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Uber Apologizes For Over-the Top Aggressive Tactics in New York

@denschaal

Skift Take

The ride-sharing sector is getting uber-aggressive, city-by-city. Were Uber’s tactics against Gett the product of one rogue sales force or the way business is done across the country? Uber has told its sales teams to cut out this crap.

— Dennis Schaal

Uber has issued a mea culpa for its New York sales’ teams uber-agressive tactics in trying to sabotage rival ride-sharing service Gett in New York City.

In a blog post, Uber says members of its New York sales team used tactics that “were too aggressive and we apologize for our outreach to these drivers.”

As Valleywag reported, members of the Uber sales team created Gett accounts solely for the purpose of scheduling rides and canceling them to create havoc with the Gett service.

Josh Morer, Uber’s general manager in New York City, argues that the actions his sales team took weren’t designed to create havoc, but were geared toward recruiting drivers for Uber. He says they made reservations and quickly cancelled them.

“We paid $10 for each [cancelled ride],” Mohrer says. “Drivers made $10 for 1 minute of inconvenience.”

Uber’s apology doesn’t specifically mention Gett and blames the transgressions on an over-enthusiastic sales force. Perhaps the omission of Gett’s name in the apology was done for legal reasons.

Rich Pleeth, Gett’s vice president of global marketing, says Uber did not apologize to Gett directly.

Pleeth says Gett charged the individuals for some of the cancellations, but not all of them.

Is this the end of the Uber-Gett flap?

“We’re still discussing this with our internal legal team and external counsel as how to proceed,” Pleeth says.

Here’s the Uber blog post in full:

“Our local teams can be pretty determined when spreading the word about Uber and how our platform opens up new economic opportunities for drivers. Members of our New York team made requests to generate leads of independent contractors but then immediately canceled seconds later.

“The sales tactics were too aggressive and we apologize for our outreach approach to these drivers. But to be clear there was no time spent by the providers, as the requests were canceled immediately and Uber did pay cancellation fees for these requests. We have messaged city teams to curtail activities that seek lead generation in this manner.”

In its own blog post, Gett thanked users for their support in light of Uber’s “denial-of-service attack.”

Gett was offering rides at $10 discount through the end of January as a “small token” of its appreciation for customers’ support.

The Gett blog post states:
In light of the denial-of-service attack by Uber as reported on CNN and TC, we want to tell you how much we appreciate all of our incredible users, and thank you for being so supportive during our first five months in New York. As the new kid on the block, we knew it was going to be a thrilling ride and it certainly has been. As a small token of our appreciation, we want to give you $10 off your next ride with code “GettLove” (valid til 1/30).

We need your support now more than ever:

1. Do you find it super convenient to pre-book your airport ride? Please help spread the word and forward this email to your friends – “FriendsOfGett” for $20 off their first ride!

2. Do you prefer flat pricing to variable/surge pricing? Tweet @Gett with “Retweet if you prefer flat pricing to surge pricing!”

3. Do you love our 24/7 live customer support team? Please show us some love in the app store here!

We are determined to be the go-to app in New York, and we’re focused on winning one user at a time. Our ultimate goal is to provide an extraordinary experience for every one of your rides. Thanks for being part of our journey!

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