Lyft’s Facebook Ads and Application Form

Posted By Debbie on November 2, 2012

Lyft is showing me heaps of Facebook ads. First, it told me I could make $18/hr driving my car around the city. A few weeks later, it told me I could make $20+/hr driving around the city. Hmmmmm. Maybe not much response to $18?

Lyft and other collaborative consumption services are super on my radar because of my startup. My startup is about personal safety, and getting people help without requiring them to hit a panic button. So when I think about TaskRabbit or Lyft or many of these other services popping up in San Francisco and other places, I think about how one or often BOTH people in that transaction are potentially unsafe. I have NO idea who my Lyft drive is and he/she has NO idea who he’s picking up and driving around… and to where? Seems easily not so safe. My startup hopes companies like that will license our platform, and build in our unique approach to proactive personal safety.

So now you know why I care. And you’ll also know why I semi-flipped out when I clicked on the Facebook ad just to see what applying to be a Lyft driver looks like. It looked like this:

Basically, they want to know how to reach you, what you drive, and why you’d want to drive other people in it. Do you feel like that’s missing something? That’s not a “Next” button at the bottom bringing you to more questions. That’s “Apply,” as in that’s the whole application. Hopefully this is stage one of a multi-stage process, but it still seems to be missing a LOT.

Maybe Lyft can’t do a background check right away, which would certainly involve asking you deeper personal questions and possibly getting your social security number. But they COULD ask questions that would make some people self-filter. For example, why not ask right there…

  • Have you ever been arrested for a violent crime?
  • Have you ever been arrested for a DUI
  • Have you ever received more than one speeding ticket in a year?
  • Have you ever been convicted of ANY misdemeanor or felony?
  • Do you agree to be submitted to random drug tests?
  • Have you ever had a driver’s license suspended or revoked?

If I were Lyft, I’d be MUCH more concerned about who these people are than what they are driving. Yes, I don’t know what the rest of the application process looks like. But I can’t imagine that you would want to get applications from people convicted of crimes. If I were doing UX for a pseudo-taxi service, I’d want to not bog down the company with applications from people who have had DUIs or suspended licenses before. The process should weed out obvious unacceptable applicants right away.

I was surprised it didn’t. And I’m still surprised that these collaborative consumption services aren’t more focused on the safety of the provider or the recipient.