This Lyft story is horrifying and further proof that ride share companies are not keeping their customers safe
Lyft needs to get its sh*t together, immediately. Anna Gillcrist, an actress and writer, took to Twitter to share a terrifying story about her experience with a creepy driver and the completely awful, dismissive way that it was handled by a customer service agent. This is all further proof that women should be allowed to request female drivers on Lyft and Uber, in order to avoid danger situations and sexual harassment.
Gillcrist took a shared Lyft home after a friend’s bachelorette party and everything was fine until the two people in the car left, leaving her alone with the driver.
“Once they were dropped off, the driver immediately leaned over to me and asks ‘do you have a boyfriend?’ I paused, and didn’t respond,” Gillcrist tweeted. “He asks again, “come on do you have a boyfriend?” I said yes. He continued to ask me questions about what he did, and what I did. Then he asks, ‘is your boyfriend in town?’ I didn’t respond. He asks again. I don’t respond.”
Last night I took a @lyft home from my friends bachelorette. It was a line, so there were two people in the back seat when I got in. Once they were dropped off, the driver immediately leaned over to me and asks “do you have a boyfriend?”. I paused, and didn’t respond.— Anna gillcrist (@AnnaGillcrist) April 7, 2019
He asks again, “come on do you have a boyfriend?” I said yes. He continued to ask me questions about what he did, and what I did. Then he asks, “is your boyfriend in town?” I didn’t respond. He asks again. I don’t respond. He pulls up on my street and starts to drive very slowly— Anna gillcrist (@AnnaGillcrist) April 7, 2019
The driver pulled up to her street and started to drive very slowly. He then asked Gillcrist if her boyfriend was home. “I immediately realized the doors were locked and I said ‘please unlock the doors,'” He didn’t,” she wrote. “So I pried the lock up, jumped out of the car, and ran to my apartment.”
So, how did Lyft handle their driver’s horrifically scary and dangerous behavior? Terribly. Just terribly.
Gillcrist called the company and the customer service representative told her that the driver would never be able to pick her up again. She then explained that that was not good enough and this creepy, deeply inappropriate driver should not be able to pick up anyone.
“He just said ‘don’t worry he will be reprimanded,’” Gillcrist wrote. “Then he gave me a $5 credit, and told me he would be emailing me the official report. I have received no email. I’ve been sitting on my bed thinking about this for hours and I am fucking angry.”
This morning, I spoke with @lyft on the phone and told them exactly what happened. The man said “Well ma’am we will make sure that that driver is not able to pick you up again.” I explained that that wasn’t good enough, that this man needed to not pick up ANY woman ever again.— Anna gillcrist (@AnnaGillcrist) April 7, 2019
and he just said “don’t worry he will be reprimanded.” Then he gave me a $5 credit, and told me he would be emailing me the official report. I have received no email. I’ve been sitting on my bed thinking about this for hours and I am fucking angry.— Anna gillcrist (@AnnaGillcrist) April 7, 2019
Gillcrist explained she will not let the issue go until it’s properly addressed. After all, this guy is still driving around in his car, picking up women, and potentially putting them in this same terrifying situation.
“I want more than a stupid $5 credit,” she tweeted. “Your driver put me in a scenario in which I thought I might be kidnapped, raped, or even killed. That pathetic attempt to mask a serious issue is insulting to me and women everywhere who have to deal with this shit on a regular basis.”
Gillcrist’s thread pulled in almost 34,000 likes and more than 15,000 retweets and all of a sudden *surprise surprise* Lyft took notice.
“Anna, we are so sorry you experienced this,” the company tweeted. “Behavior like you reported is not allowed on the Lyft platform, and we find reports like this very concerning. We immediately took action as soon as we received your tweet and a member of our safety team will be in touch soon.”
Anna, we are so sorry you experienced this. Behavior like you reported is not allowed on the Lyft platform, and we find reports like this very concerning. We immediately took action as soon as we received your tweet and a member of our safety team will be in touch soon.— Lyft (@lyft) April 9, 2019
People on Twitter were less than impressed by Lyft’s delayed action. They also slammed the company for not taking women’s safety seriously.
You mean "We immediately removed this driver from our system, contacted all past female riders to ensure they had no similar problems, and shared any relevant information with law enforcement?"— random facts girl. (@soychicka) April 9, 2019
You need somebody to set policy and an escalation team for these types of calls...
Please create an option for women to have a woman driver. Why isn’t this a thing yet? I’d be willing to wait longer for a safer ride.— Kaitlyn Herzog (@KaitlynMKE) April 9, 2019
Hey, @lyft it's repeated stories like this that make me fearful to use your service, especially alone. Boilerplate written complaints and tiny credits don't keep us safe. Ban drivers who behave like this. Screen drivers. (also looking at you @Uber)— Andrea Hangst (@FBALL_Andrea) April 9, 2019
Thank you for this. I had an experience where an Uber driver wouldn’t stop commenting on my looks, then proceeded to WAIT OUTSIDE while I went to an open house. When I came out 30 mins later, someone called my name. It was him. He told me to get in and when I ran, he followed me.— Rachael Maier (@theundergleam) April 9, 2019
It’s incredibly disappointing and scary that Lyft would allow a driver who sexual harassed a rider to continue to use their app. Hopefully this public outcry is a wakeup call for them. And, seriously, GIVE US AN OPTION FOR FEMALE DRIVERS.