Two weeks ago, I went on a nice long vacation with my wife. While walking back to our hotel from a restaurant, I saw a QR code with a Lyft ad taped to a post. I scanned the QR code and got credits for Lyft. I think it was $50 in credit…or maybe it was $15…I forget… It turns out I can only use $5 at a time. That’s fine. Free money is good.
The next day, we had to travel somewhere from our hotel. I used Lyft for the first time. I was confused at first if I had actually summoned the ride or not. (Turns out I hadn’t and was just staring at the screen. I fixed that after about a minute of waiting.) The ride was great and our driver was nice (although quiet) and we got where we were going with no trouble. I rated him 5 stars and gave him a nice tip.
A week later, we had to do the reverse trip from that same location but back to a hotel. Lyft came to mind again. I asked for a pickup and was told it would be six minutes until a guy came along in a black Toyota. After 4 or 5 minutes, I looked back at the app to see where he was. He was still listed as coming, but wasn’t on the map. That’s odd. Maybe he lost signal? Okay, whatever.
Traffic was pretty bad and at a near standstill, but I started to wonder how far away he was after 15 minutes. I walked down the sidewalk looking for him among the traffic. Nothing. I texted. No response for a couple minutes. I called and it went to voice mail.
At this point, I had to assume that we had been abandoned. If the guy was actually stuck in traffic, he’d have been able to see the text or answer the phone. It had been somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Okay, I can’t stay in limbo forever. I cancelled the ride and walked over to a line of cabs. We were at the hotel in 15 minutes. If we had just taken a cab from the start, we’d have been there much faster.
A couple days later, we had to travel to the airport. Lyft? Nope. They estimated about $40 with an additional 25% due to demand (on a Sunday at 11am)…but I had seen that the cabs had a flat $40 for trips from downtown to the airport. Given how much Lyft had let us down on that second ride and that there was a cab available right in front of us, that made much more sense.
Sorry Lyft, but the old standby won out.