Lyft accuses Uber of dirty tactics

by: John Knicely Updated:

The fight to give you a ride around Seattle is getting nasty.  Lyft is accusing Uber of using dirty tactics to occupy Lyft drivers so customers will use Uber instead.

Lyft is essentially accusing Uber drivers of doing a ding-dong ditch.  The Uber driver would order a Lyft ride and then cancel it.  So while that ride was ordered the Lyft driver is off the app map and users would pick an Uber driver instead.

Lyft claims this has happened 5,560 times since Oct. 3, 2013.  The company said it can prove it because 177 of those phone numbers belong to known Uber recruiters. 

KIRO 7's John Knicely asked a Seattle Lyft driver if it’s happened to him.

“Not in a long time,” said the Lyft driver, who didn’t give his name.  “It did a while back, but it hasn't happened in a while.”

Lyft corporate sent KIRO 7 a statement from Erin Simpson, director of communications, saying, “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. We remain focused on growing the business faster than any competitor through better customer experience and innovation.”

No Uber drivers would comment to KIRO 7.  But an Uber spokeswoman sent this statement:

"Lyft’s claims against Uber are baseless and simply untrue. Furthermore Lyft’s own drivers and employees, including one of Lyft’s founders, have canceled 12,900 trips on Uber. But instead of providing the long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years, we are focusing on building and maintaining the best platform for both consumers and drivers.

"These attacks from Lyft are unfortunate but somewhat expected. A number of Lyft investors have recently been pushing Uber to acquire Lyft. One of their largest shareholders recently warned that Lyft would “go nuclear” if we do not acquire them.  We can only assume that the recent Lyft attacks are part of that strategy.”

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