Skip to main content

My Ridesharing Experience: How Lyft Fired Me Over False Accusations

Kathleen is a professional freelance writer and blogger with over a decade of experience writing professionally.

Deactivation haunts rideshare drivers.

Deactivation haunts rideshare drivers.

All About Driving for Lyft

When I was first hired by Lyft, I had reservations. Would I be safe? Would I get a decent amount of work? Would the pay make the job worth it? Would being a woman put me at a disadvantage safety-wise?

All of these thoughts rushed through my brain, but at the end of the day, we all have bills that need to be paid so I sucked it up and gave it a go.

As it turned out, I loved driving for Lyft. As someone who is more of an introvert, it helped me get outside, meet new people, strike up conversations, and ultimately it ended up improving my overall self-esteem.

I would wake up at six in the morning, catch the morning rush, wait that out, take a power nap and then hop back in my car for the afternoon rush. There was nothing I disliked about my job. I got to be my own boss, make my own hours, know how much money I was making to ensure my bills were covered... it was glorious.

That is, until they deactivated my account.

The dreaded deactivation message.

The dreaded deactivation message.

Reasons for Deactivation According to Lyft's Policy

Getting deactivated as a Lyft driver is the worst. It usually happens without warning, and many times you have no idea why it happened. Worse, Lyft rarely gives you an explanation of why you were deactivated. One minute you’re able to sign into the app and give rides, and the next minute you see the dreaded “Your account has been deactivated” message.

According to the agreement you enter with Lyft, when you become a driver, there are 18 different ways your account can become deactivated. Here are those situations:

  1. Outdated documents
  2. Vehicle is too old
  3. Transporting a minor
  4. Breaking a law while driving
  5. Driving under the influence
  6. Allowing passengers to engage in drugs or alcohol during a ride
  7. Discrimination
  8. Refusal to transport a service animal
  9. Sexual harassment of a passenger
  10. Texting while driving
  11. Low driver rating
  12. Giving free rides
  13. Passenger complaints
  14. Changes to your criminal record or driving record
  15. Falsifying documents
  16. Carrying a weapon on the job
  17. Smoking on the job
  18. Bringing a friend or family member along for the ride

If you think I may be blowing this out of proportion, I assure you I am not. This has even happened to senior contributor Jay Cradeur who has 25,000+ rides and a 4.9-star rating—so if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.

My Unexpected and Unwarranted Dismissal From Lyft's Rideshare Program

As I mentioned earlier, Lyft provides you weekly with all of the feedback provided by passengers—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm not going to pretend I never got criticism, but I can say that never received a complaint regarding unsafe driving.

Because of this, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up one day to start working and see an email from Lyft saying my account was deactivated due to unsafe driving.

Unsafe driving? Not one person had ever reported my driving to be unsafe. Not once had Lyft warned me about possibly being banned from their rideshare program.

What a slap in the face.

At first, I assumed it was a mistake. I sent them a polite email asking for an explanation as I had never received negative feedback regarding my driving. They told me they couldn't go into detail.

Here I am, a 4.8-star driver with impeccable reviews, mysteriously banned from Lyft.

This led me to some digging. The more I searched, the more successful rideshare drivers I found who were let go without warning, without any knowledge of what they had done to deserve being let go from Lyft's program.

Some people believe it is Lyft's way of weeding out the drivers who make the most revenue through tips so it doesn't hurt their bottom line, others just believe Lyft couldn't care less about who drives for them as long as they have cars on the road.

Whatever the case, I know it wasn't my driving that got me fired from Lyft—so if not that, then what?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Kathleen Odenthal


WENDY CALLOWAY on July 29, 2020:

The same thing happened to me. My score remained at 4.8 to 4.9 never a complaint. I had not driven since right before Covid started and I got the same email. I emailed and never got a straight answer. I even told them the last time I drove was early February and always kept a high rating. I may use F.O.I.A. not to drive again but to see what they have on me. I never had complaints and drove Uber a lot more than Lyft

Kyler J Falk from California on February 26, 2020:

I'm surprised I haven't heard more about this topic, great article.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 08, 2020:

I wonder how long on average is to be activated by Lyft. I have only ridden in an UBER and they were all brand new cars. On inquiring they were bought just for the Job -- great new cars. They said just the tips covered the payments.

Now if that guy got deactivated he would be screwed.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 08, 2020:

This was an interesting read, Kathleen. I am sorry your account was deactivated. Is there any way of being reinstated after a certain time? I had not heard of Lyft, only Uber and haven't travelled in either but have friends who use Uber all the time. Thanks for sharing your experience.