Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Forbes Uber article that should be about Lyft

Lyft is the evil ridesharing giant. With one flick of a finger, a Lyft driver can become an ex-Lyft driver. Some Lyft passengers know this policy and will take action to make this happen. Lyft drivers are at the mercy of entitled passengers. These passengers make or break a life. Their star power is capable of ending a ridesharing job.

A Forbes staff contributor covered his Uber experience. His main theme is the importance of 5 stars and how this rating model determines the fate of drivers. Whereas the star rating system is not accurate, it gives reliable feedback to measure driver performance standards.

However, Lyft goes to great lengths to target drivers with less than stellar star ratings. An above average rating at Uber may get a Lyft driver deactivated. An Uber driver with a 4.80 is highly respected, while a Lyft driver with a 4.79 star will get deactivated. Lyft measures driver star ratings on previous 100 rated trips. On the flip side, Uber measures the last 500 trips but keeps a cumulative total on overall star ratings.

This Forbes article can work if all Uber mentions are changed to Lyft. It is an honest assessment in how the Lyft star rating system works. Lyft drivers fear deactivation. They know a "1" star rating can end their time at Lyft. They are borderline "average" or "need improvement" to continue driving with Lyft. It is a scary business for drivers to fear the inevitable, a deactivation from a system that helps them make a living.

Lyft doesn't care about you as a driver. They will take notice and bend over backwards if you keep a 4.90+ star rating. However, once your star rating falls below 4.80 and is accompanied with negative feedback from entitled riders, your time driving with Lyft is done. Lyft is it!

Read this Forbes article on Uber and replace all mentions of "Uber" with Lyft. This is how driving for Lyft feels. It is the real truth, the real experience. No hiding behind the success of the Pink Mustache. It is not the positive atmosphere Lyft attempts to create on their Facebook page. Lyft drivers have a right to fear deactivation because Lyft sets their minimum threshold too high. They expect Lyft riders to fire out 5 stars every time and/or give 1 star ratings to avoid drivers.

All "1" star ratings should be followed-up to confirm authenticity. What if a taxi driver took a ride and gave a poor rating to affect ridesharing drivers? Lyft is the stubborn evil giant that believes they can win the ridesharing game. Once prospective and current drivers learn about the rating system there, they will jump ship to drive with a more respectable ridesharing company.

To drive in fear is stressful. Lyft puts fear into their drivers with Community Review flags and email warnings that this is your last chance. Would you want your boss and Human Resource to give you warnings of a potential termination? What if this occurred before Christmas?

Lyft did this to a good driver and never reconsidered them again. They even told this driver to be patient for a few weeks so they could fact check this deactivation. This driver knew better and applied with SideCar and got on the road in 2 days after the Lyft deactivation. Lyft mistreats their drivers. They give them bad advice.

On one occasion, a Lyft driver manager told a driver not to worry about purchasing a better car and swapping it out on their driver account. At this time, the star rating score remained at 4.84. Three weeks later, this driver with a newer car got deactivated with no recourse. After driving a drunk girl who got mad paying $10 instead of $8 for her ride, this driver's score dropped to 4.79. She wanted this driver to go down one-way streets and he told her it wasn't safe.

In the end, this girl reduced his overall rating below the minimum threshold with firing out low stars and leaving a passive aggressive comment. This driver got deactivated 10 days before Christmas with a car payment, student loans, bills and an uncertain future. Lyft did nothing to fix this situation. They made up excuses, using their rating system as a community standard to deactivate drivers who fell short. This evil giant must be exposed for influencing the very people who made them successful.

Stars matter the most at Lyft. If you are not a high star performer, you get the boot at Lyft. There is no middle ground, no bottom level. Low stars = deactivation.

Read the Uber article and think of Lyft. This author is spot on about driver ratings. Just think of Lyft.