What if Pizza Hut kept ordering pizzas from Domino’s and then canceling the orders last minute, leaving Domino’s with a bunch of uneaten pizzas? That seems like a terrible thing to do to a competitor, but it’s essentially one way Uber is attacking Lyft, which is moving in on some of its markets — the most recent of which is New York City.
According to CNNMoney, Uber employees have ordered and immediately canceled as many as 5,560 Lyft rides since October. More than 177 Uber employees are partaking in the scheme, CNN said. It doesn’t seem to be a company policy, though this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of such antics, and instead just cut-throat competition. It might not seem like a huge deal, but once a car is booked it’s taken off of the market for someone who might actually need a ride, and that someone might be a rider who ultimately turns to Uber.
It appears the employees in question work directly for Uber and aren’t the actual drivers. In my own experience, for example, several Uber drivers I’ve ridden with also work with Lyft, which just provides an additional source of revenue on top of Uber. So far it appears that there’s no regulation on stopping this kind of tactic.
“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,” a Lyft spokesperson told CNNMoney. “We remain focused on growing the business faster than any competitor through better customer experience and innovation.”