The start of the year of 2017 meant for ride-hailing behemoth a PR disaster of large proportions. Uber leadership made several decisions that would have turned out profitable if its target public didn’t care about the social or moral consequences. Thus, the financial strategies ended up being boycotted by users through social media. On the other hand, the constant rival of the company, Lyft, saw rapid sales boost. However, Uber scandals did not favor Lyft as much as the runner-up wished for.
In January, after Uber scandals started to unravel to full power, Lyft did see a burst of benefits. At the beginning of the year, more than 200,000 people deleted their Uber application. This sign of disapproval was meant to damage the company that takes advantage of political issues for their own financial gain. Instead of being on the side of protesters who fit the description of their own target audience, Uber decided to make a profit out of the travel ban imposed by Donald Trump.
In an effort to show that a brand is more than just a product, people created the hashtag #DeleteUber. This social event highlighted the fact that in today’s consumerism world, people want their favorite brands to share similar moral and social beliefs as they do. Otherwise, the clients can no longer entrust themselves in the offered products and services. They always have the option to head for the competition, which is plenty given the existance of free market.
Uber scandals reflected this trend faithfully. Its rival, Lyft, had its mobile app to appear in the top downloaded apps in the Apple store. This was not a singular event. TXN, a consumer spending analytics company, noticed that Lyft gained momentum once more after another negative event at the Uber headquarters. This happened after a former employee at Uber, Susan Fowler, disclosed sexism and harassment at her former workplace.
On the other hand, these boosts didn’t last forever. Lyft is highly regarded only in certain areas, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is unlike Uber, which is known at an international level, not to mention the entire America. Besides a low popularity among clients, Lyft didn’t manage to attract Uber drivers on its side either. Even though they have been protesting low fees and unjust terms and conditions, independent contractors chose to remain with Uber even though they have the freedom to ditch the company at any given moment.
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