By on August 14, 2014

uber fashion shoot 02

It’s already hard for a transportation network company out there, yet Uber apparently wants to make it harder for the pink mustache plushies of Lyft through a high-stakes game of Ding-Dong-Ditch.

According to CNN Money, Lyft reported 5,560 rides were ordered, then cancelled, by 177 Uber employees since October of 2013. The TNC also found that some rides were ordered by Uber recruiters and enthusiasts looking to lure drivers into the high glamour, less hipster world the suit-and-tie TNC bases its image upon.

This hasn’t been the first time Uber has been accused of playing dirty pool within the emerging transportation network industry. As early as this year, the TNC’s New York-based staffers were linked to 100 such cancellations, prompting Uber to “tone down their sales tactics.” That said, 5,492 of the cancelled rides were ordered after the statement was issued.

In addition, when Lyft arrived in New York in July, Uber sent a text to its drivers stating the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission prohibited TNC drivers from working for more than one company. The commission stated otherwise, and Uber issued a statement that its official policy allowed its drivers to work for other TNCs.

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11 Comments on “Uber Goes Dirty Against Lyft With Cancelled Rides, Recruitment Drives...”

  • avatar

    Fascinating. Though the specific tactics may change, the idea of trying to dominate a new industry by harassing and squeezing out the competition is old as dirt. What I think is new here is that it is happening to a group that is very tech and social media savy, so we’ll get a front row seat to the action.

    I wonder if Lyft has started to retaliate?

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I am surprised they did not drive them through multiple “zones” that make no sense or conveniently “forgot” that the road is closed and have to drive an extra 2 miles.

  • avatar

    Well, it didn’t take very long for the guys to go round the bend and point themselves directly at the reason why the public transportation marketplace is so highly regulated in the first place.

    While I am generally supportive of disruptive market forces from new business models and while initially supportive of Uber and Lyft in their efforts to provide alternatives to taxis in urban areas, they’re doing an end run around many rules and regulations that were put in place for a good reason. There’s no way around the fact these these are livery services and livery services are bound to safety, service, insurance and equal access rules that these companies are not.

    I give it a year, maybe two, before one or all of these companies really put themselves in hot water by doing something really stupid. In the end, it’s not going to be pressure from existing livery companies and regulatory commissions that ends up putting the hammer down. Uber, Lyft et al are going to end up making the argument for them.

  • avatar

    Uber may be disruptive but they are also vulnerable. Again, as a 100+ rider I’ve had a few issues (one major) which Uber addressed only partially at best. I would give them an 8 for car service and a 3 for customer service. It’s all chummy until there’s a serious issue then the shutters go down & at no point can you reach a human on the phone, ever. Talking to other regular users I’ve found my experiences to be far from unique.

    As to Signal11’s point; I believe it will be insurance issues that bring the hammer down on TNCs. Currently Uber’s policy covers passengers up to a paltry $1M but much of the onus of coverage is left to the driver’s auto policy holders and if anyone has a floor full of lawyers eager to prove their indemnity it’s them.

    • 0 avatar

      The question is going to be, who has the wherewithal to try to pierce the veil that Uber has no doubt established for itself by claiming that it’s only a referral service and bears no liability for actions by its drivers? Because that’s going to take a full-fledged BigLaw litigation team and several years of discovery, claims and appeals to work out.

    • 0 avatar

      What sort of issues are you having? No shows? Billing inconsistencies? I know a lot of people that use the services constantly and haven’t heard any complaints yet. Taxicabs on the other hand…

  • avatar

    Caption: Just walk away Martha and don’t look back. I can’t believe he had the gall to open your door with his fly down.

  • avatar

    Well, I have suddenly lost interest in using uber.

  • avatar

    The lessons of history are lost on the Uber generation so sure that it’s inventing a brave new world. But then old habits return: Crushing the competition with unethical behavior – practiced by Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller in the 1890’s – becomes Uber’s response to a dynamic market. And the response will be the same, too: Government regulation. Just like the cut-throat industrialists led to Teddy Roosevelt and trust-busting legislation, Uber and it’s practices will lead to new rules governing TNC’s. In short, it won’t be the taxi industry that gets the government involved, but Uber’s own over-reach. They’ll deserve it.

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