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It looks like the Lyft bonus promotion has turned into a major wreck, leaving drivers (and potential drivers) ensnarled in the pileup.
For those playing catch up, here’s the short version:
1. Last Thursday, Lyft offered an amazing driver sign up offer – $1,000 for new drivers who are approved and drive ONE ride in select cities by Thursday, March 5. Modified versions of the offer also exist ($500 in New York City as well as a $2,000 referral split for existing drivers referring a new driver with $1,000 to each driver).
2. The offer went viral. Existing drivers posted their referral code on rideshare message groups and on social media while bloggers also reposted the offer.
3. On Friday, Lyft quickly realizes that the influx of new driver applicants is much higher than projected and amends the original offer, grandfathering the first wave of applicants under the one ride requirement but requiring any applicant from that point forward to instead complete 30 rides by Sunday, March 8.
4. After a weekend where many potential drivers completed their mentor ride, many began to question how long the process would take (especially after existing drivers reported previously quick approvals).
5. Lyft gets out in front of the discussion by reporting a backlog in getting background checks processed. With less than 48 hours to go, they admit that some drivers may not be approved in time to get the bonus.
6. Referring drivers and new applicants work themselves into a frenzy on social media. Someone contacts an law firm about a possible class action case. Drivers discover they can call Sterling (the background check agency) to find out if their check has been completed and when. Some drivers discover their check has been ready for up to five days. (That number, by the way, is 888.869.5248)
7. Drivers mull options with mere hours left for the first promotion period. The Reward Boss collects names of applicants interested in group action.
And as of 3 pm today, that’s where it stands.
Meanwhile, I applied last Thursday evening, had my background check completed yesterday, and still have this….
My theory – Lyft will approve pending drivers after today’s one ride deadline has passed and graciously extend the offer to still qualify with 30 rides by Sunday. Thirty rides seems awfully high though without gaming the system, especially with a flood of new drivers. Lyft however seems to have opened the door to this by pulling a bait and switch act with their applicants.
It leaves a bad enough taste in this driver’s mouth that perhaps UberX and their minimum wage earnings are sweet by comparison!
Did you apply? What is your status and do you hold out hope that the one ride promotion will be extended?