I initially planned to start this blog with a gung-ho confession and killer title – “Uber: Master Strategizer Or Master Espionage Artist?! Code Of Ethics Training Needed To Save The Day!” Super exciting, right? It just has an air of mystery and intrigue. I would definitely (emphasis on DEFINITELY) want to read that article. But, no, I didn’t go with that title. Why? Because that is NOT the message that I want to send. It’s not the message that the drama that is currently ensuing between Lyft and Uber deserves. Instead I went with what I think is the more apropos title, “Uber, Lyft Stop The Childish Shenanigans – Go Sit In Time Out And Reflect On Your Code Of Ethics Training.” From what I’ve read, if Uber and Lyft continue down the path they are on I can only imagine one result:
Are you up-to-date on your rideshare gossip? Not to worry, I will fill you in. Lyft is upset, because Uber is going soccer balls to the walls, pulling out all the stops to recruit Lyft drivers. According to a mole within the Uber organization, Uber is supplying their “brand ambassadors” with credit cards and burner phones to create fake Lyft accounts to achieve the following objectives:
1. Recruit Lyft Drivers To Come To The “Dark Side”
2. Sabotage Lyft By Ordering And Cancelling Rides
So here’s my “gung-ho” confession. I am an Uber rider! I can’t say if Lyft is better than Uber or not, I haven’t tried it. I’d like to pretend I will try it, but I probably won’t. Uber solves the need I have for a convenient, reliable, non-creepy taxi alternative, and so far, I have no complaints with the rides or drivers. So as someone that works for an ethics and compliance software company, I am begging you Lyft and Uber, stop with the childish shenanigans, I don’t want to take another taxi!!!
[Editors' Note: We’re with you. We Uberers never want to take a taxi again. Ever. – Pia & Kat]
Uber’s Next Steps
Uber has been accused of aggressively trying to “poach” their competitors’ drivers. Recruiting Lyft drivers to work for Uber is not illegal. If, however, Uber is knowingly sabotaging Lyft business by having third-party contractors (their brand ambassadors) scheduling and cancelling Lyft rides, that is another story. At this point The Verge allegedly has an inside source and real documents proving Uber’s mission to actively recruit Lyft drivers (no shame there!). Uber has denied any kind of sabotage (I’m crossing my fingers it’s true!)
This past July the Network hosted a webinar, “Compliance As A Marketing Imperative: Building A More Resilient Brand,” featuring guest speaker and Forrester Analyst, Nick Hayes. All companies need to have compliance programs in place, but the webinar emphasizes the added value we can get out of our programs – namely that we can use compliance as a marketing tool.
If Uber can take cues from this idea, responding to the media frenzy around their alleged sabotage with communication that touts that they are re-evaluating their code of ethics training and distributing it at all levels (to their marketing managers, as well as third-party contractors – brand ambassadors and employment agency) they will demonstrate a dedication to doing what is right.
Both Lyft and Uber have taken on added risks competing on a primarily digital front. Traditional liabilities that apply to store front operations, do not apply to them. Consequently, they need to do their due diligence, analyze their greatest risks and create compliance programs and code of ethics training tailored to their needs. Is their greatest risk third-parties? Is it their tone-from-the-top? Now is the time to identify their risks and update their code of ethics training.