I’m ditching LYFT. I used to be a fan of the service and used it regularly. I even wrote a post about using LYFT over other services like Uber. Now that has all changed and I will never use LYFT again if I can help it.
Here’s Why I’m Ditching Lyft…
In October 2015, I went to Austin, Texas for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It rained for three straight days and central Texas recorded some of the most rain they’d ever seen. We’re talking feet of rain dumped in a matter of 72 hours, all driven by the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, Patricia. Things were soggy to say the least but that didn’t deter me from a day at Circuit of the Americas.
When the rainy race day was over, I called a LYFT to get me and my wife home from COTA. Uber even had a special arrangement with COTA and a designated pick up and drop off area, but we still chose LYFT. Being a bit rain drenched from hurricane style weather all day, I knew the hot shower in my hotel room was going to feel great. That’s when the first signs of a not so pleasant experience should have been recognized by me.
The first issue with the LYFT ride back to the hotel was that the driver wasn’t familiar with Circuit of the Americas and I had to guide him to my location while talking to him on the phone. I was patient and understood the difficulties of finding my wife and me given the circumstances of rain, dusk, and post race mayhem after the USGP. Plus, I didn’t want the LYFT driver to waste his time and gas driving to COTA and that’s what would have happened if I cancelled the ride. So, I persevered and guided him to my location.
Well he finally found us in a gravel and dirt parking lot near the entrance to COTA. He was approximately 30 minutes after the estimated arrival time. Regardless, we were thankful that he made it and that he was going to give us a ride back to the hotel.
My wife and I hopped into the LYFT and immediately the driver threw a green towel at us followed by “Don’t get it dirty back there. Use the towel for your shoes.” We did our best working with the towel in the dark and kept our shoes on the towel. Granted we both had to step into the car from the dirt parking lot before the towel was tossed over the seat and the instructions barked.
The actual ride back to the hotel was pleasant and we even gifted our last brand new camp chair to the driver as a thank you. And, the driver was given a good tip for the time and distance from the track to our hotel. The driver put the gifted camp chair in the trunk of his car, then inspected the back seat of his car. I asked if it looked OK and even offered to clean up any mess if the driver felt it warranted additional cleaning. The LYFT driver said all was good and we wished him a good, safe evening.
I felt everything was good with the ride until the email from LYFT saying there will be a $35 cleaning fee added to the LYFT ride. The driver even provided pics of the backseat. I felt like this was an experience ripped from an Uber headline, but no. Take a look…
To me it appears the majority of dirt is on the floor mats which are designed to collect and hold dirt. From the driver’s pictures, it looks like the mats worked as designed.
I replied to the charges and offered to pay a reasonable sum, $5 – $10, the cost of taking the mats to a spray-n-wash car wash and rinsing them off. That offer was rejected by LYFT and I was forced to pay the $35 fee. It makes me wonder how many other rides our LYFT driver gave that weekend with all the rain and upcharged people with a “cleaning fee”.
Seemingly unwilling to negotiate and unwilling to work with the customer (which is what I thought Uber was famous for doing), LYFT has turned someone who was once a big advocate FOR the LYFT ride service, into someone who WILL NOT knowingly promote LYFT in any manner… a person who will write posts like this and use social media to let as many people as possible know why LYFT is NOT a good ride service… a person that will go back to using Uber because I haven’t had a disaster story with them.
So please, when you need to get your happy behind somewhere for whatever reason, please DO NOT USE LYFT. Use Uber, or Metro, or a cab, but for whatever reason DO NOT USE LYFT. Thanks.