Missed Connections

So, since Uber doesn’t know what they’re doing in the column of tips, I’ve been giving Lyft a shot.  Why do I say this about Uber?  Passengers regularly ask me about how to tip. I inform them it’s supposed to be a tip-free service.  Some passengers ask if the tip is built in. I tell them, if it is, then what they pay the driver is lower than anybody could possibly even keep their car functioning with. So no, I would say clearly not.

After a couple nights with Lyft, their pre-tip fare is at least as good as Uber. At least what I’m getting as a new driver. And post-tip, when it works, it blows Uber out of the water. At least 40% more through Lyft.  And the passengers comment on their end it’s cheaper.  So it’s a win-win for both.  Again, when it works.

This post is about when it doesn’t work.


I started driving at 7pm last night. I got two fares between then and 10:30pm when I took an hour off, since I drove from El Mirage, to Tempe, through Scottsdale then back. Two. Fares. In 3.5 hours, roughly.

So, I went back out at 11:30. Clocked on as I backed out of the driveway. I had two more fares (maybe three?) between then…. and four. There were full hour long blocks between all of these, but two.

Now, the whole time, I kept getting texts like the one in the image above. And the cancellation, I might add, was after driving 20 minutes, and he cancelled when i was about a block away. I saw his phone out. I watched him do it. I was pulling into the parking lot as I got the alert he cancelled it. Sure, he was standing with two gorgeous girls who were standing in a posture that told me they were flirting with him but very defensive as they clearly didn’t know him.  (or weren’t comfortable with him.)  So I get why he cancelled.  But still.  Plus, it appears Lyft doesn’t pay you anything when the passenger cancels after you’ve driven fucking twenty minutes to get to them? I need to look into that because that alone would make Lyft a bust vs. Uber.  Fuck the tips.

So, back to the point. First, about my phone. It’s a Droid Turbo (first one, looking forward to getting the phone that would have been the Turbo 3 here in a few weeks) – Now, I’ve used lift for over 300 fares now. I’ve never once had an issue with connectivity. Not even when I was taking somebody clear out in the sticks southeast of town. Never had a problem using facebook, even in the middle of nowhere, Arizona. It may work slowly, but it still works. So I can’t believe transmitting GPS coordinates or whatever else Lyft could possibly be needing to fire back and forth, could possibly be held up.  I don’t buy it.

I was getting those texts about no connection all night. Starting with the first one I kept a close eye on the connection status. 100% LTE uptime. Not once did I ever catch it disappearing.  The lowest bars I ever noticed was a quick drop to 3. 3 bars of 4G LTE. I know the difference. LTE disappears if it drops to just 4g. It never did. It was silent.

So, I started actually getting kicked to offline. When it first happened it had been about 1.5 hours since the last fare. So I closed the app, shut off data, wiped memory. Then reconnected the data, waited a bit for it to sync, and turned on the app.

Instantly got the pickup where the dude cancelled as I pulled up. After a bit, I started getting the texts again.  Did the close and restart trick a couple times. Got more texts. Fully rebooted my phone. Got another pickup.  At the end of that pickup, trying to close it out, the button color would change showing I pushed it.  Over and over. Nothing happened.  Closed the app, wiped the memory, relaunched it.  Tried cancelling again.  Close/wiped/reopened again, let me close it that time.

So, over 6h20m or so signed in, I didn’t even make 40 bucks.  After the trouble just doing the simple action of ending a ride, and couldn’t, I switched to Uber. I was online 53 minutes, did 2 fares, made 36.49. Granted, I got a little lucky one of them was a long run to the Airport.  But not really. Not for the time of day and part of town I was in. So, I’ll be getting to 50 rides as soon as possible, hopefully soon enough to get the 100 dollar bonus.  I’m not worried about making it happen.

On Reddit, i’ve learned that if you don’t get a ride in 20 minutes max, disconnect, reconnect. 10-15, even.  Because apparently Lyft just loses track of drivers and essentially the drivers are zombies and useless to Lyft, because of said losing of the drivers.  Well, that’s the interpretation anyway.  So I’ll give that a shot tonight.

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