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When things go wrong, Lyft has no desire to fix the problem

When things go wrong, Lyft has no desire to fix the problem

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Old Jul 7, 19, 6:54 pm
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When things go wrong, Lyft has no desire to fix the problem

I learned quite a bit of how little concern Lyft has for their passengers today with a problem that my daughter had on a ride. I write this to be a cautionary tale of what can happen when you use the Lyft service. I would like to share some information gathered today that when things go horribly wrong the company has no provisions to help in a bad situation. What happened was daughter was coming back from lunch with friends and the Lyft car breaks down on the highway. OK, things happen, one would think this happens every day to a company the size of Lyft, and they would be able to help their driver, and passengers. Nope, they don't, you are totally on your own.

The next thing I learn is that when a Lyft driver's primary vehicle is having trouble, Lyft has a rental division, or has arrangements with a place that rents cars. Problem is when the driver rents a car this company sometimes the replacement car is in worse shape than the car it is replacing. The car that my daughter was in was one of these "rental" Lyfts that are rented to the driver. Sounds like a great plan, but the execution of the process seems to be a bit shady. The driver tells her he realized the "rental" was in bad shape but had no other option. I understand why he felt compelled to take it, as without a car he can't work, and one would think that when you rent from the company store they would at least provide you with a working vehicle. Nope, not Lyft, I guess when a driver has to rent from them, then you can force them to rent unsafe vehicles. I say unsafe as in this case it was because the transmission went out forcing them to pull over to the side of the road and wait for Lyft's, again company owned, or at least company contracted "roadside assistance". Needless to say the roadside assistance is not speedy, as why should it be of any better quality than the rental car which Lyft was also responsible. If they rent out a lot of bad cars, that is of course more work for the roadside assistance company.

Now I'm sure Lyft will blame the driver, after all in their thinking he should have refused the car. I get that, but I also get people have to make hard decisions especially when it comes to employment. Maybe he should have taken the day off, but in this economy I also understand not everyone can exercise this type of luxury. Lyft's then providing substandard alternative transportation is inexcusably, for both the driver and the passenger putting them both in danger. I understand rental cars break down, but I don't recall ever having a rental car where the transmission went out, and I have rented thousands of cars, and maybe I was exceptionally lucky but don't recall ever having to call for roadside assistance on a rental.

I also have a hard time believing this situation isn't uncommon when one thinks about the sheer number of rides Lyft has in a day. One would think they would have provisions for these situations. Just off the top of my head if I ran a service like this in a publicly traded company I would comp out the ride, dispatch another driver who the company would pay, with a 20% automatic tip just to incentivize taking care of distressed travelers where the company created the situation. Since the situation is costing additional money it might make me realize that the vendor who does our rental vehicles isn't looking out for the image of the company. But I guess Lyft doesn't really care about it's customers, or that is my view after this situation.

When my daughter reached out to Lyft she is told there is nothing they can do, and she is just going to have to wait. Now this might be true, there is nothing they can do, but you could at least act sympathetic even if your company is too incompetent to create a policy of what to do in situations like these. Oh, and "road assistance" did eventually arrive, but left shortly after discovering that when you have a shot transmission there is little than can be done on the highway to the stranded vehicle. Lyft did offer a voucher for $5 the next ride for the inconvenience. I guess $5 is the value of being stranded on a highway to the company.

My daughter was able to contact the police, explained the situation who graciously took her to a Wal-Mart so that she could call Uber and complete her ride. This almost sounds like a routine situation for the police that they have a procedure to follow to get the situation resolved. I'm guessing the driver is probably still sitting in the Lyft provided vehicle he is paying for so that he can do his job. I wonder if he too will get a $5 inconvenience voucher for his time and trouble.

Interesting Lyft doesn't have any provisions for when things go wrong, other than a $5 voucher for future rides. Now had I been closer than 500 miles away or I would have gone and picked her up. All of this happened in a large metropolitan area, so it wasn't like the middle of nowhere where there might be a situation that this person was the area's Lyft driver. I wouldn't say Lyft dropped the ball on this, I think Lyft doesn't have their eye on the ball that should be their part of their business.

To paraphrase a quote a person made here about a very bad hotel situation in Houston, perhaps I should send a Powerpoint to Lyft CEO Logan Green entitled "Yours is a very bad company"
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Old Jul 7, 19, 6:56 pm
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No fun, but my eyes glazed over after the third paragraph...
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Old Jul 7, 19, 8:42 pm
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I understand the frustration but it is also a no-win situation as stopping a vehicle to pick up passengers on a highway is a dangerous situation and would just open up the company to further liability. I do expect a company like Lyft to have a provision for 'emergency' services - such as AAA or towing companies whose drivers are trained specifically for such incidents - to 'rescue' stranded vehicles and passengers.

That said, I do feel Lyft in general has much less culture of service recovery and compensation, which is quite unfortunate as Uber is a very poor company in many other regards.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 12:40 am
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Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post
The next thing I learn is that when a Lyft driver's primary vehicle is having trouble, Lyft has a rental division, or has arrangements with a place that rents cars. Problem is when the driver rents a car this company sometimes the replacement car is in worse shape than the car it is replacing.
Lyft has multiple schemes, one where the driver rents the car (with a discount since this is going through Lyft) and can drive the vehicle as if it were their personal vehicle when they're "off-duty." The other scheme is Express Drive where Lyft partners with a rental company to provide vehicles, often high mileage vehicles that the rental company intended to sell as used anyway, and/or had an accident in the vehicle's history, affecting the value. In Express Drive, the driver picks up whatever they're given by the rental company, and they earn at a reduced rate while driving the vehicle, and they have to return it as soon as they're not "on-duty" for Lyft.

Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post
But I guess Lyft doesn't really care about it's customers, or that is my view after this situation.
You're not wrong, although, Lyft doesn't see you as a customer. Lyft sees you as a beneficiary of their technology services, which is matchmaking between you and an "independent contractor" (aka driver) despite controlling most aspects of the experience.

Originally Posted by ctuttle View Post
To paraphrase a quote a person made here about a very bad hotel situation in Houston, perhaps I should send a Powerpoint to Lyft CEO Logan Green entitled "Yours is a very bad company"
Good luck. He'll most likely ignore you like he ignored me.

Originally Posted by strife View Post
That said, I do feel Lyft in general has much less culture of service recovery and compensation, which is quite unfortunate as Uber is a very poor company in many other regards.
Lyft was handing out credits like candy until late last year. Since they've had their IPO, they've really clamped down. I hope the market punishes them.

Last edited by diburning; Jul 12, 19 at 1:17 am
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