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- Jul 28, 2015
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- Los Angeles, CA
- What a STUPID question. Sad!
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Well-Known Member, Male, from Los Angeles, CA
People think Lyft is the lesser of two evils, but people are sheep. Feb 21, 2017
- Trump Economics was last seen:
- Feb 27, 2017 at 4:43 PM
- Los Angeles, CA
AN OPEN LETTER TO LYFT
- What a STUPID question. Sad!
Hey, Lyft! I just have a few quick questions…
Per your Terms of Service (Last Updated September 30, 2016), I’m reaching out to you for guidance on a variety of topics, which are designed to improve our business relationship. If, for any reason, you’re unable to answer these questions, I’d like to continue to Pre-Arbitration Negotiation, which will serve to remedy my complaints – many of which are financial in nature.
- In the wake of Uber’s most recent sexual harassment allegation, what new safety measures – if any – have you introduced that are actively working to prevent similar incidents from occurring at your company? Further, are you aware that many of your drivers are being sexually harassed and assaulted on a yearly basis? And since drivers are pre-screened for safety reasons and passengers are not, would it be fair to assume that you value one person’s safety more than the other?
- Drivers can’t see where a passenger is going until they arrive at their location, which means they must cancel on a passenger in person. What are you doing to keep drivers safe in the event of an altercation?
- Many of your drivers are now earning less than minimum wage and can no longer afford to maintain their vehicles (new tires, brakes, etc.). If a fatal car accident occurs, are you willing to take responsibility for it?
- Many drivers report working more than 60 hours a week, which generally occurs when their earnings fall below minimum wage. What are you doing to prevent them from falling asleep at the wheel?
- Independent contractors are required to do their taxes every 3 months. Without giving anyone tax advice, why are you not informing new drivers of this? Is it because this would deter them from driving for you if they were faced with the upfront costs of doing so in advance?
- When a driver signs up for your service, why are they not being informed of any insurance gaps that come along with it? Is it because this would deter them from driving for you if they were faced with the upfront costs of doing so in advance?
- You run ads that claim your drivers make up to $1,500 a week. In what cities are drivers making $1,500 a week?
- You allow your drivers the ability to receive tips, which you then use to reduce their earnings on an hourly basis. Specifically, a driver who consistently earns good tips will receive less calls (or calls that pay less) until their earnings are brought back down to a pre-determined level. Do you think this is the best practice for independent contractors?
- In your Terms of Service, you state, “When a passenger requests a ride, the driver who will get there soonest gets a notice," but calls are constantly being reassigned, even when the passenger makes a new request from inside the vehicle. Do you think this is the best practice for independent contractors?
- On a regular basis, you end up charging the customer a greater amount than what you indicate on our end. Can you elaborate on why this occurs, especially during Primetime calls?
- On a regular basis, you threaten your drivers with deactivation if they cancel too many calls, but you haven’t indicated what the threshold of reliability should be. How is a driver supposed to know how many calls they can or cannot cancel if you won’t specify an amount? You’ve also been known to lower a driver’s acceptance rating during a no-show event, which makes it appear as if you’re attempting to reduce the number of Power Driver Bonuses you have to give out. You wouldn’t do that though, right?
- You engage in the practice of cancelling calls when a driver is already in route, which is being done because you found a closer driver to give the call to. Is this not correct?
- You leave any city that requires a fingerprint-based background check because you claim it discriminates against minorities, but the FBI doesn’t seem to agree. It sounds like minorities are routinely discriminated against and are at risk for higher levels of unemployment, which makes them a prime candidate to drive on your platform. Is this correct?
- Drivers have been accused of discriminating against minority passengers, who typically wait longer for a ride. Since this statistic was announced in 2016, what have you done to correct it?
- Many people with disabilities are not being picked up in a discriminatory fashion. What are you doing to correct this?
- Drivers are routinely deactivated for low ratings and customer complaints, but how do you decide what’s true and what’s not? In the case of your rating system, how do you filter out fact from discrimination, and are you certain you have never accidentally deactivated a driver for reasons that were based on discrimination?
- You typically engage in subprime auto lending that promotes the very same principles of our last great recession. If a financial collapse should occur again in the near future, are you willing to pay for any losses that are associated with your part?
- When a passenger does damage to a driver’s vehicle, you determine the amount of the cleaning fee, even if the damage is far greater than what you decide. How is this determined?
- If drivers don’t want to arbitrate their claims, they can file a lawsuit against you in small claims court. Do you have a preference?
HOW LYFT USES YOUR TIPS AGAINST YOUAre you aware that your tips on Lyft are being used against you in order to reduce your pay?
If the Lyft algorithm evenly distributes the total amount of calls coming in by the total amount of available drivers and determines that an $18/hour rate (before taxes and expenses) is applicable, then drivers – by a wide majority – must not exceed that threshold.
This means that if Chris grossed $18.32 over the course of 60 minutes by doing 2 calls, Sarah should earn a similar amount for the 3 calls that she completed. But since Sarah was in a better mood this hour and got tipped $5 from each passenger, she actually made $33 (gross), whereas Chris is left with nothing but his fares.
This, then, means that Sarah will get considerably fewer calls (or calls that pay less) for the duration of the evening (or week), which allows the system to bring her pay back down to an $18/hour rate. So, who gets the calls that Sarah wasn't able to collect (or calls that pay more) because Lyft is determining her pay? Other drivers. Wait, what? That doesn't make any sense. After all, commission equals commission, so why not just leave Sarah alone and give her every call she’s entitled to?
- Any call that Sarah is not being given is routed to another driver, which gives them the appearance of normal activity (similar to guarantees), and any higher paying call that Sarah is not being allowed to collect is going towards the other driver's $18/hour rate. This is similar to a pyramid scheme, where someone always gets the short end of a stick. (Sarah might also be having her higher paying calls siphoned away because she has a history of collecting the Power Driver Bonus, which means Lyft really wants to give her as many lower paying calls as they can, that way their commission losses are marginalized.)
- Other drivers (including new drivers) are needed because Sarah could quit any time, but they’re also needed because Lyft is trying to collect every call that comes into their platform before the user defects to Uber, which is usually the case when the customer wants a rate that isn’t Primetime, or because they’d like to get a faster eta. In other words, Sarah can’t collect all of these calls on her own, and Lyft is actively working to increase their own commission by having as many money-making machines on their platform as they can.
- Many people think Lyft should have less drivers and higher rates (Primetime or otherwise), that way everyone involved can make more money, but you’re not thinking like a business owner. If your rates were consistently high, why would anyone choose you over the competition? Yes, Lyft clearly wants normal rates, customers that return, and lots of drivers (employees) so they can collect every revenue opportunity that comes along, but how do they go about doing this? Perhaps you've noticed the little pink squares on your map no longer guarantee a Primetime rate, but Lyft never made this announcement publicly. In fact, they intentionally let the opposite occur for an extended period of time in order to condition your behavior, which is why you still feel euphoric whenever you see pink squares on your screen. But what if I told you those pink squares were fictional? And what if I told you you were being manipulated into driving solely for the purpose of providing continual coverage in the following order:
- the ability to collect every call...
- which equals normal rates...
- which equals customers that return.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Translation: The only thing worse than Uber is a company that does the exact same thing, but claims to be different, and uses your tips against you. Lyft is the one you should really be keeping an eye out for.