The CEO of Lyft has apologized to a customer who went missing after being accidentally seized by a driver and was then told he would be charged $20 to get his beloved pet back.
Millions of X users followed the plight of Palash Pandey this weekend after he used a Lyft taxi to take his black and white cat, Tux, to the vet.
Pandey got out of the vehicle at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Austin, Texas, but before he could walk to the passenger side door to retrieve his cat carrier from the footwell, the driver drove off.
On X, Pandey posted screenshots of unanswered calls and messages he subsequently sent to the Lyft driver, giving the employee extra money for the safe return of his pet.
Lyft said the company will cover all of Tux's veterinary bills.
Pandey said he was not available for comment, but did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With the user's thread gaining millions of interactions on X, Lyft CEO David Risher faced an onslaught of criticism and calls for action.
Risher, who took on the job in April, wrote on X yesterday that he agreed with the furious users slamming the company's communication and return fee policy.
With thousands of users questioning how the incident with Tux had happened, Risher continues to try and fill the void in communication.
It's not the first time the former Amazon executive has been in hot water - just days after taking over the role of CEO at the company, Risher announced hundreds of people were being laid off. He caused a stir among his remaining staff by issuing a return-to-office mandate.
With Tux at large in Austin, Risher, who in a bid to convince Wall Street of his faith in the brand bought $1.1 million worth of Lyft shares, said notification had been sent to all drivers in the area to be on the lookout for the cat.
Risher added that the driver of the vehicle in question had not detoured from the GPS route provided to employees between jobs, adding that other customers in the vehicle that day had been contacted but had not seen Tux.
On October 2, the driver was deactivated on the Lyft platform.
All of our customers, including employees, will continue to work directly with Palash to provide the support they both need, according to a Lyft spokeswoman.
reevaluating our policies to improve support for our community, including in cases like this.