TADA driver demands S$100 'thank you gift' from teacher to return laptop she left behind

"S$10 not enough."

Ruth Chai | May 25, 2023, 07:04 PM

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When a 30-year-old teacher left her work laptop behind on a TADA ride, she contacted the driver — even offering to pay S$10 for his troubles — expecting him to return it.

To her shock, the driver demanded she forks out S$100 as a "thank you gift".

The laptop was eventually returned to a police station after she lodged a police report.

Driver thinks S$10 is not enough for his "inconvenience"

The woman surnamed Zhang, told Shin Min that on May 22, 2023, at around 2pm, she had taken a TADA ride from Paya Lebar to Bishan.

After leaving her ride, she realised she had left her laptop in the car and immediately contacted the driver.

The driver responded that returning the laptop to her would be "inconvenient" and asked for money.

Zhang said she would pay the driver S$10 for his troubles. She also offered to travel to a location convenient to the driver to pick it up.

However, the driver complained that S$10 was not enough.

Asked for S$100 as a "thank you gift"

Zhang tried to gain the driver's sympathy by explaining that she needed her laptop to teach the following day.

However, the driver was unmoved.

Instead, he accessed the laptop and read the files' contents to her.

Zhang became worried as she also had private information on the laptop.

She called the driver twice, but he refused to tell her where he was.

The driver reiterated, "I help you keep your expensive laptop. You should pay me money."

He asked her for a "thank you gift" of S$100 for keeping her laptop "safe".

The driver reassured Zhang that her property would be safe upon collection and to at least "be appreciative".

Zhang had no choice but to lodge a police report.

Laptop has been returned to a police post: TADA

In response to Mothership, TADA explained that Zhang had contacted it at around 4:30pm that day.

TADA followed up with the driver, and the lost item was safely returned to a police post on the same day at around 9pm.

TADA said they also informed Zhang.

TADA highlighted that their app "automatically sends in-app reminders when the ride is close to the destination".

"To avoid unnecessary inconveniences, we also urge our passengers to be extra mindful about leaving their belongings behind on their TADA rides," the company said.

The company also advised drivers to return lost items to the nearest police post, TADA Station at Midview City, or directly to the passenger "if convenient or when agreed".

Top photo via Tada/Facebook and Shin Min