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Toronto chef goes on customer service rollercoaster after Uber threw out his $3,000 knives

Toronto chef goes on customer service rollercoaster after Uber threw out his $3,000 knives

Uber has agreed to compensate a Toronto chef after it threw out an expensive set of knives he mistakenly left in one of its cars.

Dylan Vickers said some of the knives were "rare, hand-crafted items that will never be replaced."

In a series of text messages to CBC Toronto early Friday morning, he added that he is "just hoping to find some comfort and ease at work again with a new and dependable set of tools."

Vickers, who works at a Japanese restaurant called Skippa on Harbord Street, realized the second he stepped out of his Uber last week that the knives were still tucked under the driver's seat.

He yelled after the driver, but the car sped away, so Vickers sent him a message through Uber's app.

"After around three hours, I got another email from Uber saying, 'Good news, we have retrieved your items,'" he told CBC Toronto on Thursday. The email told Vickers to come to Uber's Mississauga office.

But upon arrival, he got a major dose of bad news: an employee told him that the set of six knives, which he estimates is worth about $3,000, had been tossed.

"She said that for safety reasons, they had taken it upon themselves to get rid of my knives," he said.

Uber weapons policy

An Uber spokesperson told CBC Toronto that its policy forbids any kind of weapon from remaining at a greenlight hub, which is one of Uber's in-person support locations.

Vickers, who spends his days carefully butchering and filleting fish at work, said the loss of the knives left him "agitated and nervous," since he relies on them to do his job.

He pushed for compensation or explanation, and for several days, got none. At one point he was told point blank that he would never be paid back, he said.

The [Uber] system's geared to being very closed off... I felt very helpless," said Vickers. 

But after receiving inquiries from CBC Toronto on Thursday, Uber said it would pay Vickers for the lost knives. 

Early Friday, Vickers said he wished it "didn't take getting so many people involved just to find justice."

But said he feels "alright" about Uber's decision.

"I just want to ply my trade, this is what this whole matter is really about."


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