A recent effort by Uber to poach drivers from a rival ride-sharing service in New York has backfired, giving media attention to the lesser known service and making Uber come off as a bully.
Gett, an Israeli start-up that launched in New York last August, saw its service get flooded with nearly 200 fake ride requests from Uber employees last week.
"These individuals ordered cars and then canceled each order after the Gett driver was dispatched or had arrived," Gett said in a statement. "Subsequently, these drivers received a SMS message from Uber to leave Gett and join Uber."
Uber has confirmed Gett's claims, saying sometimes its local offices get too eager when it comes to recruiting others.
"Members of our New York team made requests to generate leads of independent contractors but then immediately canceled seconds later," Uber said in a statement. "It was likely too aggressive a sales tactic and we regret the team’s approach to outreach of these drivers."
Uber said its employees paid any cancellation fees. The company also said it had told its employees not to perform any more similar recruitment drives in the future.
Meanwhile, Gett said it had blocked the phone numbers of the users who called in fake requests. The company has also said it was evaluating its options, including seeking legal action against Uber.