Help! I Lost My Tablet!

Forgot your precious tablet on an airplane or on the train? A location-based find-my-device feature might fail where connection is limited, or due to the way it’s configured (some users disable their location features). It is astonishing to see gadget owners despair when technology doesn’t readily come to their rescue. A highly feasible and often overlooked way to retrieve lost gadgets is to do things the ‘old school’ way, and use companies’ lost and found service.

An interesting statistic: more tablets are left behind on airplanes than mobile phones. As soon as off the plane, people tend to reach for their phones, whereas tablet devices often go unnoticed. And lack of identifying features (especially with a self-locking mechanism in place) leave a large number of tablets unclaimed, and ultimately deemed as lost property.

But some cases can be reassuring.Virgin America, for example, reports a new policy of handling valuable lost property: a photo of the device is taken and stored with a record of the flight number, date, and seat number. When a customer contacts the airline, company representatives are able to search the footage and pair the device with its rightful owner.

The airline also reports a case of a domestic flight in California, where a family of four left their tablet device on the plane. Having been delayed by 6 hours due to bad weather, upon arrival their only wish was to get home. 20 minutes after leaving the airport, the wife received an email on her mobile device asking her to call the baggage office. After giving a description of the device to the company’s telephone staff it was posted direct to her office.

Further success stories are found in London Underground’s lost property office. The LPO receives up to 1,500 items per day. On average one in four items are returned to their owners, and the success rate for higher value property such as phones, tablets, cameras, and other electronic devices,goes even higher at 40 per cent. Unrealistic as this may sound, expensive gadgets are regularly handed to London Underground staff by compassionate passengers.

It turns out, then, that non-technological methods can also yield results, which makes the following worth bearing in mind:

  • Customize your tablet – use a case or accessories that make it easily identifiable.
  • Tape a business card to the back of your device, or, if possible, have it engraved with your name and phone number.
  • If flying, let the airline have your phone number when booking your tickets and allocating seats.
  • Note your device’s serial and keep it in a safe place – this can help the manufacturer offer guidance in case of loss.

This article was submitted on behalf of Lenovo and their range of tablets (