GPS welcome screen brings welcome relief

While packing for my trip to Hamburg I started my usual gathering of the geocaching goods. TBs – check, swaps – check, caches selected – check, cache info converted to HTML – check, GPS – err, where’s the GPS?

After some frantic searching I realised that my GPS was in the car. No problem, except that the car happened to be the hire car that had been returned to the hire car place. Oh crap!

The morning that we were due to fly out to Hamburg Christian phoned the hire car place and described the lost GPS. Yes, they have it so onto the bike and ride over. When he returned it was with the news that they didn’t have it afterall. Looks like my favourite toy was gone. 🙁

To cheer me up we still managed to get a couple of caches in Hamburg, but I was feeling pretty down about losing the GPS – still, guess it’s time for a new one and mine is almost 3 years old so it’s done OK.

Of course searching around I find that the new ones are considerably more expensive than I thought (of course, that’s for the latest all-singing all-dancing version). Not the amount of money I want to spend but I started to resign myself to having to do so.

So it was with some excitement that I read an email from Eduardo – he has found my GPS in his hire car and would like to know how to return it to me! Oh happy days!

For a week I waited patiently for Eduardo to finish his holiday and then on Sunday went to the airport to drop Christian off for his strings conference and to pick up my GPS. The lovely Eduardo had left it at the hire car desk for me. The girl there said that he was “such a lovely man” and, never having met him, I really must agree!

So, how did this miracle happen? Well a few months ago after hearing about a lost GPS being found on top of a mountain several months after being left there and then returned to its owner, I changed my welcome screen. It used to wake up and say “Hello Gorgeous!” but this was changed to say “I belong to Kersti, please see me safely home” followed by both my mobile number (with country code) and my email address.

Eduardo’s written English was certainly better than my Spanish, but I get the feeling that if it had been my phone number only on that screen that he may have been more reluctant to contact me. My name gave him someone to contact and the options let him choose the method most comfortable.

So the lesson to be learned – skip the funny slogans and frivolous hello’s on your welcome screen and make sure it contains enough information to get your expensive toy back to you. The easier you make it to return the more likely people will do so.