Trouble for Lyft?

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I’ve questioned before whether Lyft might be struggling with funding.  But now their biggest driver recruitment promotion ever is set to disappoint hundreds (if not thousands) of potential drivers as well as current drivers referring them.


Yesterday I questioned whether Lyft would be able to fulfill the bonus offer made to drivers.  Today, indications from Lyft are that they may not, according to an email sent to applicants (including me):

Last week’s invitation – apply to be a driver, give 1 ride by March 5, and make $1,000 – brought the biggest wave of applicants in Lyft history.

As we’re processing the applications, it’s important that we continue to fulfill our safety obligations. Some of these steps, including DMV and background checks, are outside our control and can vary in length for different applicants.

It is possible that you won’t qualify for the promotion if all steps aren’t completed by the March 5 deadline, along with the ride requirement. In the meantime, you can check the status of your application at

We’ll be in touch again via email with another update on Friday. Thank you for your patience.

If mere backlogs and not finances were at the root of the stall, wouldn’t it be prudent to extend the ride completion deadlines instead of saying “sorry, you may not qualify”?  To not plan to communicate until Friday suggests an intent to let tomorrow’s deadline pass quietly.

Something smells a bit rotten in Lyft-land.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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  1. Got the email, still haven’t completed background check. My wife’s background check is complete, but the system mysteriously isn’t let her drive. Smells fishy. If Lyft doesn’t extend the deadline so drivers can actually, you know, drive for them to fulfill the terms of the promo, there is going to be a shitstorm of bad publicity for them. What a blunder.

    • When did you and your wife met with the lyft mentor? just to have an idea of how long is taking the background check

    • i hope one of us who signed up knows how to file and win a class action lawsuit 😀 would love to be part of a settlement.

  2. Update from the latest reward boss post:
    Lyft learned a lesson this week, and we’re sorry for the frustration it caused you. We vastly underestimated the volume of applications we would receive for our $1,000 referral promotion, which was created to help us keep up with record-breaking passenger demand.

    We owe it to the driver community and our passengers to make sure our approval process is rigorous and complete. All elements of our safety process are imperative and can take time – that means some applications haven’t been approved yet even though the applicant’s DMV and background checks are in. We know this can be frustrating.

    Based on ideas from our community, here are the actions we’re taking:
    Extension of deadline to March 12 for those who applied for this promotion and pass their DMV and background check by March 5. We’re still completing our internal review of many applications, but if your DMV and background checks pass by end of day today (March 5), we’re providing an extension until March 12 to meet your ride requirement.

    We, at Lyft, will not benefit from an application if an applicant does not qualify for the promotion and does not want to continue through the application process. By default, we won’t use any information from the applications of drivers who don’t qualify for the promotion, unless they would like us to continue with the application.
    We’re reaching out to your friends by email tomorrow evening about their eligibility for the extension outlined above (or, if they’re not eligible, the choice of whether to continue with their application). Because of our privacy policy, we can’t share information with you about the status of your friend’s application.

    It’s the responsibility of our team to make sure whenever we develop big ideas, we continue to keep the best interests of drivers top of mind. That’s the company we always strive to be.

    We still have some work to do to get there – and it’s work we want to do together with you. Thanks to those of you who gave us productive feedback on how to improve, and for holding us to a higher standard.

    John Zimmer
    Lyft Co-Founder

    • I got the same email around 10:45 last night… was too tired to walk to the computer and post about it.

  3. I downloaded lyft app filled up all necessary steps to be a driver. Unfortunately got stuck. I provided my name phone number even my paypal account, given pass code, each time I use it, it said wrong code, so far I rested with 5 codes still to no avail. And worse part, no where to get help.
    Then on wednesday, April 1 2015 I got an email to contact a mentor and trainer named Christopher
    I called his number and discussed my situation and assured me that he would help me set up.
    Made an appointment to meet at 4:30PM in downtown Los Angeles 530 Ramirez St. at Denny’s restaurant. Just to minimize traffic, I got there at 3:30PM and I txted him, 4:30 texted him again, 5:30 final text that I was leaving. Halfway to get home at just about 20 min. before 6:00 he called me to ask me where I was???

  4. Correction: I meant, how do I get a legit help? – My driving record is excellent, customer service same way. Basically, my background is super clean.

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