isn’t it? Picture this: It’s Friday. You’re hungry, too tired to cook, and three stops from home on the commute back from work.

DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub: In the time it takes the subway car to enter and exit the station, you could open any one of those apps and scroll through the menus of a variety of restaurants. Pad Thai sounds good — buy.

The door buzzes just minutes after settling onto the couch. There, finally, is dinner.

For all but the newest New Yorkers, the price of delivery was a mere tip at one time. Even before the app age, extra fees for en-route foods were for lesser cities, your D.C.s, and the like.

Either way, somebody paid for this intricate swing time of orders, cooks, packagers, and couriers — but not the customer.

That is decidedly not the case in 2023, when everybody seemed to notice that getting food delivered was an absolute rip-off.

My Take

The fees are out of control, in my opinion. I don’t want my order to almost double in cost just for the convenience of not getting out of bed until the food arrives at my door. Most places I want food from have drive-thrus so I would be more likely to go through the drive-thru in my pajamas than pay extra to get it delivered. And I know a lot of people are starting to feel that way.

With inflation through the roof and the general cost of food going up, fewer and fewer people will be willing to pay extra (including fees and having to tip their drivers) for delivery versus just getting the food themselves.

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