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One Lyft Passenger’s Experience Turned Creepy During Routine Pickup

by Brandon Russell | July 16, 2013July 16, 2013 7:00 pm PST

lyft

Lyft at one point probably sounded like a brilliant idea, something great that could shake up the transportation industry. Reading about it now sounds exciting, convenient. Taxis can be intimidating and dangerous, and Lyft is pitched as a much friendlier service, almost like getting a ride from “your next best friend.” Unlikely, but that’s the service’s biggest allure. That and seemingly anyone with a vehicle can participate.

But we’re hearing more horror stories suggesting Lyft really should have never left incubation. Unless you like being accosted by your Lyft driver, or beat up by competing taxi services. It’s almost like the beginning of a scary movie.

According to Lyft’s website, as long as you have a car and clean driving record, you can drive on the company’s platform. Sounds reasonable enough. Except when you realize more thorough screening practices should probably be performed, like actually seeing if that Lyft driver at your curb is a normal human being. As pointed out by Gawker’s Valleywag, one individual ran into a driver that teetered on stalker status. And that’s when things got ever weirder.

Following a fairly routine Lyft experience, one passenger’s ride suddenly turned awkward and frightening.

“Got to my destination and he pulled over and parked, and asked if I would like to hang out some time, and I felt really uncomfortable being put on the spot so I gave him my number and bounced,” the passenger said. “He texted me later that day and I didn’t respond and I pretty much ignored him.” But he did not ignore her, as a series of texts reveal.

Instead of accepting her rejection, the Lyft driver began relentlessly texting the woman, insisting that they meet up despite her objections. She rebuffed him, but he kept on. And so it went. To be fair, it’s not much different from any other rejection conversation, until the guy gets really desperate and starts harassing the woman. He even fakes having cancer, only to say it was a false alarm. Classy.

This obviously wouldn’t be newsworthy under any other circumstance, but since this is one of those myopic Silicon Valley startups, it’s worth pointing out, at least as a warning to others. Lyft has already been cut off in the Los Angeles area, so it’s not the most welcomed service as it is. By all accounts, some Lyft experiences have gone off without a hitch. But there’s always the off chance your next driver could be a closet lunatic. Lyft, for its part, refunded the gal, who admitted she’s had “nothing but positive experiences with Lyft (minus the guy).”

Check out the source link for the woman’s full account, including the texts exchanged between her and the driver.

Valleywag

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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