Poaching drivers may be the norm for ride-sharing companies

Uber has tried to recruit Sidecar drivers too, the company's CEO said

It seems like poaching drivers is par for the course in the ride-sharing industry.

Like Lyft, Sidecar drivers have also been targeted by Uber's recruitment efforts, Sidecar's CEO said Thursday -- though he admitted that his own company has tried in-car recruitment in the past too.

Recruiters working for Uber have been ordering rides with Sidecar for some time then trying to get the driver to switch companies, Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul said in an interview.

It's happened in nearly all of the 10 cities where Sidecar operates, and recruiters sometimes offer drivers $500 to make the switch, he said.

Sidecar knows about the recruitment efforts because it hears about them from its drivers, Paul said. It hasn't received reports about Lyft using similar techniques.

Uber's recruitment efforts sparked controversy this week after The Verge published a report on its tactics, which include dispatching contractors with disposable smartphones to help them avoid detection.

Uber has responded that it can't recruit drivers from other companies without talking to them, and it denied reports that it intentionally cancelled rides to disrupt Lyft's business. (Uber has also accused Lyft of canceling rides, which Lyft denies.)

"We're not super surprised these tactics have finally come to light," Sidecar's Paul said. "It's no secret among drivers these tactics are deployed all the time."

But Sidecar has tried its own recruitment efforts in the past, if not to the same degree.

When asked, Paul acknowledged that Sidecar has tried in-car recruitment, though he said it's not currently doing so. And he said Sidecar doesn't use "deceptive tactics" for its recruitment, like using disposable phones to cover its tracks.

Still, it's starting to look like Uber's recruitment efforts aren't so unusual after all.

Paul declined to say how often Uber has tried to poach his drivers, and he said Sidecar doesn't try to track whether rivals are canceling rides.

"The truth is, we pay attention to our competitors, but we do not obsess about them," he said. "We're not there sitting at our screens looking for Uber users of our platform."

There's nothing unethical about offering incentives to work for a rival company, Paul said, "but what crosses the line is being deceptive about it."

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesSideCarsocial networkingLyftmobilesocial mediainternetUbermobile applications

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?