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What was going on with my Lyft driver? Bill padding?

What was going on with my Lyft driver? Bill padding?

Old May 29, 18, 5:27 am
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What was going on with my Lyft driver? Bill padding?

I am not a ride share power user by any means but I had a question regarding a recent Lyft ride I took. I decided the other night to use LYFT instead of Uber as I had a promo for 50% off my rides through Lyft. I requested my Lyft which said it was two minutes out. Looking at the map he was just a couple of blocks away and in less than a minute it showed that he had arrived but the car was moving away from us. At that point a timer came up saying the ride would start in 5 minutes. It continued it count down and than the car moved away from us. Fast forward 5 minutes and the driver was still not there but coming closer. The timer said my ride had started but no driver (but he was coming back towards us) He arrived about a minute later. So I suspect he was driving an uber fare looking at his driving pattern (I was a couple blocks from a major university at bar closing time). My question is was I being charged for the 5 minute countdown and also the minute or so after the it ending? Probably not a lot of extra money esp with the 50% off coupon but more the principal. Also what should I do in the future? Cancel the ride? Just suck it up? I had no problem waiting for the ride, just don't want to be charged for time/miles I didn't take. edited to add my final bill is now up and it does indeed look I might have been charged for the time. Pick up shows 1:56 am and it was actually 2:01 or maybe 2:02. And the total fare lists 22m 17s as the trip time with the dropoff time 2:18 am.

Last edited by kklems; May 29, 18 at 5:35 am
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Old May 29, 18, 7:41 am
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1. Reduce your post to a few short and relevant phrases and then post it in the Help section for your ride history.
2. Lyft pretty much automatically issues a $5 credit for the asking and won't bother calculating whether the excess was over by $0.50 or $0.75.

This is largely due to the fact that Lyft's GPS interface is substandard and likely showed the driver at your location when he was only close by.
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Old May 29, 18, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Reduce your post to a few short and relevant phrases and then post it in the Help section for your ride history.
2. Lyft pretty much automatically issues a $5 credit for the asking and won't bother calculating whether the excess was over by $0.50 or $0.75.

This is largely due to the fact that Lyft's GPS interface is substandard and likely showed the driver at your location when he was only close by.
I am not looking to get a credit. Just wanted to understand what had happened. I guess I thought the driver had to actively mark something indicated that he arrived. Is it automated? (I have seen the car location bounce around before but never the "pick up started" message).
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Old May 29, 18, 2:23 pm
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So the suspicion is that if someone drives for both Lyft and Uber, they could accept a Lyft ride request but pick up an Uber passenger along the way and charge the Lyft customer for both rides, while only charging the Uber customer for his/her open ride? I guess the good news is that you didn't have to share your ride with the other guy too.
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Old May 30, 18, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
So the suspicion is that if someone drives for both Lyft and Uber, they could accept a Lyft ride request but pick up an Uber passenger along the way and charge the Lyft customer for both rides, while only charging the Uber customer for his/her open ride? I guess the good news is that you didn't have to share your ride with the other guy too.
Kind of happened to me in reverse. Requested short 11-mile ride but being Manhattan to Queens (Long Island City) it would be time-consuming. Showed the car 7 blocks away, but then I get a phone call saying in heavy accident English that he would be a few minutes late and all I could make out was LaGuardia. I asked "are you going to LGA? I'm just going over the bridge to LIC", he said "few minutes LGA". I said I was going to cancel the ride, he was like no don't cancel. On the map he was now going the opposite direction from me.

Snapped a screenshot and canceled the ride. I can only assume he was doing another rideshare company. Nothing happened with the cancel, no fees but switching to Lyft the cost had gone up significantly, a thunderstorm had started.
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Old May 30, 18, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Brighton Line View Post
Kind of happened to me in reverse. Requested short 11-mile ride but being Manhattan to Queens (Long Island City) it would be time-consuming. Showed the car 7 blocks away, but then I get a phone call saying in heavy accident English that he would be a few minutes late and all I could make out was LaGuardia. I asked "are you going to LGA? I'm just going over the bridge to LIC", he said "few minutes LGA". I said I was going to cancel the ride, he was like no don't cancel. On the map he was now going the opposite direction from me.

Snapped a screenshot and canceled the ride. I can only assume he was doing another rideshare company. Nothing happened with the cancel, no fees but switching to Lyft the cost had gone up significantly, a thunderstorm had started.
What would the scam be? Can the driver start the ride before arriving at your pickup location?
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Old Jun 1, 18, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What would the scam be? Can the driver start the ride before arriving at your pickup location?
That can occur, as a driver, I only start the ride once I know for sure who is the rider is and he is getting inside my car, . Besides, how much more money can I earn if I pre start the trip, drivers get about .75 per mile and much less than that per time. This 5 minute or so rider may have potentially earned the driver a little over a dollar, Lyft may have charged you almost $2.00 or so. In the end, once a driver receives too many complaints of a similar nature he risk deactivation.
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Old Jun 1, 18, 2:50 pm
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I use Lyft and Uber frequently to get to the airport. The estimated amount is always very close to the estimate when I book a driver. I can't say how often it's higher, but a few cents higher based on traffic is expected/acceptable.

Worst experience was when Uber was newish in Denver. Early morning flight with (relatively) long wait time + 2x surge pricing. Driver took about 30 minutes to arrive then canceled when the app showed was 2 blocks away. I then booked another ride at 3.5x surge, and the same original driver accepted. She showed up in less than a minute! Complained to Uber and was refunded the entire fare, but I hope predators like this are quickly removed. Taxis were bad, but this woman was criminal. I hope Karma comes her way.

Regarding Lyft and Uber, head and shoulders above traditional taxis!
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Old Jun 2, 18, 2:41 pm
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What you suggested seems likely. When I drove for both, I would try to remember to turn the other app off when I had a rider (maybe turn it on when I was a few blocks from my destination). Because of how the apps worked, it was much easier to forget to turn Lyft off. But if I got a request while I still had a passenger, I'd decline it. I would NEVER start a ride unless I was at the pickup point and generally not until they were in the car, or I had at least made confirmed eye contact. It's possible a car can seem to wander around if the roads are complex or the driver gets lost.
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Old Jun 3, 18, 9:40 pm
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This happened to me at JFK.

Requested a Lyft.

Lyft showed driver near, driver calls said he is in some other location. The map shows him moving away. Driver calls me back says he will be 10 minutes late. I told him sure no problem. I then requested an uber.

When he showed up I canceled and complained to Lyft got my $$ back.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 6:33 pm
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This has happened to me a few times with Lyft. Driver accepts my request, and starts the ride before he picks me up.

It happened to me yesterday in downtown indy.





This guy took over five minutes to get to me (the timer expired, traffic was bad), and I don't think they're actually getting any extra cash from this, because lyft quotes me a flat rate for the ride and I haven't seen them tack on extra.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 12:31 am
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Look closely at your receipt. Lyft will charge a waiting fee if the timer expires and the driver doesn't indicate that they picked you up.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:09 am
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Right, that's what I did, there was no extra wait time added. I think this is a scam behavior left over from when that actually worked.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 10:46 am
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It probably still works for the driver since they're paid on actual time and distance, while they charge you an estimated time and distance based on the average (not the fastest/most direct) route.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
It probably still works for the driver since they're paid on actual time and distance, while they charge you an estimated time and distance based on the average (not the fastest/most direct) route.
What Uber/Lyft often charge you is not related to the time or distance at all. It is what a passenger is willing to pay for that particular ride.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-neighborhoods

Driver's have routinely posted on Reddit and other driver forums that Uber/Lyft take 50-70% of a ride's fare, meaning that the driver earns less than half of what the rider pays.
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