Taxi ride startup Gett is accusing Uber of attacking its service, showing how aggressive the war is between competing transportation startups.
Over a period of three days, Gett says more than a dozen Uber employees ordered and then cancelled over 100 of Gett’s cars in New York.
Gett, which launched its service back in August 2013, says that it experienced a “denial of service” attack. According to Gett, the customer profiles suggest that they are Uber employees.
Uber admitted to Business Insider that its employees were trying to recruit Gett drivers by obtaining contact information from them through the cancelled requests, and that it was “likely too aggressive a sales tactic.“
(Uber, generally speaking, is already relatively aggressive when it comes to recruiting new drivers. I, for one, have received countless text messages from Uber just because I started the sign-up process.)
Gett says, “These individuals ordered cars and then cancelled each order after the Gett driver was dispatched or had arrived; subsequently, these drivers received a SMS message from Uber to leave Gett and join Uber.”
Uber whole-heartedly denies it was a “denial of service” attack, and says that none of the requests led to a Gett driver wasting his or her time:
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. It was likely too aggressive a sales tactic and we regret the team’s approach to outreach of 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 by requesting transportation services.