Uber vs. Lyft: the drama, the intrigue, the canceled rides

Above: Promotional photograph from Uber

Image Credit: Uber

Early this morning, ridesharing startup Lyft made a severe (yet unsurprising) claim: that Uber employees have requested and canceled as many as 5,560 rides over the past 10 months in order to sabotage Lyft.

The claim shouldn’t shock anyone; it mirrors a January report in which Uber apparently did the same exact thing to Gett, a significantly greener competitor. It’s the transportation startup’s equivalent to a DDoS attack.

Only, that’s not the full story. Not if you ask Uber.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Uber called Lyft’s claims “baseless and simply untrue.” And in a counterattack, Uber revealed that Lyft employees “have canceled 12,900 trips on Uber.”

Here’s Uber’s fun-filled statement, in full. Among the accusations, Uber claims that Lyft only attacked Uber because Uber refused to acquire Lyft.

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.

And no, the attacks don’t end there.

Lyft responded, accusing Uber of “deceiving the public [with] false allegations and an attempt to deflect from their illegal cancel campaign.”

Uber, however, insists that it’s only focused on “building and maintaining the best platform for both consumers and drivers.” Uber says it could provide a “long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years,” but it’s too focused on the consumer to sink that low.


Here’s Lyft’s latest statement, in full:

Once again Uber is deceiving the public, now with false allegations and an attempt to deflect from their illegal cancel campaign.

Lyft has more than 100 investors, all of whom are extremely excited that Lyft is approaching IPO-level revenue. Our “nuclear” strategy is continuing to take market share with 30% month-over-month growth, while building the strongest community of drivers and passengers.

Check back here for more, as the fight is sure to break down to schoolyard name-calling soon, when Uber threatens that its dad can beat up Lyft’s dad.

More information:

Uber Technologies Inc is known as Everyone's Private Driver. Uber operates an on-demand car service used all over the world. With the touch of a button from your phone, you can experience your own private driver. Sign-up quickly, g... read more »

Lyft is a friendly, safe, and affordable transportation option. Just tap a button and in minutes you’ll be riding in the front seat with a new friend. Our Lyft community drivers have been background checked and personality screened t... read more »

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Victor C
Victor C

"In a statement to TechCrunch"...

You might as well say "Sources told TMZ"

Or if you're more old school, "According to reports from the National Enquirer"...

Because enquiring minds want to know.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Dave Copeland
Dave Copeland

For what it's worth -- not too long after I started driving for both services Lyft dropped me as a driver, saying I had not lived up to standards that had been explained in previous "coaching emails." I never received them but did receive the other emails Lyft sends several times daily to its drivers. At the time, my driver rating was 4.91 out of 5. Maybe I'm paranoid but guessing Lyft somehow figured out I was double dipping, as it makes no sense for them to can a reliable driver in a market where passengers often have to wait 15-20 minutes for a ride, assuming there are even any drivers available.