Poll: Did Lyft Stiff You Out Of $1000? Lyftgate

Updated on March 31, 2015

Lyft Lyftgate $1000 Promo TheRewardBoss.com

UPDATE 3/13/15: The first lawsuit has been filed in California: see LA TimesThe Examiner, and the 22 page complaint.  At around 8pm, if you were eligible, Lyft sent an email with the number of people you referred and the amount of your bonus.

UPDATE: Lyft EXTENDS deadline to March 12 for those who applied for this promotion and pass their DMV and background check by March 5. Read more here.


Bad publicity is building: see ForbesTwitter, Uberpeople, Jetsetter, Slickdeals, Facebook, and BuzzFeed. Today is the last day for drivers to be approved so they could complete 1 ride and earn a $1,000 Bonus both for themselves and for those who referred them. Many have reported delays with the background check while others were approved but the Lyft app still does not allow them to drive!  There is even chatter about a class action lawsuit on RedditUberpeople and Twitter (with a hastag #Lyftgate and #Lyftthedeadline).  (Update: On Slickdeals, at least one person reported doing their first ride while one of my readers emailed to report that he completed his first ride around 5pm on 3/5/15.)

POLL: Were you Rejected or Approved for Lyft's $1,000 Driver Promotion?

  • Still waiting (55%, 155 Votes)
  • Rejected (20%, 56 Votes)
  • Approved (but cannot drive) (16%, 44 Votes)
  • Approved (and can drive) (10%, 28 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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Did Lyft stiff you? I am contacting Lyft execs with a list of people who got stiffed in an attempt to help applicants get their sign up bonus.  If you would like to be added to the list, please fill out this formLyft 1000 Bonus Applicants Form.  I can't make any promises but I think this is wrong to stiff so many people who signed up in good faith! [Update: I have tried discussing this with Lyft but was just told that the promotion is over and there is nothing else that can be done.]  A petition has been started as well (source: Slickdeals) now up to almost 400 people.


Lyft created a lot of buzz last week when they offered a $1000 bonus to new drivers who complete just 1 ride.  So much buzz that within 24 hours, and thousands of applicants later, Lyft was overwhelmed and changed the offer to require 30 rides (for those who apply after Feb 27 at 3pm EST). Those who applied before the change have to get approved and complete their 1 ride by today, Thursday March 5, 2015. Applicants can check their status here.  Lyft says they will provide an update Friday, March 6…after the deadline. Many drivers report contacting Sterling to check the status of their background check.


Many applicants have either either been rejected without any explanation or still waiting for a response.  At this point, it appears that most people will not get the approval before the deadline and not be able to collect the $1,000 bonus.


According to Forbes, a Lyft spokesperson said, “We will be in touch with updates for applicants who were not able to qualify for the latest promotion, after this promotion concludes.”  Perhaps that means that Lyft will somehow make it up to the drivers only and not those who referred them (saving at least $1,000 per driver).

One person reported getting approved here Uberpeople.net.

Is Lyft stalling so they don't have to pay the $1000?  Possibly.

Did Lyft run out of money? I don't think so.  They are in the process of raising a few hundred million dollar:  $250 million according to NY Times; $500 million according to The Post.

What happens to those who are approved after the deadline?  Will they still be eligible for the $1,000 bonus? Or maybe a smaller bonus? Or will Lyft come through and extend the deadline?

What do you think?


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  1. Just got approved and completed my first ride just barely in time. Now waiting to see if I will actually get the money, since their is no confirmation or anything. I’ll repost in a couple weeks if I get the money.

    • Just received an email this morning saying that I qualified for the $1000 and that I should see it in the next pay period or two. I know this has been a crazy roller coaster for all of us and I hope everyone else gets some good news soon.

  2. Here’s the latest 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 sign-on 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.
    You’ll receive an email from us tomorrow evening with your eligibility for the extension outlined above. If you are not eligible, you will have the choice of whether or not to continue with your 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.

    John Zimmer
    Lyft Co-Founder

    • I got stuffed for my bonus as well. Very disappointed in LEFT..Customer service is horrible, no help and I am getting denied left and right..Sad part is I quit my job of5years to work for LEFT..Now I don’t know what am I going to do..I have no job and I am doing lift but not earning more than $8 an hour after paying gas, their fees, and rental costcost..horrible

  3. So people are still going to get screwed. Only those who passed the background check by March 5 but who have not been approved to drive yet by Lyft get the extension…

    • I got cleared to drive today (March 6) even though Sterling said my background was already cleared yesterday (March 5). I think Lyft did this intentionally to not have to pay me $1,000. Now I don’t qualify for the March 12th deadline since Lyft will say my background and DMV didn’t complete till March 6th. This is BS!

  4. I refereed 6 people, two were denied! This is not adding up as they applied before the other 4 referees..?? The 4 that approved had to redo their welcome ride yesterday adm now are waiting to be passed by Lyft to complete the 1 ride as promoted.. We’ll see about that..

    • I’ve been hearing the same from many people. Hopefully those who redo their welcome ride will get their bonus! Pls post an update when you find out more.

  5. One of my referrals just completed his 30 rides last night…and another is around 25….so we will see if Lyft stands by it’s promo. I will check back in on we Wednesday when/if direct deposit goes through…

  6. I was denied the extension because Lyft said my background check wasn’t completed in time. However, I had already called Sterling on 3/5 to see if it was complete- they confirmed that it was completed and cleared that day. SO I definitely should have qualified for the 3/12 extension…. BUT it gets worse! After sending MANY many “help” emails and posting my complaints on twitter, I get an email on 3/10 that my application to drive was rejected based on my background check. I called Sterling again to see what went wrong, and they said that although my background check that was originally requested on 3/4 passed, Lyft requested A SECOND background check (with stricter criteria, I’m assuming) and this report pulled up a minor traffic accident from over 6 years ago. So, Lyft is going to extreme lengths to keep drivers from being approved for the promotion… even changing their background check protocol.

  7. A good friend of mine who is a Lyft driver gave me your email and told me to tell you what I’ve been dealing with in regards to the Lyft $1,000 promotion.

    Long story short, I signed up for the promo and didn’t get paid. Here’s my story.

    I signed up for the promo online (using my buddies promo code) at 10:30am the morning of the 27th (the day the deadline was set). I was unable to sign up on the app as it kept crashing and wouldn’t connect. I was trying to input my SS # and it kept saying network not available. Eventually it worked. I did my mentor ride, and was only waiting on the background checks.

    When Lyft announced the extension on the background checks I was happy, I became unhappy when I got an email from Lyft saying I didn’t qualify for the extension.

    I wrote them and asked why I didn’t qualify for the extension (I sent screenshots showing the confirmation email I received that was delivered before the deadline). I didn’t hear anything until yesterday. When this was sent to me from Lyft at 2pm March 12th.

    “Thanks for reaching out to us and many apologies for the delayed response.

    Thanks for getting in touch about this. I double-checked, and it looks like you need to redo your Welcome Ride to qualify for the promotion — I recommend you re-request a Mentor as soon as possible (using the Lyft App), so we have time to complete our review of the session afterward.

    If you clear, you must also meet the ride requirement for the promotion by 11:59 p.m. this Thursday, March 12. More details can be viewed on our Help Center:https://www.lyft.com/drive/help/article/1859265.”

    I wrote back asking why they are waiting until the last day to send this to me. I had 3 hours to complete my mentor ride (again) which I was unable to complete because I was working. So I wasn’t able to complete the ride by 11:59pm either.

    That’s my story

  8. I see Casey Lowen and some other guy is suing Lyft. Everybody is in lawsuit if they win. If Lyft screw you, you get your money. Contact him for more detail

  9. So I signed up for the Lyft $1,000 promotion (1 ride by March 5th) before they moved up their deadline. My application was then approved by Lyft the morning after the March 5th deadline, but Lyft sent me an email stating that my DMV and background check came through before the March 5th deadline and I was eligible for the $1,000 bonus. I did my one ride just hours before the new March 12th, 11:59pm cutoff/deadline. I got my weekly email summary from Lyft this morning (for the prior week) and they had my $1,000 bonus included in the weekly payout, so fingers cross they come through!

  10. I joined Lyft in October trough your website that showed a promotion of $1,000 sign-up bonus for Boston drivers. I was happy to apply and completed all required rides but when I inquired about the bonus I was told that I did not qualify because of a “missing” referral code.

    I kindly request that you reconsider your denial because when I signed up the website did not show any “Promotion code” or a mention of the required bonus to qualify. As a matter of fact Boston Radio station 96.9 is broadcasting a radio ad to get sign up bonuses without a mention of required promotion code. If this code was required, the new potential drivers should be made aware of the requirement. In this case, I feel that I was cheated of the bonus and that Lyft may be engaged in false advertising practices.

    I am hoping that you refer my request to a member of management and consider this request as a demand notice because my next step is to file a complaint with the BBB office, MA attorney general, and reserve the right to take your company to court for failure to honor your company promotion and delivering the sign-up bonus.

    Lyft sign up page snapshot: https://goo.gl/photos/jYXXAnvJfmarEJgy6

    • Hanson,
      If you used a link from my site the code should have been filled in automatically for you but the instructions included provide the codes to use.

      Are you sure that you didn’t use any code? No promises but I can try to reach out on your behalf – click http://therewardboss.com/contact/ and send me a message with your name and phone number.

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