According to Lyft, rival on-demand car service Uber isn't playing fair.
CNNMoney is reporting that data obtained from Lyft suggests that Uber is strategically throwing wrenches into Lyft operations – mainly by requesting and then canceling rides. Obviously, this tactic would not only indispose Lyft drivers, making it harder keep up with customer demand, but it would also cost Lyft drivers untold amounts in job-related expenses, like gas cost for one.
Lyft claims to have cross-referenced phone numbers of known Uber recruiters to those of canceled rides and spotted no fewer than 5,560 hoax ride requests since October of last year. Apparently, these requests have come from 177 different Uber employees.
Apparently, even if the Uber employees take the rides, they "take short, low-profit rides largely devoted to luring them to work for Uber," according to CNNMoney.
Now those are some rather unsavory practices that Uber's been accused of. Uber has flatly denied the canceling rides scheme in a statement that focuses on recruitment:
That is patently false.
Both riders and drivers help recruit new drivers to the Uber platform, where the economic opportunity is unmatched in the industry. We recently ran a program where thousands of riders recruited drivers from other platforms, earning hundreds of dollars in Uber credits for each driver who tries Uber. Even Lyft drivers have participated in a successful campaign recruiting thousands of other Lyft drivers to Uber, where drivers make a better living than on any other platform.Taking the ride and meeting the driver is essential to driver recruitment.
Uber is still the big boy on the block, but Lyft is also very popular and making big moves (like New York, despite the challenges). Both companies recently revealed their own versions of carpooling programs, which will allow users to share rides with strangers who happen to need a pickup along the original route. Both Lyft and Uber claim that this will lower costs for riders and make the whole on-demand model more efficient.
Image via Uber, Facebook