My year-old car has been giving me a little bit of trouble with one of its tires. Low tire pressure readout on my dashboard and a few weeks ago, I had Auto Club come and pump air into the tire. Then a few days ago, same tire and same message. Obviously, not just a leak to be ignored. So I made an appointment for my 10,000 mile service at the dealership and asked them to look at the tire in question.
I will usually take my car to the dealership on a Saturday and sit there for a few hours while the experts work on the car. Why not? Free wifi! Free snacks and coffee! What could be better?! (Uh, watching paint dry, I guess.) On Friday, I planned to drop the car off on Monday morning and have the dealership shuttle take me to work. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, right?
I was grumpy when I arrived because the valet service employee was not there to greet me. I had an appointment and s/he wasn’t waiting for me. After finally speaking with a service writer, I was told that I’d have to wait for the shuttle for twenty minutes. Okay, I think, I can still get to work on time, unless they’re dropping off several people in my area.
What do you know? Twenty minutes comes and goes and I’m now told the shuttle will be an hour late. However, the dealership will provide me with a Lyft driver to take me to work. A text message tells me that Joe, driving a Silver Cadillac, would be there in four minutes. I walk to the street entrance to meet him and here I go….my first Lyft ride.
Joe tells me that he drives for Lyft during any free time he has in the day. He works out in the morning (his gym costs $250 a month!) and works from home in the afternoon. I’m guessing he’s an entrepreneur who makes enough money from driving his car a few minutes a day to pay for his gym membership. He sets his own hours, gets paid a premium charge from Lyft because he drives a luxury car, and I think he might be a spy.
In February 2018, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association connected with Lyft to “help improve the customer experience at dealerships, to provide a new way for drivers to get on the road, and to help auto dealers increase their sales through referral opportunities.” Dealerships are helping Lyft drivers who need cars, and everyone earns bonuses when a new driver referral is made.
But the best part is their goal to empower dealerships to provide a better customer experience by helping NIADA dealers improve their customer service experience with Lyft Concierge, which lets dealers request rides on behalf of customers. It’s an easy, reliable, and affordable way to help customers get to work, home, or their next errand while their car is being serviced.
I don’t know who thought of this partnership first—the dealers or the ride share service—but it’s a win/win for everyone!
For me? It turns out that, when you buy a new car, the new tires are NOT under warranty. I have a nail wedged far inside the tire, and it’s too deep to patch. So I need to buy a new tire ($179, thank you very much!) and, added to my oil change, minus my free Lyft rides, Monday turned out to be a pretty expensive day.