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How Uber Is Making One Design Firm’s Life A Living Hell

Just another day in the office for the beleagured startup.

How Uber Is Making One Design Firm’s Life A Living Hell

Uber has its fair share of problems right now. The CEO allegedly said that Uber should be called Boober for its ability to get him laid. The upper management can spy on the trips of its users with a privacy-busting “God View” app. The senior vice president has suggested hiring a smear team to discredit journalists who write negative coverage about the company. They price-gouge their customers when they need them most, and they place orders for fake rides on their competitors’ services just to screw them.

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But no one hates Uber more than, well. Uber. Led by Herta Kriegner, Uber, Inc. is a Manhattan graphic design firm that has been tormented by its $17 billion namesake, without the latter even knowing about it: since August, the New York Post says the smaller company has received over 500 calls looking for the wrong Uber.

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The issue is that Uber Technology, the company behind the popular taxi hailing app, refuses to set up a phone-based customer service center. Not only that, but Uber’s Yelp page listed the number of Kriegner’s company for a time. So anytime anyone wants to get a hold of Uber over the phone–to bitch about service, to find a lost item, to order a car, and so on–information just pipes them directly through to Kriegner’s design firm.

Most of the time, according to the article, this is a mild annoyance:

Kriegner politely tells callers to go to Uber Technologies’ Web site — but that usually just makes them angrier. The taxi-hail app has a customer service number, but it leads to a recording rather than a person. And calls to 411 for Uber led to Kriegner’s firm.

Kriegner and her sister sometimes end up with an earful of sob stories or threats to sue, the graphic designer said.

But other times, she’s even had to hire lawyers to resolve issues related to being subpoenaed in the wrong Uber’s lawsuits.

Uber’s response? According to Kriegner, they told her she should change her design firm’s name. But the Uber design firm has been a brand she spent 15 years building: why should she abandon it to some upstarts, just because they’re bigger? As for suing, she’s terrified of what Uber might do to her. “If they can dig up dirt on journalists, what’s going to happen to me?” she tells the New York Post. “ I get run over by an Uber car one day?”

Read more here.

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