Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I think just about anyone who travels, either for work or for pleasure, has at this point tried UBER (if not, it is about time you do <-LINK). I am a huge Uber fan. You could call me and uber-UBER fan. I really like and use UBER. Maybe not every time I travel, but just about. The UBER icon is front and center on my phone next to my Fly Delta APP icon as well as my HYATT icon. The point is, I have found the service to be reliable, cost effective, available worldwide where I travel and customer service has been outstanding when I need them as well.
But what about LYFT <-LINK. I used to have LYFT on my “home page” if you will on my phone but moved them to a sub page due to the most irritating issue of their credit game. You see, LYFT expires credits every 30 days whereas most UBER credits expire every 90 days. Being a points (and points credit) uber enthusiast (see what I did there) it really galls me to see a single point go away. It bugs me. It sticks with me. Each time I fire up the LYFT app I am reminded that I lost some credit, many times, the day before I wanted to use it. But that is about points and credits.
So is one service better than the other? One allows tipping inside the app and the other does not. But that really does not make the “service” any better than the other or the experience.
It comes down to a number of factors then and I think they are, in order:
Clearly UBER wins for availability. Do you know how to check if you can get UBER where you are going somewhere in the world? You can check this link. Having said that, this list is not all inclusive.
Here in the South Bend area UBER is available. But what about just outside of South Bend. Mishawaka or Elkhart are near South Bend and, while not listed, you can often request a ride from these neighboring counties. The same thing goes for LYFT. I have even had times where I have “moved” the pointer to just inside an area where there IS UBER service and requested the rider from there and then instantly called the driver to tell them where I am and offered a cash tip if they can get me. Most are happy to do so (not all). Let’s face it, LYFT is way behind UBER when it comes to places you can use the service.
Then we have Reliability. I only have my years of personal experience using both services and have to tell you I have had more LYFT drivers cancel on me than UBER drivers. I have waited a number of times for 10+ minutes for a LYFT pickup only to see the driver cancel the ride on me. Most frustrating. I have only had UBER drivers cancel a few times and that was almost instantly so no harm no foul there.
Now when it comes to price, this is a tricky one. Now sure we all want to pay as little as we can for just about anything. But if you ask drivers they will tell you the services are paying so little that it is almost not worth driving anymore. But let’s set that topic aside for now as this is about YOU & ME and what we pay. I have found LYFT tends to cost me a little more than UBER but if you check the fare estimator tools, that is LyftCalculator vs the UberEstimate you will often find LYFT comes out cheaper. But then again these are just estimates not to the penny what the real fare will be. Plus, oh yeah, we have the pesky thing about credits expiring quicker with Lyft so maybe you have an UBER credit to use vs the LYFT one that went away (grrrrr).
Then we have the technology. Here I am talking about user experience AND the driver technology to get you from A-B. Personally I have found the UBER user interface is better, simpler and smarter than LYFT. Plus, when it comes to driving and finding you, the UBER app just works better. You tell me, agree on this one or not. When it comes to tech, I feel UBER wins again!
Lastly we have service. Here again we are talking both the drivers and the company behind the drivers. I have found both have outstanding drivers (once they show up from Lyft, that is). I have only had one complaint ever in dozens and dozens of rides with either service. When it comes to issues with rides, like the rider takes a “longer way” or gets lost, both companies will review the route and credit back “most” of the over charge. I guess since I personally have had more cancels with LYFT vs UBER I give the win to UBER here as well.
So there you are. I call UBER the hands down winner as the best of the two. Having said ALL of this, when it comes down to price, if I happen to have a LYFT credit I can spend vs no credit at UBER, yeah, I will fire up the LYFT app and take the ride. Don’t you? 😉 – René