Lyft, a car-sharing app, is accusing Uber employees of booking and cancelling thousands of rides for the past nine months. The San Francisco-based company claimed that a total of 5,560 Lyft rides have been allegedly canceled by 177 Uber employees since October, last year.
The company revealed data showing some users cancelled hundreds of rides from several accounts and believes that Uber is behind this act. By booking Lyft’s ride and then cancelling it at the last minute, it would make a Lyft car unavailable to other passengers. By doing so, Lfyt’s services would then be easily misconstrued as being less reliable, while also freeing up more potential passengers to other car-sharing platforms – you know, like Uber.
In addition, Lyft drivers are also being victimised by having to drive to the location of a fake customer only to have it cancelled, which wastes time and gas money. “It’s unfortunate for affected community members that they have used these tactics, as it wastes a driver’s time and impacts the next passenger waiting for that driver,” said in a statement by Erin Simpson, a Lyft director of communications. “We remain focused on growing the business faster than any competitor through better customer experience and innovation.”
Despite the allegations, Uber denied to accusations and called it “patently false.”
Apparently Uber has a track record of using dirty tactics to not only pull customers, but also drivers from other car-sharing platforms. Early this year, Gett, a luxury car sharing app claimed that over 200 rides were ordered and cancelled over a three-day period – a similar situation that Lyft currently finds itself in. What’s more, drivers from Gett then claimed that they received a text message urging them to drive for Uber right after the ride was cancelled.
The company did a cross-reference of the customers’ name on LinkedIn and Twitter, and found out that they were indeed Uber employees. Eventually, Uber came out and admitted that their tactics against Gett was “likely too aggressive”.
For now, there is still no proof whether these fake customers affecting Lyft drivers are from Uber – though this isn’t likely to be the last we hear of what is becoming a fierce rivalry between the two ride-sharing companies.