I love using both Lyft and Uber as alternatives to taxis when it makes sense. They are on par overall with each other with customer service and I have had both good and bad experiences with both firms. And, it doesn’t always make sense to ride with them when “surge” pricing occurs, but rides still typically are cheaper than taxis. Especially lately, Lyft and Uber have been piling on the promos – half of rides for me this past week on Lyft and my next 10 rides on Uber at half off for using Android pay. So, there’s been a small gravy train lately of discounts that can also make up for when you get caught in a surge situation with few options. But, customer service doesn’t always match those tempting offers. Here’s what happened to me recetly, how I dealt with it, and the result.
Bad and good customer service experience
I took a Lyft from my office last Friday and noticed right away that the driver was taking a very indirect route. Both Uber and Lyft drivers rely HEAVILY on GPS, especially the Waze App (which is now Google-owned). The app tends to prompt re-routing to the drivers quite frequently in an effort to shave minutes off the trip. I don’t think it’s always totally effective as once the lane change and other corrections are made, it’s probably a distraction to follow those directions that’s not worth marginal time savings. That was the case last Friday. Driver followed to the letter the App’s directions – but dangerously – as he looked at his phone constantly and didn’t generally seem to know where he was.
I am not going to interrupt him and tell him he’s going the wrong way. That puts everyone at risk. Instead, and here’s where Lyft made the right call, I gave the driver a very low rating. A 3 out of 5. I learned that anything 3 or under flags customer service. Frustrated by the service I had, after I gave the poor rating I thought I’d still have to take the extra step and contact them directly. Not necessary! Since I explained in my rating why I gave a 3 was due to poor navigation, that was enough to prompt a note and a refund. Pretty happy about that.
As a follow up to yesterday’s post, this was a painless way to communicate the fact that I received unacceptable customer service. I don’t know if most people just don’t bother to rate these drivers, or rate them unfairly high, but I didn’t want to let this one go. Besides being a bit inconvenienced time-wise, the distracted driving was unacceptable.
So, kudos to Lyft for doing the right thing and refunding my ride.