VANCOUVER— Some Uber users in Vancouver are expressing disappointment, and in some cases outrage, after they say the ride-share app’s free ice cream promotion in the city apparently melted down.
The company said it would deliver two free ice cream sandwiches between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday while supplies lasted to anyone within a specified area.
But many people who tried to order the treats claimed they got repeated messages that the ice cream wasn’t available.
Earnest Ice Cream, the local business that supplied the ice cream, posted on Facebook that it regrets the venture and that Uber’s values do not align with its own.
Uber spokeswoman Susie Heath says the Uber Ice Cream promotion has been done year-after-year in 500 cities.
Heath says that with free promotions, demand typically outpaces supply and that Vancouver was no exception.
“Uber Ice Cream was about connecting people in Vancouver with a local entrepreneur and help contribute to a worthy cause. Yesterday we delivered hundreds of Earnest ice cream sandwiches and raised thousands of dollars for the Vancouver Sun Adopt-A-School Fund,” Heath said in an email.
A news release from Uber earlier this week said that for every person who requested ice cream, Uber would donate $1 to the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund _ to a maximum of $3,000 _ to help fund school meal programs for impoverished children in Metro Vancouver.
The promotion appeared to leave some people cold.
“The only thing sadder than no ice cream, is promises of ice cream that aren’t followed through… :(” one person posted to Twitter under the hash tag #UBERIceCreamFail.
“Did your drivers eat all the ice cream themselves?” another person posted.
Earnest Ice Cream began its Facebook post Friday by stating it had made “a mistake.”
“As we educated ourselves more thoroughly about Uber, we recognized that this is not a good fit for us. We apologize for not doing our due diligence ahead of time and we hope to rebuild the trust that may have been lost with some of you,” the post stated.
Some of the responses to the ice-cream company’s post mocked the complainers.
“People who complain about free ice cream should be ashamed of themselves,” one person posted.
Others were critical of ice cream itself.
“Speaking of values, would you consider moving away from dairy entirely so that poor cows don’t have to suffer for our taste?” one post questioned.