Updated on June 3, 2015
Update: 3/7/15: Check your email! Lyft sent out emails around 1pm about the $1000 bonus payments saying a) “Your bonus for the $1000 promo is on the way.” or b) that you are still eligible but need to do something additional.
Lyft has extended the deadline for new driver applicants who applied and passed their DMV and background check by March 5!
Unfortunately, based on yesterday's polling results and many online complaints, most applicants have are stuck in the approval process. Lyft will be contacting those who applied about their eligibility by Friday evening.
I received the following apology email from Lyft:
Lyft learned a lesson this week, and we're sorry for the frustration it caused you. We vastly underestimated the volume of applications we would receive for our $1,000 referral promotion, which was created to help us keep up with record-breaking passenger demand.
We owe it to the driver community and our passengers to make sure our approval process is rigorous and complete. All elements of our safety process are imperative and can take time – that means some applications haven't been approved yet even though the applicant's DMV and background checks are in. We know this can be frustrating.
Based on ideas from our community, here are the actions we're taking:
Extension of deadline to March 12 for those who applied for this promotion and pass their DMV and background check by March 5. We're still completing our internal review of many applications, but if your DMV and background checks pass by end of day today (March 5), we're providing an extension until March 12 to meet your ride requirement.
We, at Lyft, will not benefit from an application if an applicant does not qualify for the promotion and does not want to continue through the application process. By default, we won't use any information from the applications of drivers who don't qualify for the promotion, unless they would like us to continue with the application.
It's the responsibility of our team to make sure whenever we develop big ideas, we continue to keep the best interests of drivers top of mind. That's the company we always strive to be.
We still have some work to do to get there – and it's work we want to do together with you. Thanks to those of you who gave us productive feedback on how to improve, and for holding us to a higher standard.
From all the feedback received so far this week, here is my interpretation of those who qualify for the extension:
- Applicants who have been cleared to drive, yet the Lyft app does not allow drive mode (error message shows “You’re not yet approved to drive.”)
- Applicants who have been cleared to drive (without issues in the Lyft app) too late in the day of March 5th, providing unreasonable time frame for new driver to complete first ride before end of day March 5th.
- Applicants where the passing DMV and background checks have been received by Lyft by end of day March 5th, yet because of Lyft’s resource constraints, have not reviewed the passing results and have not sent the final approval email to applicants yet.
Also based on feedback received so far this week, the turnaround time for background checks is typically ~2 days. In a perfect world, if you had submitted your application and gave your consent to run the background check by Sunday night, results should be back by Wednesday the latest. However, there have been stories where consent was given on Friday, Feb 27, yet independent phone calls by applicants to the background check firm on Monday/Tuesday show that the background check request was received that day!
I wish there was more positive news to share. At this point, hope for the best and expect the worst.
- Poll: Did Lyft Stiff You Out Of $1000? Lyftgate
- CBS: Lyft Apologizes For Backpedaling On $1,000 Bonuses For New Drivers
- Business Insider: Lyft apologizes for angering potential drivers after it promised eye-popping bonuses
- Consumerist: Did Lyft Backtrack On $1,000 Bonus Promise For New Drivers Or Is It Simply Overwhelmed By Applicants?
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