This past weekend, we took a short trip down to Atlanta for a friend’s wedding. Beautiful ceremony and fun reception afterward with an open bar (yay). I don’t like to drive in general and especially don’t like to drive in areas of heavy traffic like downtown Atlanta, so we decided to take Lyft to get to the wedding site and back. Getting down there was fine, as it almost always has been with my previous ride-sharing experiences. We had a friendly driver who acted and drove like a normal person.
Getting back home was another story. After hanging out at the wedding reception for a bit, we made our way back down to the hotel lobby and hailed another Lyft. The driver pulled up, we got in, and went on our way. At first, she seemed normal.
Then we noticed that her speech was slurred. And then the car is swerving back and forth on the highway. Mrs. Lite Adventurer notices that her eyes occasionally close and she briefly falls asleep several times. Uh oh. Not a good situation. About 5 minutes into our ride, Mrs. Lite has a brilliant idea: she fakes an upset stomach and asks the driver to pull over at the next exit so she can find a bathroom to use. The driver expresses her condolences at Mrs. Lite’s concocted gastrointestinal shenanigans and agrees to stop the ride short. Homegirl is so intoxicated that she rolls right past the next 2 exits as she blabbers on about some inane story that neither of us can fully understand because she’s slurring her words so badly. As we approach the next exit, we guide our driver, step by step, in getting to the exit lane and eventually pulling into the nearest gas station we could find. We get out, take a breather of relief, hang out in the gas station for a few minutes to make sure this crazy bitch is gone, and call Uber to get a different driver for the remainder of the trip back.
As soon as we got back, I contacted Lyft to report the incident. If you’ve never done this before, here’s a brief step-by-step:
How to report an atrocious Lyft driver
Open up the Lyft app and click on the small icon in the upper left of the screen that looks like a human head and shoulders. Once the menu’s open, click on Help:
Next, we’ll want to click on Help Center:
At the following screen, click on Report an accident, safety incident, or citation:
And finally, click on Call Me, enter your phone number, and someone from Lyft will call you. My phone call came within 10 seconds.
When I explained the situation, the guy who I talked to spent a good bit of time apologizing and informed me that the driver would have her driving privileges revoked while they investigated the incident. They also forwarded my information to their service department who got back to me 2 days later and refunded my money for the trip. Overall, I’m satisfied with how they handled things, though it would have been nice to get a call from the service department a little more promptly than 2 days after the initial call. My main goal was to get the deviant driver off the road as fast as possible, so hopefully that is what actually happened (I have no way to verify this unfortunately).
A few tips I’ve learned from this experience:
- If anything like this happens to you, please report the driver as soon as possible. We were fortunate that no harm was done, but the next person may not have been so lucky. Do not let something like this go.
- When you’re dealing with someone who’s either drunk or severely messed up on some other drug, be careful in how you approach him. You don’t want to upset him or piss him off, especially if he’s driving the car with you in it. The goal is to get out of the car safely as fast as possible. A gentle approach likely works best in most situations. Mrs. Lite Adventurer’s way of handling this was right on. I probably would have handled this in a much more confrontational and combative manner, but I’m glad it didn’t come to that.
- Overall, I’m still very happy with my experiences with Uber and Lyft. I much prefer these ride sharing methods to taking taxis, and I look forward to the day we have driverless cars and an ecosystem that makes them both convenient and affordable for regular people. I hope this transition happens before I get really old and become a menace behind the wheel.