This is Uber's playbook for sabotaging Lyft
Halibutboy Flatfish stashed this in Manliness
All's fair in competitive capitalism, hippehs! It's all right, it's OK, you'll be working for a libertarian someday!
Ruthless is the word that comes to mind.
Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors. Interviews with current and former contractors, along with internal documents obtained by The Verge, outline the company’s evolving methods. Using contractors it calls "brand ambassadors," Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets. Uber calls the program "SLOG," and it’s a previously unreported aspect of the company’s ruthless efforts to undermine its competitors.
Makes me think of "The Art of War", Lyft should fight back, do the same to them, or start requiring a credit card to hold the reservation, don't allow cancellations within so many hours before, maybe 2 hours. Charge peoples cards if they cancel in less than 2 hours, the system should be agile enough to readjust with 2 hours notice.
Remember that Uber has raised at least twice the money as Lyft... so getting into a pissing match with them could be like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Probably Lyft would be better served playing the "We're real and adorable and do you want to help libertarian assholes get a monopoly" card. I think most people who aren't total dummies instinctively know that once Uber corners the market they're going to turn on the customers as they've already turned on their drivers and competitors. Ruthless!
I guess one way they could do both is to ask their users to order and cancel on their behalf!
I think you're right that Lyft's best move here is to be the kinder, gentler service.
The one you can trust not to gouge you, now or later.