Gett is either crazy or crazy ambitious.
The flat-fee ridesharing service is about to launch an aggressive campaign to win customers away from its larger rivals in the prized New York City market. Starting Nov. 10, the company will offer Uber and Lyft customers credit for future Gett rides equal to what those customers paid in surge pricing, up to $100 per customer.
The program, called “Surge Sucks,” will only be available in New York.
To register for the fare credits, Uber or Lyft customers must sign up at SurgeSucks.com and then forward their email receipts showing their surge pricing charges to Gett. Credits will be rounded up to the nearest $5. For example, a $16 surge fee will be considered a $20 Gett credit.
Surge pricing -- a term that has been mostly associated with Uber but is the same concept as “Prime Time Fees” at Lyft -- refers to the practice of raising fare prices in times of higher demand. The strategy, which hasn’t appeared to hurt either company in terms of its growth, has come under intense media scrutiny for being an example of companies squeezing consumers when they are at their most vulnerable. In response to the outrage, New York City government leaders are currently considering a bill that would make it illegal for ridesharing companies to ever charge more than 100 percent over normal prices.
Gett, which offers $10 flat rides in Manhattan, is seeking to capitalize on that furor by positioning itself as the anti-surge pricing, transparent alternative.
“Gett is committed to providing New Yorkers with affordable flat rates that they can rely on, no matter the weather, traffic, or demand,” said Gett CEO Shahar Waiser in a statement.
While it’s a bold move, Gett has a lot of ground to cover before it catches up to either Uber or Lyft. The London-based company’s only American presence is in New York; its other markets are in the U.K., Russia and Israel. Lyft is U.S. only, but operates in 65-plus cities. Uber, the leader in the space, is in 64 countries.
Gett is also much smaller in terms from a funding perspective. According to Crunchbase, Gett has raised $207 million in venture funding, Lyft has raised a little over $1 billion and Uber has raised a whopping $8.2 billion. Uber is said to be in the process of raising another billion, with investors looking at a valuation of up to $70 billion.