Do Not Leave Anything In A Zipcar Because It May Be Gone Forever

Reader Kate is upset that she left a portable crib in the trunk of her Zipcar and nobody reported it to the lost and found. She realizes its her fault for leaving it there, but she’s upset anyway.

Kate says:

I love Zipcar. My husband and I have used Zipcar for years, and we’ve always been happy with the service. Apparently we just didn’t realize the service’s pitfall: other Zipcar customers.

About a week ago, my husband and I rented a Zipcar to visit a friend in New York City. We have an 11-month-old baby and we took our Pack n Play portable crib with us, in case we needed it. We put it in the trunk of the car, but nothing else was in the trunk of the car.

We didn’t use the portable crib during the visit (and in fact, never took it out of the trunk), and by the time we returned to our apartment, we’d forgotten it was even in the car. We returned the Zipcar to the garage and left the crib in the trunk.

It might seem absurd that it took us so long to realize that it was missing, but we have an actual crib at home, so we only use the PnP for travel. We didn’t realize we didn’t have it until the following weekend, when we needed it for a longer trip. At this point we called Zipcar and learned that we had two courses of action: Go check the car for the item (we did, and it wasn’t there), and report it on Zipcar’s Lost & Found forum (we did that also).

No dice. The crib is gone, and no one has reported it missing. Which means that someone who rented the car after we did took it. Am I the only one who thinks that’s bizarre? This wasn’t a wallet–it was a baby crib. Those things aren’t cheap, and they clearly belong to someone who (surprise!) has a baby. Wouldn’t you at least make a small attempt to return it to someone who probably wants it back?

I realize this is our own fault. We left the crib in the car. And we left it there for nearly a week. But it’s annoying to me that no one tried to return it to us, and Zipcar apparently isn’t allowed to contact previous rental customers to ask them about lost items.

The lesson: Don’t leave anything in your Zipcar, because Zipcar customers are thieves.

We hate to disagree with you, Kate, but from the tone of your letter it seems that you are new at forgetting things. We at Consumerist are not. Being the sort of person who leaves stuff places seems to be some sort of job requirement here.

So, let us draw from our vast, vast, vast experience losing shit and let you know that it is highly unlikely that someone “took” your crib. You see, people use Zipcars to buy groceries and move things. If you left an item in the trunk, there is a very good chance the next person was like, “What the HELL?! I can’t move my crap with this stupid crib in here!” The Zipcar lost and found policy doesn’t really cover things that are too large to fit in the glovebox.

At this point they probably left your crib in the parking lot or threw it in a dumpster. Is this the right thing to do? Who knows. It’s hard to require someone to mind your crib while paying for trunk space for themselves.

So, now that you’ve joined the ranks of the lovable but absentminded, you should realize that when we, the forgetful, leave our crap in someone elses’ space it is a burden on them and we should not expect said people to go out of their way to carry our weight.

Oh, and we would advise you to go back to the parking lot where you got the Zipcar and check the corners and fences and dumpsters in case it’s still there. Ben found his nice dress shoes in a Zipcar parking lot once. They’re still good. True story.