Competition between ride-sharing rivals Uber and Lyft is as fierce as ever, though the latest tactics reportedly employed by some Uber workers is certain to raise eyebrows.
According to Lyft, in the last 10 months Uber employees have ordered and canceled 5,560 Lyft rides in a bid to reduce the number of its competitor’s cars on the road and waste drivers’ time.
While there’s no suggestion that Uber HQ has green-lighted such action – or even knows about it – the alleged behavior certainly won’t do the San Francisco-based company’s reputation any favors.
Lyft’s data, supplied to CNN on Monday, shows that as many as 177 Uber employees across the US have been using the tactic since October 2013.
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According to CNN, Lyft “cross-referenced the phone numbers associated with known Uber recruiters with those attached to accounts that have canceled rides” to arrive at its findings.
Remarkably, one particular Lyft passenger supposedly working for Uber canceled 300 bookings during a 15-day period spanning May and June this year. “That user’s phone number was tied to 21 other accounts, for a total of 1,524 canceled rides,” CNN said in its report.
Erin Simpson, spokesperson for Lyft, told Digital Trends that it was “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.”
Not only Lyft?
It appears some Uber employees behaved in a similar fashion in January when rival service Gett said its New York drivers had had more than 100 rides booked and canceled by Uber workers across a three-day period.
Uber and Lyft have emerged as the two leaders in the ride-sharing business and besides battling with each other must also deal with opposition from traditional cab drivers in many locations where they operate.
Uber, which launched in 2009, currently serves more than 100 cities globally, while Lyft, which has been in business since 2012, can be found in more than 60 cities across the US.
We’ve reached out to Uber for comment on its alleged underhand tactics, and will update when we hear back.