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Cautionary Tale for Uber and Lyft Users

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two friends thought they were getting a safe ride home after a night on the town and it quickly turned into the opposite.

Reid Chandler and his friend ordered an Uber after a night out in East Village and ended up getting into the wrong car.

“A car pulled up. I didn’t really, because I had been drinking all evening I can’t say for certain if I checked to see if there was an uber sticker. I don’t know if I checked all my boxes the way that I should have, but I got in this car assuming it was my Uber. The driver said something along the lines of ‘Did you guys order an Uber?’ Did not address me by my name, which is something you should look out for,” Chandler said.

They were supposed to go about a half a mile away to his apartment.

“Again I had been drinking all night and I was not really thinking straight and all of a sudden I realized that we’re not in downtown Des Moines anymore turns out we’re in Ankeny. And he turns into a townhouse complex and his garage door opens to what I’m assuming is his home and he pulls in the driveway, pulls in the garage and shuts it and says, ‘We’re here,” Chandler said.

After a shouting match with their supposed driver, they got the garage door to open and ran towards the nearest road and called a lyft to pick them up.

Meanwhile, Lyft Driver Addie Back decided to see if she could pick up some passengers on her way home.

“With it being 2:30 in the morning, I assumed I wasn’t going to get anybody. And then my app went off and the rest is history. I almost started crying when they were telling me their story because I was hurt. I was angry. I was sad. I was in awe and speechless to the fact that it did happen,” Back said.

Addie said when a rideshare driver is fired or quits the services don’t take the stickers away.

“And it’s not difficult to say, have that in your window if you’ve driven before. And then for them to have the old app up to make it look like you’re driving and just take off,” Back said.

Addie said she’s glad she was in the right place at the right time.

“That’s my end goal when I drive at night is to make sure everybody gets home safe,” Back said.

There are three things you can do to try and prevent this from happening to you:

  • Compare the make, model and color of the vehicle to what’s listed in the app
  • Check the license plate to see if it matches what’s listed in the app
  • Ask the driver who they are there to pickup

Chandler said he reported the incident to police and planned to let the company know.