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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report 182

Posted by timothy
from the ethics-schmethics dept.
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes The folks over at The Verge claim that "Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors." Interviews and documents apparently show Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, following a playbook with advice designed to prevent Lyft from flagging their accounts. 'Uber appears to be replicating its program across the country. One email obtained by The Verge links to an online form for requesting burner phones, credit cards, and driver kits — everything an Uber driver needs to get started, which recruiters often carry with them.' Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds? The so-called sharing economy seems just as cutthroat — if not more so — than any other industry out there.
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

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  • Re:Illegal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xevioso (598654) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:03PM (#47760793)

    I do not believe that "bork" is a legal term with any validity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @05:11PM (#47760861)

    With David Plouffe [uber.com] onboard at Uber, a blizzard of blatant shameless dishonesty as part of a win-at-all-costs campaign is a certainty. Remember those "if you like your doctor..." and "if you like your health insurance..." Obama lies? (and YES, they WERE lies becuase the documents came out that show team Obama knew they were false claims at the time they made them). Plouffe was on THAT team. The guy is as filthy and dishonest as Karl Rove.

  • by Roblimo (357) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:10PM (#47761215) Homepage Journal

    I know the cab and limo business pretty well (check my /. user name), and I give Uber and Lyft another two years before they start fading. Drivers will get tired of paying high commissions, having all their income reported to the IRS, and beating up their cars like crazy. I survived and did well in the limo biz largely because I could do most of my own repairs and knew low-cost shops that could handle the rest. If I wanted to go back to driving for money (no need - between SS and the "side" freelance work I do, I'm fine) I'd probably work work with Uber until I built up my own "book" of business, that is, personal customers. Then I'd say "sayonara" to Uber, just as I did to the cab company as soon as I had enough personal business to tell them to go screw themselves and a threatened RICO suit against the Baltimore cab companies and the MD Public Service Commission opened the business to anyone with an inspected car, good commercial insurance, and a clean criminal record.

    My little group of owner/drivers competed successfully with Boston Coach, Carey, and other national companies. I have no doubt that I could compete successfully with Uber, too. Lyft? A low-rent gypsy cab service. I could beat them, too, but why bother? I did a little gypsy cab work many years ago, but didn't love it.

  • Re:Illegal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taustin (171655) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:29PM (#47761297) Homepage Journal

    Signing a contract with the specific intention of violating it can be. It can also be a felony, depending on the amount of money involved. If Uber is involved in coordinating this, in theory, they could end up facing RICO charges as a criminal syndicate.

    The kind of thinking that leads to this kind of dishonesty is why the taxi industry has been so tightly regulated for so long.

    If they're willing to do this to each other, to cost each other money, imagine what they're willing to do to you, the fare, who have money for them to take.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

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