project: Marah

project management for the things that really matter

NYC Taxi Lost and Found ( a NY valentine )

with 3 comments

A couple weeks ago I spent the weekend house sitting on the upper east side, NY, NY. It was lovely – real bagels, delicious pizza, a mass transit system that runs all hours, and oh yes, Taxis.

I took a cab, I had lots of packages, it was a nice day… and when I got to my location — no keys. I thought surely that I must have lost my keys in the Cab.

Rule number one is to always have a plan b. I had a second set of keys.

But that’s not what this post is really about. It’s about how great the customer service experience is at NYC Taxi and Limo.

My long time friend and business brainstorm buddy Tom Limoncelli recently gave a talk at Linux World AU… where he espouses the various ways that we can, as service providers (IT professionals) show our customers love. Part of showing your customer love, is to be operating as a business service provider from a position of abundance – as opposed to scarcity.

The abundance mindset completely relates to Customer Service.

For example Skype operates from a position of scarcity in resources – there are too many tickets, and not enough people, therefore they inadvertently  build a complicated maze to resolving open issues. Case in point was a two week turn around on a simple issue. (see last week’s post)

Contrast this with the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, where one can easily find the web form via a simple google search:

After filling out the form I received a very nice email telling me all about what to expect next and where to look on my own for my keys.

NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission
40 Rector Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10006
311 or 212 NEW.YORK (212 639.9675)

Matthew W. Daus, Commissioner/Chairman

Dear Consumer:

The TLC has received your recent report concerning property that was left behind in one of our licensed taxicabs. Unfortunately, based on the information that you provided, we are unable to locate the taxicab that you were riding in. Please be aware however, that if we get any information about your property or are subsequently able to locate the taxicab driver, we will not hesitate to contact you immediately.

In the mean time, I suggest that you contact the designated lost property precincts (see below), which is where drivers are required to turn in property that they find left behind in the taxicab and are unable to return the property to its owner.

Please feel free to call our call center if you require additional information at 212 227-0700.

Designated Lost Property Police Precincts


17th Precinct
167 E. 51st Street

Central Park Precinct
86th Street & Tranverse Road


76th Precinct
191 Union Street

94th Precinct
100 Meserole Avenue


107th Precinct 71-01 Parsons Blvd

115th Precinct
92-15 Northern Blvd


43rd Precinct
900 Fteley Avenue

Staten Island

120th Precinct
78 Richmond Terrace


Bernalene Hanley

Correspondence Unit

The letter basically said ” good luck, we have no idea where your keys are”  — but it did it in such a nice way, with a ton of other information available to me that, as a customer, I felt taken care of.

Maybe I’d set the bar too high for a company that encourages you to take a deep breath on the start up of their software program(skype) , and not enough from a company managing a fleet of 50,000 cars, taxis, and limousines.

The other thing that’s wonderful about this experience is knowing that NYC Taxi and Limo knew that their system was broken, and took steps to fix it.  Check out this memo from 2007.

At the end of the day, it turns out my keys were not in the cab at all, but at a friend’s house. I didn’t sweat it too much, because, as I said, Rule Number One : always have a plan B. In this case, the Backup Plan is to have a second set of keys at the ready.

I know I’m a born and raised NYer, and therefore a bit biased about the big bad city, though now I have even more reason to <3 NY.


Written by marahrosenberg

14 February 2009 at 5:17 am

3 Responses

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  1. I enjoyed your NYC taxi story. Enjoy your search for a new place in the city!

    Donna Castagna

    23 February 2009 at 1:10 pm

  2. ALso check out the nyc taxi lost and found at


    22 March 2009 at 3:40 am

  3. I have developed a new website specifically for this purpose. If you have the yellow cab’s medallion number, then in many cases the dispatcher’s phone number will be available. The site is free


    9 December 2009 at 5:39 am

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