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Are you looking for a rideshare company but you’re not sure whether to start with Uber or Lyft? Which rideshare company is better? To help you decide which you want to use, we’ve compiled reviews and ratings for Lyft and Uber so that you can compare their services side by side.
Lyft is a rideshare company that started in 2012 in San Francisco and now operates across 644 cities in the US and 12 cities in Canada. They use the mobile application and ride-sharing services as well as bike sharing and scooter sharing.
Uber is a multinational ride-sharing company that provides peer-to-peer ride-sharing as well as ride service hailing solutions through your phone. This company was started in San Francisco in 2009 and today operates around the world.
Both companies give you ride fares based on multiple components such as:
Where they differ is in terms of the extra fees and hidden costs. For example, both companies use what is called “surge times” and this refers to peak hours where they charge you more for the same distance you might have traveled the day before at a different time just because they have high demand. Neither company gives warning for when these peak hours happen nor is there any information on how much the extra cost will be until you’ve already booked.
This is important because once you’ve already hailed a vehicle from either company you are contractually obligated to pay whatever that amount ends up being so if you call for a ride from either company and it turns out to be peak hours, you could be paying a lot more than you expected. In this situation Uber is much more expensive, increasing their price sometimes by a factor of 8 while the Lyft company usually only increases the cost by a factor of 2.
However, there are many more hidden fees for Lyft than there are for Uber. So, if you are going to an airport or you have an extra person or you are going across a bridge, there could be a lot of hidden fees from Lyft, that again you are legally required to pay once you have hailed the ride.
With Uber you can use the app to get an estimate for the total cost of the ride that is somewhat more reliable than what you would get through the Lyft app.
Both companies function with an app but the application with Uber is much more user-friendly and provides you things like seeing where the driver will arrive, being able to give them a rating after your experience. You can even tip the driver if you had a good experience, write them a thank-you note and give them compliments. As mentioned you can also use the Uber application to get a fairly accurate estimate for what you will pay and book your ride through that app. Arguably customers find this to be a much easier application to use with more options.
Coverage is significantly better with Uber than it is with Lyft. If you are in a city where both options operate like San Diego or San Francisco, you might be able to get a cheaper ride during busy hours, but Uber still has a higher coverage area as it operates around the world.
Tangentially, Uber also has a better availability of vehicles. The company caters to professionals so it offers high end luxury vehicles through the LUX selection,UberX, and UberBlack. Lyft does not have the same range of high-quality vehicle options.
The Better Business Bureau has given the Lyft company an A+ rating, a rating which does not reflect upon the customer service reviews or complaints. In terms of the complaints they have earned one out of five stars.
The Better Business Bureau has not provided a rating for the company because they are not accredited but the customer reviews have earned Uber a 1 out of 5 star rating. In the last three years they’ve had over 5,000 complaints lodged against them with 2,000 of those complaints closed within the last 12 months.
Consumer affairs has given Uber 3.8 out of 5 stars. They have given Lyft 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Uber is currently facing government action:
FTC Consent Agreement Privacy Data
On August 15, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), entered into a Consent Agreement with Uber Technologies, Inc., File No.1523054.
According to the complaint, the FTC alleged that Uber “failed to live up to its claims that it closely monitored employee access to consumer and driver data and that it deployed reasonable measures to secure personal information it stored on third party cloud provider servers.”
The FTC’s complaint also alleges “that despite Uber’s claim that data was securely stored, Uber’s security practices failed to provide reasonable security to prevent unauthorized access to consumers’ personal information in databases Uber stored with a third party cloud provider. As a result an intruder accessed personal information about Uber drivers in May 2014, including more than 100,000 names and driver’s license numbers that Uber stored in a datastore operated by Amazon Web Services.”
The FTC alleges that Uber “did not take reasonable, low cost measures that could have helped the company prevent the breach.” In addition, Uber stored sensitive consumer information including, geolocation information, in plain readable text in database back-ups stored in the cloud.
Uber neither admits nor denies any of the allegations in the complaint.
Another government action took place via Washington State:
Washington State AG’s Office -Data Breach
On November 28, 2017, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Uber for failing to report a massive data breach.
The Washington State Attorney General alleges that Uber violated the State’s Data Breach Notification Law, which requires that consumers and the Attorney General’s Office be notified within 45 days of a breach. The Attorney General alleges that Uber notified them 372 days after it discovered the breach.
On September 26, 2018, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office entered into a Consent Decree with Uber Technologies, Inc. No.17-2-30506-5 SEA
Lyft customers have complained about the inability to accurately estimate their fare, and as one customer put it, “The drivers have been consistently friendly and courteous. They have arrived on time and got me where I needed to be on time. My only concern is I use the same route to and from the airport and the cost varied.”
In both cases what it seems to come down to in terms of reviews is a mixed bag of good vs bad drivers specifically. Moore reviews have to do with the individual experiences than with the entire company. As one customer summed up, “Some are very good, some ok, and one awful. All have been punctual. But the quality and cleanliness varies. The awful one was smelly and we almost had an accident within two minutes. He ran the stop sign. The car was dirty and smelly and if we hadn’t had to be on time, we would have gotten out. The best one was an immaculate SUV. It looked brand new even though it was about 7 years old. The driver was polite, cautious, very neatly dressed. He had free water in front and in back and little cups with candies in the cup holder. He was a real professional and made the last leg of our trip a pleasure.”
Most companies offer customer support in the same ways, support through the app, website support, critical response lines in the event of emergencies, and phone numbers. The Lyft customer service has shown itself to be slightly more helpful in terms of solving problems especially when it comes to getting in touch with a real person who can actually answer your questions.
However, users have complained about Lyft customer service in that they have sought help against fees that were supposed to be waived, and the customer stated, “I have been trying to resolve issue with lyft directly without involving legal litigation but i get discriminated against and shut down by every one at lyft.”
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