Good Samaritan's deed backfires after hailing Lyft for woman

Malcolm Whitfield learned the hard way about Lyft's rules after doing a good deed for a woman in need of a ride home. (WHAM photo)

UPDATE (12/18): Lyft says it has refunded a man who ordered a ride home for a woman at a local bar.

That woman ended up getting sick in the car - and the man who ordered it was charged a $100 cleaning fee.

Lyft called 13WHAM Monday to say he was refunded the money, adding it commended the man's actions In addition they gave Whitfield a $100 credit for future rides.

"Most drivers use their personal cars to drive for Lyft - the same vehicles that they use to drive to work or take their kids to school," said Scott Coriell, a spokesperson for Lyfy. "It’s important that when something like this happens drivers are compensated for associated cleaning costs. Having said that, Mr. Whitfield absolutely did the right thing by helping someone get home safely. He shouldn't be charged for that; he should be recognized and celebrated. We have refunded him and added $100 in Lyft credits to his account. We want to thank Mr. Whitfield for setting such a positive example and being a part of our community. Acts of thoughtfulness like this are what make the Lyft community special. We wish Mr. Whitfield a very happy holidays and a wonderful New Year."

Original article:

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) - In Rochester, a Good Samaritan paid for a woman to get a ride home from a bar.

But he was the one to get charged for damages to a Lyft driver's car after the woman got sick in the car.

“When Lyft sent me the pictures, I was like, ‘Oh no! I don't want to look!' It's a bummer, but I know at least now, don't throw up in a Lyft or Uber. That is something I learned!," said Malcolm Whitfield.

It's a tale of a good deed gone wrong, and a lesson in reading fine print.

Now, Whitfield wants people to know whoever pays for the ride is responsible for the damages.

Since ride shares like Uber and Lyft are new to Rochester, many people haven't read the fine print.

Whitfield learned the hard way. He was at a Rochester bar on a November night, when he noticed a woman who needed a ride.

“I got scared she would drive home,” said Whitfield.

He got her a Lyft ride home through his Lyft account.

15 minutes later, the Lyft driver texted him.

“I get a text from him saying, 'She just threw up in my car.' I was like, ‘that's bad! Let me just double your tip,'” said Whitfield.

But the next day, Whitfield ended up with a $150 charge from Lyft to clean the car, a damage fee written in the Lyft terms and conditions.

Something he didn't read before. “No one thinks to read that,” Whitfield added.

With Lyft new to Rochester, he wants others to know about this fee, which can go up to $250 for damages and cleaning.

“It was such a hit, because it was out of nowhere. $185 just gone. For a second, I was like, ‘Never do anything nice again.’ For a second!”

Whitfield said the woman initially refused to pay the fee, but Saturday afternoon she told 13 WHAM she will pay the $150 in damages.

She says she also did not know about Lyft's damage policies.

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