Lyft definition of "upfront pricing"

Old May 30, 2022, 10:42 pm
  #1  
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Lyft definition of "upfront pricing"

Today Lyft told me that the price you are shown when you select a ride type is not considered the upfront price, and that the upfront price is considered to be the price when a driver actually commits to a trip (which you have no way to see when committing to the trip as a rider). This price may be different than what you see when you request the trip -- sometimes by a large margin (160% in my case). I don't see how this is a viable model from the consumer's perspective -- you're signing up to buy something that you don't know the cost of.

Is this common with Lyft? I have never seen this happen in 1000+ Uber rides.
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Old May 30, 2022, 11:44 pm
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I have never heard of any such thing. Did you discuss this with Lyft by email or chat? Can you post their responses for others to read?

I wonder if a journalist might be interested in learning more on behalf of the many readers who would want to know Lyft's position here so they can make informed choices.
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Old May 31, 2022, 5:52 am
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Hi bedelman, I discussed this with Lyft over chat, which was in and of itself a frustrating experience of being bounced from agent to agent, all of whom pasted platitudes like "Rest assured, you were not charged more than the upfront price" and "The upfront price is the price you are charged unless you change your destination or add stops". For various reasons, I'm not going to post the entirety of the chat (which can't be copy/pasted as text), but I am including a screenshot showing the core issue. This screenshot is unmodified except to obscure the dates/times and the specific amount of credit I was seeking. I did read the terms referenced in the link, and they do indeed allow for changing the price after the user has committed. I really don't understand how this is a viable model. The first time I saw the "new" price was after the ride had started, at which point I had little to no recourse.
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Old Jun 6, 2022, 11:52 pm
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Just because their T&Cs say they can do it doesn't mean that they might not be breaking local pricing laws. Threaten to contact local regulators and they just might relent. Then contact the local regulators anyway.
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Old Jun 7, 2022, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by diburning
Just because their T&Cs say they can do it doesn't mean that they might not be breaking local pricing laws. Threaten to contact local regulators and they just might relent. Then contact the local regulators anyway.
I talked to many people, threatened to escalate, referred to it as deceptive and fraudulent, and no one even hinted at conceding any ground. They're not budging. I was actually pretty surprised that at some point one of the reps didn't toss me a $10 or $20 credit as a sign of goodwill. And honestly, I'm not sure I'm interested in making a formal report to regulators. I'm not sure it's worth my time. Now I know not to use Lyft, which is the big lesson here for me.
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Old Jun 8, 2022, 12:45 pm
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Uber does the same, and doesn't even give you the opportunity to argue your case with a human; it's all automated and all it says is "your fare is correct"
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Old Jun 9, 2022, 9:04 am
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I've been able to get the fare fixed with both Lyft and Uber when this has occurred, though it may have something to do with my level of spend. I've mostly stopped using Lyft though because of their bait and switch / noncompetitive pricing.
Originally Posted by ikwia
I'm not sure I'm interested in making a formal report to regulators
If people don't complain, they will continue to cheat customers. How hard is it to fill in an online complaint with your state Attorney General's office (or other relevant agency).
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Old Jun 9, 2022, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by diburning
Uber does the same, and doesn't even give you the opportunity to argue your case with a human; it's all automated and all it says is "your fare is correct"
I'm certainly not denying it can/does happen with Uber, but in well over 1000 rides I've never seen it. And with Lyft, it was a challenge to get a human, just as it is with Uber. The first few times I just got automated systems telling me my fare was correct. TBH, I don't remember how I eventually got to a human (although they just repeated the same thing). I'm at some elevated level of Uber status, so it is easier to get a human than it is for regular customers.
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Old Jun 9, 2022, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee
If people don't complain, they will continue to cheat customers. How hard is it to fill in an online complaint with your state Attorney General's office (or other relevant agency).
Well, the answer to your question is that it takes about 15 minutes, which I've now done, inspired by your post. I will post back if anything happens.

The confirmation email from the MA AG says this, so I'm not super-optimistic they're going to help an out-of-stater with a $40 claim:
If you requested consumer assistance services, please be aware that our office receives a large number of requests for assistance and we cannot provide consumer assistance for every complaint. If we are able to provide assistance, we will contact you about your complaint. In some cases, it may take several weeks for a specialist to contact you.

Last edited by ikwia; Jun 9, 2022 at 11:35 am
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Old Jun 9, 2022, 6:29 pm
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Wow, this happened in MA? I was under the impression that theyd be more inclined to pull this kind of bait and switch in states with weaker consumer protections (ie when it happens to me in MA, they usually fix it, but when it happened to me in MO, they wouldnt fix it)

I have Uber platinum status although that seems to be completely useless because when I am able to get a human, they still direct me to the outsourced customer service (I heard Diamond gets actual Uber CS agents?)
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Old Jun 9, 2022, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by diburning
Wow, this happened in MA? I was under the impression that theyd be more inclined to pull this kind of bait and switch in states with weaker consumer protections (ie when it happens to me in MA, they usually fix it, but when it happened to me in MO, they wouldnt fix it)
Yes, it did, at Logan.
Originally Posted by diburning
I have Uber platinum status although that seems to be completely useless because when I am able to get a human, they still direct me to the outsourced customer service (I heard Diamond gets actual Uber CS agents?)
I just had an issue where I needed Uber support (actually something that was my fault) and even though I've now dropped all the way down to Gold I still received competent support over chat. I had been Diamond from the beginning of the program until they stopped renewing me at that level after COVID and I used to get competent seemingly-US-based phone support, but now I am relegated to chat...which as a Gold is still much improved from the early days.
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Old Jul 20, 2022, 12:24 pm
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How are you people finding a chat option? On my Lyft app it has a Help option but only with a few boxes to check but no option to chat or phone or any other contact that I can see.
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Old Jul 25, 2022, 8:35 pm
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My beef with the new Lyft pricing is that you can pay for a quicker pickup, but they don't guarantee the pricing. Typically, I see:
Priority pickup in 5 in: $18
Standard (5-10 min): $14
Wait & Save (within 15 min): $10

So you need to be somewhere and order the Priority pickup and they take 15 minutes to get to you. You pay for the $18 service, but they provide you with the $10 service. <sad trombone.wmv>
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Old Jul 31, 2022, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by corky
How are you people finding a chat option? On my Lyft app it has a Help option but only with a few boxes to check but no option to chat or phone or any other contact that I can see.
I wish I had a better recollection and could help you. I believe that I requested help about a specific trip and went through some prompts, and eventually said my issue wasn't resolved so I was vectored over to chat.
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Old Aug 9, 2022, 12:19 pm
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Just got charged an extra ~$4 on an Uber ride. The correct pricing was shown on the add a tip / rate your trip screen after drop-off but the receipt had the higher amount.

Ive found the only way to get through to support is via report an issue with a service animal. :shrug:

Their initial response was some garbage about the NYC Black Car Fund, which (1) didnt match the overage and (2) should have been in the upfront pricing. Well see what the round 2 response is.

Then I dispute with Amex, who will probably just credit me as a courtesy, kind of defeating the purpose, but frankly Amex has chosen to partner with Uber (and I rarely use Uber except for the monthly Platinum benefit), so if it comes out of Amex's pocket thats fine too I suppose.
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