Is Uber Playing Dirty with Competitors?

A competing company cites evidence that Uber is engaged in dirty practices to usurp the ride-sharing market.

by / August 12, 2014

Healthy competition between the major ride-sharing providers may lead to better deals for consumers, but one company feels its chief rival isn’t playing fair.

Lyft claims that Uber employees have ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides since last October, according to a report by CNNMoney. The data from Lyft asserts that 177 Uber employees throughout the U.S. have been tying up Lyft drivers with bogus rides, leading to a decrease in Lyft drivers’ availability.

The report from CNNMoney notes that Lyft claims it cross-referenced phone numbers connected with canceled rides to those numbers of known Uber recruiters. The tally of “fake” ride requests is 5,560 since October 3, 2013.

CNNMoney has reported on Uber canceling rides previously. Uber employees in New York earlier withdrew more than 100 ride requests from Gett, a taxi app.

Uber implied in a statement that some of the people identified by Lyft could have been regulator people looking to make money, as opposed to Uber recruiters. Uber cited a program it ran recently where riders recruited drivers from different ride-sharing platforms to earn “hundreds of dollars in Uber credits for each driver who tries Uber.”

CNNMoney pointed out, however, that while that could be possible, canceling the rides would ultimately defeat the purpose.

-- Brian Heaton

Platforms & Programs