Lyft Referral Bonus Tally & Thoughts

I’m thrilled to have received bonuses from Lyft, but I am a bit disappointed with how the company handled things.

I shared the promotion with friends, thinking that Lyft would be reasonable and just in terms of the bonus. Unfortunately that was not the case.

Two of my friends who I referred should have definitely qualified but did not. Not only did myself and my friends miss out on potential bonuses, it also made me feel stupid for suggesting it to them. And they were probably the two most-qualified people I could’ve referred!!

One of those friends lives in Chicago and has some free time on his hands – imagine if he had received the bonus, started driving and enjoyed it — he would’ve been loyal to Lyft and he’d probably be making money for them right now! Instead, Lyft stalled his application, only emailing him the day of the first-ride extended deadline to tell him his picture didn’t qualify.

He immediately submitted a new picture and contacted support. Support told him it would take 2-3 days to approve the new picture and he couldn’t qualify for the bonus. Instead, the picture and his account were approved less than 9 hours after the deadline for him to give his first ride. Great timing, Lyft!

Another friend of mine is already an Uber driver who is able to maximize her earnings by utilizing Uber Plus and offering her clients a first-class experience. She boosts her already impressive earnings by generating more cash tips than I could ever dream of. It seems like every other day she’s telling me about a passenger who tipped her $50 on a $100 ride and I think she even has gotten a $100 tip multiple times!

Anyway, she is clearly a great driver. And if Lyft wants to compete with Uber, she’s the type of partner they should be aligned with. Unfortunately, Lyft claimed she didn’t sign up using my code and she signed up outside of the promotion… Neither of those claims are true. Due to Lyft’s non-existent referral tracking, there is no way to know who signed up using my code and Lyft won’t acknowledge this information.

They claim it violates their privacy policy, but that conflicts with how they handle other bonuses. Just the other day I received an email from Lyft with the name and picture of a driver I had referred. The email told me she had completed 20 rides and I’d be given a $50 referral bonus. She lives in the Orange County service area, where the $1000 bonus was not offered.

(Pro tip – for future bonuses, Lyft’s policy is that wherever a new driver does her welcome ride is the service area she’ll be signed up for. So had she done her welcome ride in the Los Angeles service area, she & I would’ve qualified for the $1000 bonus.)

All in all, I’m thrilled to have been credited with 5 $1000 referrals but I am disappointed with this experience with Lyft. I feel like they didn’t give new drivers a genuine opportunity to qualify for the bonus and didn’t give referrers like me enough access to referral information, like which of my friends signed up, when they signed up and when they qualified.