185 Berry Street, Suite 5000
San Francisco, CA 94107 USA
My wife and I escaped from Portugal, just a few miles from the Spanish border - Spain being one of the worst for COVID-19 cases and deaths - based on the direction of the US State Department. Before Portugal decided to possibly seal the country and trap us for an undetermined amount of time, we were put on one of the last flights from Lisbon to the United States, arriving in Portland 36 hours later.
I immediately opened the Lyft app because I had found Lyft to be as reliable as, and routinely cheaper than, Uber. The quote from PDX to our home 17 miles away was $36 and change for a Lyft XL six-passenger vehicle, so I clicked on the "Reserve" button.
Our driver arrived 10 minutes later, just two minutes late and took us home. He was not just a wonderful, intelligent, and insightful man, he was customer-service oriented and an excellent driver. I tipped him generously even though the fare I was charged was $14 too high!
Instead of the $36 and change I was quoted, the charge was for $50.23, higher than Uber's fare for the same exact route (I checked). I assumed it was a mistake and sent them a simple message through their app. Here is the response I received:
I do not and, I repeat, do not appreciate being treated like a moron who does not know how fares are calculated, first of all, and will not, will not, will not be called a liar, second of all.
Jirald (Lyft)Mar 28, 12:45 AM PDTHello there Chris,
Thanks for letting us know about your concerns with the cost of your ride on March 27 with driver Veillard. We understand how important it is to know how ride charges are calculated. I'd be glad to check this out for you.
I reviewed your ride and can confirm that you were not overcharged. When you requested the ride we quoted you a price of $50.23 and this is the total you were charged was $59.27 plus the $9.04 Tip.
The reason why the ride was expensive compared to the Standard Lyft ride is because of the rider type which was requested a Lyft XL. Lyft XL rates are a bit higher than standard Lyft or Shared rides. Lyft XL rates vary by region. See pricing for your city.
The cost of your ride will always be the same as the upfront price unless the destination changes or a stop is added. More information on Upfront Pricing can be found in our Help Center.
I hope this helps, Chris. If you have any other concerns, please feel free to contact us back. We're always happy to assist you. Stay safe!
All the best.
I also do not deal with dishonesty or a lack of integrity very well under the best of circumstances, but having experienced a solid week of stress after Portugal's COVID-19 Emergency Declaration and working with United Airlines and the State Department to, finally, find a, literally, last-minute flight home, I was furious! So I sent them an angry email response:
To which they replied back:Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 9:26 AMTo: Lyft <support+id ...firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: Re: [Lyft] Re: Follow-up from LyftThat’s horseshit. You might as well be thieves. I know what I saw and what drove my decision to use Lyft over Uber, so this is the last time I will be using Lyft. I will delete your app and my account and you will be able to read a review of my experience on Yelp and my popular travel website (link below). Go fuck yourselves!Respectfully,
Natalia (Lyft)Mar 28, 6:20 PM PDTHi Chris,
We appreciate you following up with us about this situation.
While we're unable to issue a refund for this ride, it goes a long way that you shared your concerns about this with us. We understand this isn't the resolution you were hoping for, but recognize there's always room to grow and improve based on community feedback like yours. We hope you'll consider giving Lyft another chance.
Please feel free to get back in touch if there's anything else we can assist with.
Fair enough, they have the option of, legal or not, blowing this one customer off, but was it really a good business practice to not take a 'customer's always right' philosophy? I am confident about what I saw, but had I snapped a screenshot of the quote, as I normally would have done, I would have proof that I was overcharged.
What kind of America has it become where a large, worldwide business would not take the word of a dedicated and loyal customer, frequent traveler (41 countries ... and counting), well-published, and award winning travel writer and retired military officer? I have no reason to lie, it's only about a measly $14, not really worth wasting my time, but it was also about something much more important, principle.
So, as I told Lyft, and I meant it, go fuck yourselves! You are not the only game in town, not in this one, or any other of the towns around the globe where you compete with Uber.
I will never use your service again, not because of the $14, but because you did not do the right thing. Any company worth a shit, especially one fighting to stay alive in a travel industry ravaged by today's Coronavirus, would have credited the difference without question, apologized, and maybe even offered a coupon for a follow-up ride. That is how a company with integrity, an unwavering commitment to outstanding customer service, and the burning desire not to have to fire their employees and shut the doors would have handled it. You did not. Period.
I faithfully served our nation for 20 years as a United States Air Force officer and my core values, values that Lyft obviously does not aspire to, are:
Calling me a liar and cheat is an assault, not only my good character, but on the military profession and my country. What the hell is this country coming to? More about that in an upcoming post.
LESSON LEARNED: ALWAYS take a screenshot of the quoted price, whether it is when using Lyft, which I do not recommend, Uber, or any other purchase for that matter when using your phone, tablet, or computer. It does not cost anything and you can delete it later, unless you are dealing with a company with zero integrity like Lyft. I was exhausted and in a hurry to get home, so I decided not to do so in this case. Unfortunately for me, it was the one time it would have been prudent.
CombatCritic Gives Lyft 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better!
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Key Words: Lyft, Uber, taxi, ride, driver, fare, quote, Portland, Oregon, PDX, airport, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google