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How Lyft Refunds Work & How To Successfully Get One In 2024

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Key Takeaways

  • Lyft refunds possible for cancellations, no-shows, overcharges, or unprofessional drivers.
  • Common refund reasons: unauthorized rides, overcharges, driver issues, accessibility disputes.
  • Request refunds via Lyft app: Find ride, select “Get Help,” choose issue, submit details.
  • Refunds typically processed within 5-7 days, issued to payment card or as Lyft credit.

Is it Possible to Get a Refund From Lyft?

Yes, it is possible to get a refund from Lyft if something that is blatantly incorrect occurs during a ride.

If you encounter issues like a driver cancelling, not showing up, or being unprofessional, you can request a refund. Lyft also offers refunds for rides with overcharges due to poor routing or unauthorized charges.

However, for grey areas where there is not a clear issue, the company usually leans towards not offering direct refunds for rides. Instead, they are likely to issue ride credits as a form of compensation.

Refunds are processed either as cash back to your payment card or as account credit for future rides, and are typically processed within 3 to 5 business days after approval.

What Lyft Charges Typically Qualify for a Refund?

Common issues that are usually eligible for a refund from Lyft include:

  1. Unauthorized Charges: If a driver picks up someone else but charges your card, you can request a refund for this unauthorized charge.
  2. Overcharges due to Poor Routing: If a driver gets lost or takes unnecessary detours, leading to an overcharge, you can ask for a fare adjustment.
  3. Driver Unprofessionalism: If you encounter a driver who is unprofessional, you can report them and request a refund.
  4. Accessibility Issues: If a driver refuses to pick you up due to the use of a collapsible wheelchair, you may be eligible for a refund as well as possible reparations, especially if the issue escalates legally.
  5. Driver Cancels the Ride: If a Lyft driver cancels your ride, you won’t be charged a cancellation fee and are eligible for a refund if your card was charged.
  6. Driver No-Show: If the driver never shows up, Lyft won’t charge your card for the ride, and any pre-authorization holds will be released.

Refunds are usually at the discretion of Lyft customer support representatives, but I have learned they are usually fair to both parties when issues arise.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

There are two things to note here.

First, don’t confuse preauthorization charges for actual charges.

Preauthorization charges are temporary holds on funds when you request a ride, not actual charges. These holds ensure payment capability but are released if the ride is canceled or not taken.

Many riders think they are being double-charged. However, if you see this on your bank statement, wait 24 hours. If it doesn’t clear, then contact Lyft.

Second, remain ethical.

Intentionally placing false refund claims undermines the system’s integrity. This HEAVILY impacts drivers who rely on these platforms for their livelihood.

Lyft also has strict fraud measures in place, which means if you make a false claim and are caught, your account could be immediately deactivated.

How to Request a Lyft Refund

  1. Open Lyft App: Start the Lyft app on your phone.
  2. Go to Ride History: Tap on the menu icon, then select “Ride History.”
  3. Find Your Ride: Scroll to the ride you want a refund for.
  4. Get Help: Tap on the ride, scroll down, and hit ‘Get Help.’
  5. Dispute Fare: Choose ‘Dispute the fare or charge,’ and explain your issue.
  6. Wait for Response: Lyft will review and process your request. You’ll get a refund to your card or as a Lyft credit.

Alternative Method: Contacting Lyft Support Directly

Alternatively, you can submit a customer support ticket with Lyft instead.

If your fare isn’t listed in your app’s ride history or you have other charges to dispute (like cancellation fees, toll fees, parking fees, or damage fees), visit the help section on the Lyft website.

I suggest this for more complicated issues that require extensive explanations.

First, visit Lyft’s Help Center, then select the type of request you need help with.

Next, click or tap on ‘I still need help’ after reading the relevant article suggested for your issue.

Then, simply fill out the form with your contact information and detailed description of your issue and your request will be submitted to the company.

They’ll get back go you as soon as they can. I have usually heard back from support within a few hours.

How Long Do Lyft Refunds Take?

Lyft refunds typically take 5 to 7 days to process. This timeframe is based on a pending authorization, which is standard for such transactions.

The actual duration may vary depending on the current workload of the Lyft support team, the complexity of your case, and your bank’s policies and processing times.

How to Check the Status of a Lyft Refund

Unfortunately, the Lyft app doesn’t let you track the status of a refund or a Lyft phone number you can call. You have the following options to check the status of a refund:

  • Wait until you get an email from Lyft that says whether they processed or denied the refund.
  • Contact customer support again to ask about the status of your refund.

Brett’s Take: A Recent Experience With Lyft Refunds

I went to Las Vegas late last year with some friends. After landing in the evening, I called a Lyft ride from the airport to our hotel on the strip.

As we were about the pull up to the hotel, the driver quickly sped up and went past our dropoff point.

I figured he made a mistake so I didn’t think twice about it – until it happened a second time. The driver did not speak very good English, so couldn’t communicate what was going on.

After getting out of the vehicle, the Lyft app sent me a receipt for the ride. It was supposed to be $17, but ended up being over $40 due to the extra time in the car, the added mileage, and the fact that prices were on Prime Time.

I reached immediately reached out to support and explained the situation. Whether it was intentional or simply a mistake didn’t matter to me, but the fact that I was charged over double the price that was originally quoted did.

Lyft thanked me for reaching out and didn’t hesitate to give me a refund for the price difference. While I didn’t get the full ride comped, I was happy because I only had to pay the original price I was quoted.

My suggestion is this: pay attention and be alert during a ride. I was able to catch the error due to my vigilance, but this just goes to show how easy it would be for a driver to intentionally take longer than normal if the rider wasn’t paying attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few other things to know about Lyft refunds.

When Lyft Processed a Refund, Do They Take Funds Away from Drivers?

No. Lyft doesn’t take money from drivers’ earnings, bonuses, incentives, referrals, or non-ride earnings when they refund a fare.

Do Lyft Drivers Know if You Report Them?

If you report a driver, Lyft will reach out to them to clarify or issue a warning.

The information Lyft shares with drivers are anonymous, so the driver won’t know for sure that you reported them. However, details of the incident could make it easy for them to figure out who reported them.

Why Does Lyft Keep Charging Me?

Lyft may keep charging you due to cancellation or no-show fees, pending payments for canceled rides, prime-time surcharges, or accumulated daily charges for multiple rides.
Review your Ride History to match charges with booked rides. If there are unauthorized or unclear charges, contact Lyft’s customer service for clarification.

The Bottom Line

Lyft uses a payment system that prevents the app from charging your card until after you reach your destination, eliminating the need to ask for a refund if you cancel a ride.

If you see charges you didn’t authorize or run into another issue with your fare, request a refund via the ride receipt page or contact customer service by submitting a support ticket.

1 thought on “How Lyft Refunds Work & How To Successfully Get One In 2024”

  1. I work at an Amazon location at North Vegas during the night shift 6:30 pm to 5am. Early this morning when I went to my 2am break I noticed missed phone calls from a Lyft driver and a charge $50.25 to my bank account. I have a Samsung S20 FE that is sometimes touchy so it is possible that my phone bounced around in my pocket dialing a Lyft. Maybe someone used my phone to call a Lyft? Not sure if that is possible. Nevertheless that driver gave someone else a ride to an address near where I live or got angry and completed the ride knowing he was going to make an extra $50. I have proof that I was at my work location until 5am and I am dissapointed that Lyft does not want to refund my money. Some Lyft drivers are either thieves and liars or are not verifying who they are picking up. I will be disputing the $50 charge to my account with my bank and will be removing the Lyft app from my phone and replacing it with Uber.


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