Then The Verge broke an exclusive story on Uber’s official playbook for recruiting Lyft drivers (and inevitably cancelling rides along the way). In this piece, an anonymous Uber contractor stated the company was “flat-out lying both to their customers, the media, and their investors.”
According to The Verge reporter, Casey Newton, after the outlet contacted Uber for a comment on the playbook, known as Operation SLOG, the company stalled in responding long enough to introduce “the program” in a blog post. “We never use marketing tactics that prevent a driver from making their living — and that includes never intentionally canceling rides,” reads the post.
Never intentionally cancelling rides. Like that? Classic Uber word play. Maybe 5,560 Lyft rides were accidentally cancelled in a burst of overzealous team spirit. Prove it, Lyft.
To us, the point is not the fight between Uber and Lyft. At issue is Uber’s character.
In a very real way, Uber is attempting to self-regulate in the taxi space. Trust us, Uber says, our insurance does not contain gaps that place people at-risk—despite what the insurance experts say. Believe us, Uber requests, we’ll figure out how to eventually plug the holes in our background checks so fewer passengers get hurt. Certainly, we won’t implement surge pricing if weather conditions get too rough, Uber promises.
But Uber isn’t worthy of such self-regulation. This playbook scandal demonstrates this yet again.
Uber has proven untrustworthy in a number of small ways. But it’s when Uber proves untrustworthy in big ways that people really get hurt.