Much ink has been spilled over the pros and cons of the ride-sharing services that have quickly become a fixture of city life. But not so much has been said about what happens when your friendly, neighborhood rando tries to pick you up (after he picks you up).
Valleywag has the full tale of a 10-minute Lyft ride turned multi-week adventure in the worst kind of text etiquette in the books. It all started when a woman's Lyft driver pulled over, parked, and asked for her number.
First mistake goes to the female Lyft user in question, who gave her number out even though she wasn't into it. (However, it's fair to note that most women feel uncomfortable flat-out dissing someone who asks for their number, and many will give it their number and figure they can always reconsider or ignore any future contact as the case arises. But I digress.)
After leaving her Lyft, the woman got a text from the driver, but she ignored it (this is pretty standard code for "I'm not interested"). That's when the real trouble started, and where the story devolves from creepy Lyft driver to total breakdown of human interaction.
From her side, there's a definite failure to be clear and just say, "I'm not interested" until the clueless and persistent driver was slinging such lines as: "You give a bad name to females." and "That's what you do. Flirt flirt. Cut it off. Very typical." The part that puts this one beyond the weirdy text exchanges we've all experienced, however? The sham cancer scare.
From the full exchange, which you should really check out:
"It's okay. Found out I had cancer today. Icky. I'm admittedly projecting. Sorry"
"God, I feel so bad. Never drank until now. Meeting my own death is very scary."
"False diagnosis. I'm ok."
We're not sure if this is a common problem in the ride-share space (although the Gawker piece quotes a Lyft drivers who says that stalking was a big problem when riders' number were visible to drivers), or rather a byproduct of up-front interactions being replaced by text messaging, which lends itself to vagueness, evasion, and creepy messages from lonely souls. Lyft, whose messaging revolves around a "friend to friend," fist-bump company vibe, hasn't commented on the incident.
On the bright side? The Lyft stalker in question has better spelling than most idle pickup texters we've encountered. Perhaps he'll be able to find love after all.
We’re sorry that this passenger had to deal with this situation - it’s not acceptable behavior for anyone in the Lyft community. The Lyft team takes trust and safety matters such as this very seriously. Our screening process includes a criminal background check that is more strict than what is required for California limo and taxi drivers. Additionally, to protect personal identity, Lyft uses a third-party service that masks both driver and passenger phone numbers. Any reports of inappropriate driver conduct are investigated and appropriate actions are taken. Passengers are able to leave feedback immediately following a ride using the app and drivers’ accounts with low ratings are disabled. While the post was anonymous, we have a support case that matches both timing and story details, and that driver’s account was disabled.