I got a chance to try out Lyft instead of Uber on a visit to New York. While most of my Lyft rides were for business, I did use the service for some personal rides mainly because of the $5 credit I received for every 5 work rides. It’s no surprise that I was eventually cammed by a Lyft driver.
Scammers don’t care which platform they’re using. I’ve been scammed by Uber drivers by taking me on a longer route resulting in a higher fare as well as another driver reporting that they picked me up and took me for a ride consisting of 1 city block.
So what scam did a Lyft driver try to pull on me?
First of all, I have to say that this was the worst scammer I’ve ever seen. The scam started before our ride ever started.
Sharon and I had taken an Uber to get to dinner. On the way home to the JFK Hampton Inn, I called for a Lyft. While we were still at the table, I received an alert that our driver had arrived. The problem is, that he hadn’t arrived. He was nowhere near our location. Yet he was going to leave in 5 minutes if we weren’t there.
Since he was driving towards us, I let it slide. Even if the clock was ticking.
With two minutes to spare he arrived. Pulling across the street from our restaurant and double parking while we ran across traffic.
Then the ride to the hotel. He drove on the highway while it was raining with the windows open. I put the hood up on my jacket just to keep the wind at bay. We got back to the hotel and started to head to the room.
I noticed something different than my other rides on Lyft. While I usually was asked to rate the ride as soon as I stepped out of the car, that didn’t happen. Instead, I noticed that our driver stayed outside the hotel for a while. The destination of my trip changed from the Hampton Inn to JFK Terminal 4.
At this point, I was already up to my hotel room. I watched as he drove from the hotel to JFK Airport.
Eventually as he arrived at Terminal 4, my ride ended. I guess this was just as he was picking up his next fare. However, my ride ended up costing $15 more than I bargained for.
Here’s the note that arrived with my email receipt:
Um, I didn’t update my destination. My scammy driver did.
I immediately reported the ride to Lyft indicating what happened and that I had screenshots proving I was in my hotel room while my driver was claiming he was driving me to JFK.
I’ll give it to Lyft, it was incredibly easy to put in a claim for a problem and I received a prompt and individualized response.
Thanks for letting us know your concern with the ride you had this ******* with driver, *******.
I’m sorry to read that this ride was not as efficient as it could have been, and I want to assure you that we are aiming to provide you with the best driver on the road and who has the best city knowledge to take you to your destination.
I’ve double checked your ride and see that you were charged more for this ride than the $27.86 we quoted you. Without thinking twice, I immediately issued you a refund of $14.39 which can take 5-7 business days for your bank to process. I also resent the updated receipt to your email address associated with your Lyft account.
Furthermore, we’ve automatically unpaired you because you gave this ride 3 stars or less. Ride feedback like yours helps us identify users who aren’t a good fit for our community.
Joseph, I want you to know that we have a certain set of quality standards that we expect all of our drivers to meet, so it’s important that we know your concerns. Your feedback is definitely heard and your concerns listened to. We thank you for your patience and we would appreciate it if you allowed us to show you these issues are few and far between. I am very positive your next ride with us will be more efficient.
If you have any further questions or concerns, just shoot us an email back and I’ll be glad to help you out.
Take care always!
Before the ride even started, I would have bet even money that this particular Lyft driver was going to try and scam me. Once the ride started, the odds dropped to 3:5.
I don’t usually take screenshots of my rides but something told me that I might have to with this trip. What else could I do? If I canceled the ride, I’d have to pay the cancellation fee. I documented everything I could and hoped for the best.
Fortunately, Lyft’s customer service team came through to make things right. When all was said and done, I got a ride from my starting point to my destination. Sure, it would have been nice if the driver wasn’t a jerk and didn’t try to scam me for an extra $15 but would it be any different if I asked for an Uber or called a taxi? Who knows.
It just does to show, regardless of which platform you use to call for a ride, it always pays to watch out for yourself and beware of scammers. Even if sometimes they’re easier to catch than others.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary