Your Car Is No Longer Your Best Friend

Stock Photo – DEN BOSCH, THE NETHERLANDS – MAY 14, 2017: Retro styled rear end of a classic pink Cadillac fifties car in Den Bosch, The Netherlands

For those who read the “New York Times” every day, this is not going to be big news. For those who don’t, this can be startling.

Your beloved automobile knows more about you than perhaps your spouse, children, friends, and business associates.

Yesteryear, you would drive your car and everything that happened in it would remain a secret forever. You could eat a whole Carvel ice cream cake in the front seat and pretend it never happened. You could play hooky from work, and drive around all day, and no one would know the difference.

Today, according to Bill Hanvey, president and chief executive officer of the Auto Care Association, your car “not only knows how much you weigh but also tracks how much weight you gained. Your car also knows how fast you drive, where you live, how many children you have — even financial information. Connect a phone to a car, and it knows who you called and who you texted.”

You can get all of the facts you never realized by clicking on the link below. I warn you in advance, you will never feel the same way about your auto again.

So many of you, who love your car more than you love many other things, may want to sell your wheels immediately and only use a Lyft or Uber.

Oops, that won’t work either. They know everything about you too.

Don’t Be A Car Sharing Victim

Lesson number one: always check your bill after you leave your Lyft or Uber. Lesson number two: double check your charges again a few hours later.

Word has it that your bill may have been adjusted upwards while you were not looking. Watch the video to see what happened to a guy who was taken for a ride.

Here’s a hint. Don’t complain to the driver. That’s the worse thing you can do.

My Thoughts About Uber 

I’m still not convinced that Travis Kalanick, CEO, of Uber, truly understands why a growing number of his customers switched to Lyft. It’s not only that he was on President Donald Trump’s business advisory group, but that he lowered Uber’s prices in an effort to gain new customers when the yellow taxis went on strike for a few hours to protest the administration’s immigration policies. 

Kalanick probably thought it was a cool PR move. Several hundred thousand Americans plus Uber drivers, many of whom are immigrants themselves, did not. They were horrified. Everyone was spreading his or her dismay by posting #DeleteUber on of their social media accounts. Uber has been emailing customers who deleted their accounts to say “the company shares their concerns and will compensate drivers affected by the ban.”

In other words. it was an apology. Read about it in Reuters. Here is an excerpt. “Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the president or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that,” Kalanick said he told the president he would not join the economic council.

There is no question about it, Kalanick is running scared. One wrong move may have distroyed the genius of a company he worked so brilliantly to build. I loved Uber. I used it several times a day whether I’m in Miami, New York, or Los Angeles. Many of the drivers know me. 

I can’t help it. I switched to Lyft. I may never go back to Uber. There is very little difference between the two. Many of the drivers are the same. Kalanick opened the way for me to try Lyft. He may regret that for the rest of his life.

Lyft And Uber Share Drivers 

 I was clueless until a Lift driver in Miami confessed to me last week that a growing number of drivers work for both Uber and Lyft. I don’t know why I ever thought each transportation company had their own exclusive group of drivers, but that’s not the case. 

“Everyone I know, works for both,” said a driver who drove me from my hairdresser last Thurdsay back home along Alton Drive. “I keep both apps open and answer the one that calls first. This way, I get the maximum number of requests a day and do not ride around for too long without a customer.”

The other surprising fact I learned last week is that most drivers refer to themselves as “Uber” because most doormen and valet parking staff never heard of Lyft. “It’s just easier to announce ourselves as an Uber car when we arrive to pick up a passenger. The folks we are picking up know who to look for and the hotel or condo staff recognize the Uber name more, so they tell us almost immediately if someone is waiting for a car. If we said we were from Lyft, hotel and housing staff give us a puzzled look.

Lift is trying to work on its branding by  dropping prices in 33 cities. Some of the cities with reduced rates include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington DC. New York and Chicago are still at full prices. Lyft is still determined to be the most affordable option for passengers.

Let the price wars begin!