Monday, July 21, 2014

Reaching Deep to Get Noticed: Lyft Co-Founder John Zimmer and his Reddit post a year ago

John Zimmer is the co-founder of Lyft. As many ridesharing users may know, John is vocal in the ridesharing community. This co-founder has been known to give rides as a Lyft driver. He is involved in all Lyft functions, especially those requiring city approval to operate his ridesharing service. Lyft gave their millionth ride last year, a figure that UberGlobal delivers every 10 days, on average.

A year ago,  John Zimmer started a Reddit Q&A forum to inform the community about his Lyft ridesharing company. In our opinion, John may have started this forum to further promote Lyft on a social network platform that generates millions of unique visits per month.

It seems like John is reaching deep to push Lyft in front of transit users. The common complaint among current and former passengers at Lyft is the Pink Mustache and fist-bumps. Setting social requirements have impacted driver ratings - passengers are either social or antisocial.

Does John Zimmer need to inform the transportation community that Lyft is a major player? Doesn't the Pink Mustache, ads in search engines, CraigsList employment ads, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and news coverage already do enough to spread this culture?

What John Zimmer needs to do is improve Lyft's Performance Review Department. This is absolutely the worst part of Lyft. As a result of this poorly flawed star rating system, many great drivers were deactivated from Lyft. Instead of measuring the past 100 trips, Lyft should increase this total to 500 trips. Otherwise, many drivers will receive a Community Review flag after giving their 100th ride. Deactivations may occur much faster with measuring the previous 100 trips than with 500 trips.

A ridesharing company who cares about their current drivers won't keep advertising in search engines for new drivers. Lyft's Performance Review Department claim they work closely with drivers to coach them after Community Review flags. They are bending the truth to state this in a Twitter post to our Ride_Sharing handle. Drivers receive a list of 100 things to do, but this department never shares any feedback that influenced their overall rating.

In some cases, the feedback and the low rating are misguided. Lyft allows this feedback and low star rating to remain on accounts. Why allow a "1" star rating and a bad feedback on a ride given to a passenger who wants to harm a specific driver?

Based on previous driver deactivations, we determined that Lyft values their rating system as the standard to make deactivation decisions. Their Community Review flag is a filter that automatically triggers once a driver's ratings drop below the minimum requirements.

A driver who receives a flag for all four categories (Navigation, Safety, Friendliness, and Cleanliness) paired with a 4.79 and below rating over the previous 100 trips and have received 2 Community Review flags, will likely get deactivated.

Can John Zimmer shed light on why his company terminates good drivers? How do we know these former Lyft drivers are good drivers? Because these drivers are providing exceptional service at ride app companies that compete against Lyft. For the most part, these former Lyft drivers have lasted on their new ride platforms without incident. A good way to view these deactivations is that drivers can make mistakes at Lyft, and then use this experience to perform great ride sharing service at a better ride app company that cares about drivers.

Essentially, Lyft is a test subject to help new drivers gain ridesharing experience. Then after deactivations, these drivers can move to the next best company. No former Lyft drivers miss the Pink Mustache and goofy fist-bumping antics. Lets talk John Zimmer about how getting rid of good drivers will doom his ridesharing service. These drivers will find inspiration in giving rides at a new ride app company. Setting 4.79 and below as the minimum requirements can hurt many great drivers who actually care about this ridesharing company, Lyft.

John Zimmer and Lyft ignore driver deactivation questions. They use the common excuse that we want to protect our community and culture. When drivers are under performing, they are put on the chopping block. These drivers who are released a few weeks before Christmas are given cold treatment. Lyft refuses to reconsider unfairly deactivated drivers. They don't follow-up with deactivated drivers to compare feedback and questionable ratings.

Just a simple fact John Zimmer, Lyft is nothing without its drivers. Your company can keep recruiting new drivers and dumping under performing drivers. But for the most part, what does this tell the transportation community? Does Apple, Best Buy and the U.S. Armed Force dump employees for their organizations receiving lower marks in certain areas? No.

The vast difference between these organizations and yours are loyalty and integrity. Lyft has no loyalty. They don't work their drivers to help them thrive. It is an expendable theme where deactivation is a simple solution. The U.S. Armed Forces, Apple and Best Buy work with their employees to boost morale.

Lyft drivers are not identified as employees or even independent contractors (Lyft driver manager states that no drivers are considered independent contractors). Lyft can continue giving many rides and spreading their influence across the borders. However, this success comes at the expense of former drivers your company deactivated. Lyft maintains a terribly flawed rating system. They don't inform their passengers that leaving poor feedback and low star ratings can get a driver deactivated from the ride app platform. If Lyft informed their passengers, there would be lower instances of deactivations.

Whatever the case, Lyft has an agenda set in place to deactivate their drivers who fail to meet the rating requirements. For Lyft to state that there is more to deactivations than ratings is deceptive. Just remember John Zimmer that your former Lyft drivers are what allowed your company to thrive.

Read John Zimmer's Reddit Q&A down below: