A few posts back, I wrote about the Lyft driver who had the nerve to call me lazy … while he was driving me to work. The star rating he got was more than generous, considering. But before him and since, I’ve had a couple of extreme cases where I handed out low-star ratings for shoddy service, service that came on a regular basis in some marked taxicabs.
When I first heard about Lyft about a year and a half ago, I was totally disillusioned with the Yellow Cab company. I’d had my fill of rude dispatchers, taxicabs that I had to wait 30-45 minutes for – if they showed up at all, and riding in taxi’s crying out for a good interior cleanup. Lyft freed me from all of that, though I was skeptical about the trade-offs at first.
Unmarked cars: I was nervous about getting into someone’s private car as opposed to a recognized company vehicle. See, I don’t know makes and models of cars. I couldn’t begin to describe a Hyundai (That is a car right?) or a Camry, or any of the other cars that Lyft drivers have picked me up in.
Debit card transactions: I was less than thrilled about handing over my debit card information to a company I’d only just found out about.
But the perks trumped all of that!
- PERK #1- The Lyft App: As a female customer, safety is my first priority, and the Lyft app that I downloaded onto my phone allayed my fears in getting into a private car. After requesting a pick-up, all of the identifying information for the driver (his name and face), and the vehicle (name of car, picture of car, and LICENSE PLATE of car) are shown on your telephone screen. The license plate is a biggie for me since I don’t know vehicles. Rushing to get to get out of my apartment and get to work on time, I nearly jumped in the wrong vehicle one night. The color of the car was correct, the timing was correct – no other car had just pulled into the parking lot. But the driver – who just stared at me and … never … said … a … word when I asked if he was the Lyft driver, was all wrong. License plates are now my friends.
- PERK #2 – Car cleanliness/Polite Drivers: To have a driver get out of the car, walk around and open the door for me … YES! Chivalry is not dead! To choose my own route, and not have a driver get an attitude about it … winning! To ride in a clean, clutter-free, customer-friendly car … heaven! To get in a car with a full stash of mints, hand sanitizer, bottled water, and choice of music … closest thing to driving myself.
- PERK #3 – WAIT TIME/SURCHARGES: In the year and a half I’ve stuck with Lyft, I’ve never had to wait longer than 8 minutes for a car to pick me up. Now yes, there are surcharges: 25 – 100 percent, but the app warns you, and canceling the ride and avoiding the surcharge is as simple as tapping your phone screen.
- PERK #4 – NO Dispatchers! No detail needed.
And what motivates each driver to keep a clean car, drive their best and put on their friendliest face: star ratings *****.
Star ratings are part of the payment. From one to five, the customer has the option to rate the driver on such criteria as: navigation, safety, friendliness, cleanliness, and a few more. Any rating of a three or below means that the customer will no longer be paired with that driver. The driver I mentioned who called me lazy got a four rating because I think it’s rude to insult the person who is helping to pay your salary for that week. Two other drivers got 3 and below. One for zooming down the highway like he’s in a race car. And the other for somehow charging me $6 more than he should have for the same 10 miles that other drivers have charged me only $18.
The star ratings separate the ordinary from the elite and ensure the customer that we get the ride and service we paid for.