Dear Lyft

Dear Lyft,

I received your notification that one of my passengers suggested that I might provide more in the way of customer service, and I would like to say that I hear what you’re saying…and completely don’t care.

First, my job isn’t to impress YOUR customers. It’s to pick them up from where they are and drop them off where they’re going. I’m not there to entertain them, make them feel good, create a “cheery” environment or make them excited about YOUR rideshare service. That’s YOUR job.

Second, even if I subscribed to the idea that customer service was part of my job description (which I don’t), you certainly to pay nearly enough for me to go above and beyond for YOUR customers. You see, when you take nearly half of the entire fare on virtually ALL of my rides, I’m not particularly motivated to anything beyond drive the car from A to B. I can’t even get $1 per mile on most of my rides anymore, yet I’m supposed to care that my passenger didn’t feel catered to enough?

You see, just like any other business relationship, if you treat your contractors like tools rather than partners, you get the bare minimum. You fought tooth and nail to keep us as independent contractors, and personally I’m all for that because I want the freedom that status affords me. The part where you went wrong is where you still want to treat us like employees, playing stupid games with rides and fares and trying to squeeze every penny out of us that you can rather than valuing the people who are out there doing the actual work that makes the money. We provide virtually everything that makes your service work: a vehicle, fuel, maintenance, depreciation. We take all the risks: accidents, violent passengers, wasted time due to no-shows or unaccompanied minors (which should be an automatic no-show charge!). And you want US to in addition to all this provide an outstanding customer service experience at no additional charge. Yeah, not happening.

So here’s the deal: don’t send me “tips” or “suggestions” or anything else coming from YOUR customers until YOU start paying a fair rate for services rendered. We should be getting at MINIMUM $1 per mile for every mile driven, and SIGNIFICANTLY increased rates during heavy traffic periods to compensate for the fact that we can’t cover as much ground with all the slow downs. Until this happens, you can expect absolutely nothing but the BARE minimum from me, and probably most other drivers out there.

Start treating us as business partners, and maybe you’ll start to see some of those profits you’ve been yearning for all these years. Continue trying to snatch short term gains at the expense of drivers and riders alike, and you’ll continue your downward spiral into failure. Either way, stop bothering me about what you want until you start caring about what I want.

Sincerely,

A dissatisfied business partner.

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