back to article Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Uber has blasted rival taxi app firm Lyft over claims that Uber staff had deliberately ordered Lyft rides and then cancelled them. Lyft told CNN that it had logged 5,560 requests for rides from staff of Uber since October 3, 2013, and that there were numerous cases of people ordering short Lyft rides and spending the time …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the strategy the market will allow

    "The best result for investors would be if one firm either outpaces or purchases the other to create a dominant force that can set prices. That may not be best for fares, but allowing market competition is not an attractive strategy in this IPO-driven business landscape."

    For "dominant force" read "monopoly." Much better than unattractive strategies like market competition, for sure.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: All the strategy the market will allow

      Correct - but what's best for Investors is rarely best, or even good, for anyone else, customers, employees, small shareholders etc. These days Investors don't really care what the product is or even whether it's a viable idea for the long term - it's all about get in early, make a few tens of millions and bail before the whole thing crashes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All the strategy the market will allow

      They should hire some muscle and torch each others rides. Like in the taxi wars of the olden days.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obviously...

    The perpetrators are angling for a job with one of the big tech corporations.

    1. Lionel Baden

      Re: Obviously...

      I thought black cab drivers already had a job !!! :D

  3. Pen-y-gors

    Very odd

    I actually had a look at the Uber website out of curiosity. Definite gaps in the FAQs, no answers on the site to questions like

    "How much can I earn as a driver"

    "How much does it cost"

    "Is it available in my city/town/remote patch of rural Wales"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very odd

      What a quaintly redundant term of verse you have, Surely the "rural" is not necessary.

  4. Benjol

    Looks like the 'normal' taxi drivers just need to hang in there until these companies have finished their fight to the death.

  5. LucreLout
    Stop

    Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

    Instead of trying to steal each others lunch, go after the black cabs of London. There's a lot of meat and plenty of fat on those dinosaur bones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

      I'd disagree. Last time I was in London the price of a shared taxi was very competetive when compared to underground fares with the advantage of being taken to where you wanted to go, not just the nearest station.

      1. Cliff

        Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

        London black cabs have Hailo - the ride only costs the meter fare, billed direct to your card, email receipt etc. Personally I prefer a cabbie who doesn't ask 'what street is that on?' when I ask him to go to Paddington (yes, that has happened).

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Paddington

          A black cab ? What happened to this world famous "knowledge" then, which is the reason for their high fares ?

          1. David Webb

            Re: Paddington

            @JimmyPage - sounds to me like he had an Uber/Lyft driver who needed directions, not a Black Cab driver and is making that point.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

          Cliff, you should try Madrid. The taxi drivers always ask how you want to get to wherever you want to go. When you tell them in detail they aren't too pleased.

          1. Gray Ham

            Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

            Madrid, pfffft!

            Try Jakarta. The only city I know where a taxi driver needs to stop 3 times in a 10k trip to ask for directions. Anything harder than "airport to Jl MH Thamrin" is probably going to be a challenge.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

        Indeed. I'm told the average number of passengers on a rural bus in our part of the world is 4. A scheduling algorithm which could keep black cabs full would result in (a) happy passengers and (b) happy drivers. Far more useful than Ueber or Lyft.

        It is interesting how the proponents of these systems all want to eat into someone else's business model, rather than genuinely introduce their own. They like going on about "disruption" (ask the Palestinians or the Iraqis how they've benefited from disruption...), when what they really mean is "steal your business by undercutting with venture capital, then put the prices up when we've done it." The "surge pricing" model of Ueber is a descendant of the energy pricing system of Enron. It's a banker's wet dream of using a relatively inelastic commodity to create short term price fluctuations. But overall it is bad for end users, and it is actually bad for drivers who have to live with constant uncertainty.

        Not a taxi driver, just someone who believes that there is such a thing as society.

        1. Tom 7

          Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

          @Arnaut the less. The trouble with a scheduling algorithm that keeps black cabs full is it doesnt keep the passengers as happy as it could do and restricts the market (to black cab drivers) making in noticeably more expensive.

  6. Irongut

    approaching IPO-level revenue

    So they're losing hundreds of millions, a figure which increases monthly, and there is no sign of them ever making a profit then?

    1. ForthIsNotDead
      WTF?

      Re: approaching IPO-level revenue

      "So they're losing hundreds of millions, a figure which increases monthly, and there is no sign of them ever making a profit then?"

      Seems that way, doesn't it. But one has to ask why? What are all these "employees" doing? You could run an outfit like Lyft or Uber from a couple of server racks in your garage, FFS. It runs/supports itself.

      What the fuck are they doing?

      1. Richard Morris
        Happy

        Re: approaching IPO-level revenue

        What the fuck are they doing?

        Air Hockey

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: approaching IPO-level revenue

          Ah, Richard, I see you remember Razorfish!

          BTW, upvoted. You are of course, correct.

  7. Alistair
    Windows

    wait a minute here.......

    "But instead of providing the long list of questionable tactics that Lyft has used over the years, we are focusing on"

    OK -- I get the OMG we're fyghting 4 ur Lyves bit.

    But "over the years"? --- as far as I can tell these two entities have only existed for 2. But then I'm just a sane person in canada. (yes, there are a couple of us)

    Both of these entities are symptomatic of the economic horsecrap that will sink our global economy.

    (icon, tired, grumpy old guy)

  8. disgruntled yank

    there's a drama in here somewhere

    "Waiting for Lyfty". Next stop, Broadway.

  9. The Grump
    Windows

    Doesn't mean bollocks to me...

    I live so far away from any town or city, no Uber or Lyft driver would drive me home. These services are for mostly city folk.

    Yawn...Bring on the next BOFH story. Icon to show old guy, eyes glazing over from boredom, falls asleep on keyboardzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solution:

    Cancellation fees... 'Nuff said.

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Solution:

      Deposits.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds to me like Lyft are getting a bit sniffy because the competition is hotting up. What did they expect?

    Personally I think this 'sharing economy' is just the geeks' way of getting back at the bullies who made their teenage years hell.

  12. Oninoshiko

    wait, what?

    You're telling me, both companies allowed accounts to remain around that had over 100 cancellations? Seriously?

    If I where an investor in either company, I think I would be asking some questions about these types of inefficiencies.

    1. Ian 62

      Re: wait, what?

      Its like twitter and Facebook.

      "We have xyz millions of accounts! Invest in us now."

      But % are fake, bots, spammers, duplicates, aren't they?

      "But look! we have xyz millions of accounts!"

      But fake?

      "Invest in us now!"

      BUT....

      "Invest in us now!"

      Or rather, it'd be something like. "Our disruptive exponential growth of accounts in our new cloud based initiative presents a unique investment channel to realise multi percent point growth on your initial outlay of under utilised traditional economic funds."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wait, what?

      b.b.but Its GROWTH, dammit!

    3. Andy Gates

      Re: wait, what?

      More the use of lots of freshly-created accounts. Hide that shadiness for maximum shade.

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    And now you know why...

    And now you know WHY there is regulation.

  14. Camilla Smythe

    Buggered By Boris

    I might have thought it was his problem to sort this out with more bikes. Is this why he is attempting to abdicate to Parliament?

    Still I suppose having zombie cab drivers in London is not much of a problem given they will only be transporting London Zombies.

    I now see the reasoning behind 'Perimter M25'.

  15. Glen Turner 666

    Uber, lighting $100 notes by the box

    Adelaide is a small Australian city of a million people -- it's pretty much on the other side of the planet from everything. Yet Uber are burning cash here like there is no tomorrow: huge billboards near the airport, relentless Facebook ads trying to recruit drivers, direct appeals to taxi drivers. Yet Uber isn't available to answer simple questions: does driving for Uber breach the Passenger Transport Act; do I need insurance above the typical motor vehicle insurance.

    Anyway, if Uber are burning so much cash here in Adelaide they must be shovelling into the incinerator in larger cities. It all seems very "crash through or crash", and very much aimed at IPO returns to venture capital rather than any sane way to build the business.

    1. fajensen

      Re: Uber, lighting $100 notes by the box

      The business model has been adequately explained in the Mel Brooks film "The Producers". From 1968.

      Rapidly burn through a Googol of funding, then, when the company blows up nobody will notice that some percentages are unaccounted for. Percentages of 1 Googol EUR/USD is a respectable sum, even for a gentleman of sophisticated tastes and appetites.

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