Author Topic: Uber loses London licence  (Read 3266 times)

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 06:20:54 pm »
During recent terrorism attacks in London, Uber tripled the fares. They said it was 'due to demand'.

Black cabs offered free rides to anyone needing transport out of the affected areas.

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2017, 07:45:33 pm »
Uber's surge pricing is done algorithmically and automatically. It doesn't rely upon a human to enable it but it does rely upon a human to disable it in a situation like this. They did that and said they'd refund everyone who was charged surge pricing because of this incident.

Here's what happened after London Bridge:-

http://www.cityam.com/265915/london-bridge-attack-uber-refund-journeys-those-caught

Quote
However, the company said it disabled the "dynamic pricing" as soon as it was aware of the incident, in the area affected around London Bridge and then across central London.

Uber has said it will refund the rides of anyone who used the app in the area.

...

"As soon as we heard about the incident we immediately suspended dynamic pricing all around the area of the attacks - and shortly afterwards across the whole of central London - just as we did following the attacks in Manchester and Westminster.

"We are also ensuring all rides from around the affected area were free of charge. Our team is also working with the Metropolitan Police to help them get any footage from drivers who were in the area at the time.”

And a similar response after Parson's Green:-

http://www.ibtimes.com/parsons-green-explosion-uber-surge-pricing-began-company-will-refund-users-2590465

Hate Uber for lots of other reasons (corporate tax evasion, etc), but not that one.

Also it's also funny that two of the items that TfL are not happy about (medical certificates and DBS checks) are TfL's responsibility not Uber's. To apply to be an Uber driver you have to first apply through TfL to be a private hire operator and it is TfL that does those specific checks.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2017, 10:38:14 pm »
Uber's response to the announcement has not been to accept responsibility for it's own fate but instead it has tried to mobilise sympathy for all those drivers who will be out of work.
Yet not that long ago Uber was telling an employment tribunal that drivers were not employed by Uber and therefore were not eligible for sick pay, pensions or paid holidays. Go figure.

This pretty much dictates my response to this. The company are using a 'loophole' in creating a working relationship that is exploitative. It is pretty much the same as used by many companies 'subbing' professional drivers - DPD, yodel, Amazon Logistics etc.

The long term subcontracting pretence instead of direct employment  is being used to exploit some of the most vulnerable to the benefit of the unwitting middle class.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2017, 11:01:51 pm »
Uberexit? 

 
Quote
do agree that London's black cabs have a lot of lobbying power and can be dodgy as fuck. 

As do York cabs.

However, why shouldn't Saddiq Khan stand up to a corporation in a bid to get conditions for its workers improved? 



They were warned, May 2017:

Quote
United Private Hire Drivers, which says it has 1,200 members and organised a go-slow protest blocking roads in the capital in November last year, is calling on Transport for London to insist Uber and other minicab drivers are guaranteed basic employment rights, including the minimum wage and holiday pay, under the terms of its new five-year licence.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/09/uber-licence-drivers-gmb-transport-for-london

Boris Johnson siding with an American Corporation?  You bet he would.

Bojo actually had Uber in his sights when he was Mayor but Cameron pressurised him to put off doing anything. The fact that Uber's head of PR was a godmother to one of Dave's offspring was entirely coincidental. Uber had a direct line to Downing Street so I reckon that outguns the LTDA as a lobbying weapon. Google "Boris Johnson Uber".

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2017, 06:37:27 am »

Nay, Good Sir, I respectfully do suggest that you may be mistaken in what you say.  Altho he is an honourable man, Mr Johnson was not so clear on the matter.

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2017, 08:44:29 am »
I have no sympathies for Uber, and a lot of their failings have been noted above. But black cab drivers also work on zero hours/self employed, fail to pay the right amount of tax, "break the law in lots of minor ways", are not always background-checked properly, etc. They are also extremely lacking in any  drivers who are not bigoted older white men: trying to hail a cab as an BME or LGBT person can be a very different experience to that of a straight white person.
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that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2017, 12:17:02 pm »
I don't like Uber's shared-responsibility no-shared-liability model, exploitation of employees or lack of tax paying model amongst other things, but I'm seeing discussions that suggest banning them is racialised in that Uber is banned whereas Amazon and other orgs which are dodgy as fuck too aren't treated in the same way and that People of Colour rely on Uber because other services WON'T serve them and their communities in the same way (I know many black folk who say standard cabs won't stop for them, and other minicabs won't come to certain areas).

https://twitter.com/sunnysingh_n6/status/911171124616138752

I do agree that London's black cabs have a lot of lobbying power and can be dodgy as fuck. 

Somewhere else I was reading that to do the Knowledge you need money, education, time etc which many folk who work for Uber etc don't have.

I'd love to see some of the good things about Uber used without the nasty horrible bits cos I'm sure that could be done well. Same for things like AirB&B, Deliveroo etc.
Banning Uber is racialised? Very odd. Isn't taxi driving, in big cities which draw people from all over the world, like London, traditionally a recent immigrant job? Certainly in Bristol many, maybe even most, taxi drivers are Somali and Sudanese refugees.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2017, 12:25:03 pm »
I think The Knowledge deters many recent immigrants from driving 'black' taxis, though minicabs seem to employ many immigrants.

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2017, 12:39:46 pm »
I hope this link is good beyond the paywall.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/when-the-penny-drops-on-bodega-it-will-too-late-to-save-local-shops-2rxnmt58k?shareToken=8d2c9b60d55c5d57fccf801295e87184
The link works but I'm struggling to see the connection with Uber other than their Silicon Valley origins. Are you considering 'local taxis' to be a local service? Uber are disrupting employment practices, in as far as I can see a way already done by many other 'non employers', but the link with the service as experienced by the passenger is not clear.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2017, 12:43:14 pm »
As for safety checks on drivers and such, the last time I used a taxi, which was last summer, it was a local company I'd used before and the driver they sent was in his own car, no taxi plates, no meter.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2017, 03:26:23 pm »
ISTR that London black cab drivers are ~80% white, whereas minicab drivers (including Uber's) are ~80% BME. I'm not quite sure why many users claim Uber is safer than a trad minicab - is this to do with the way other people can track your progress on the app?

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2017, 04:15:10 pm »
I know many local cab firms have apps where you can track the driver, make of car, plates, driver ID and  your location etc by an app too so it's not just Uber although I think they may have inspired many local firms to up their game in this regard which I consider no bad thing. One thing deaf friends who can't speak like about Uber (I've never used them as the main hailer) is that you can say where to drop off via the app which is a great feature altho in the olden days my deaf mates used their phones with sms text messages and pointed to the screen or scrawled notes and taxi drivers were great about that so it's all swings n roundabouts in terms "people get by".

I would like to see more of the GOOD things about Uber made normal in the sector and the bad things like tax dodging, poor employment practices, shitty liability dodging etc eliminated.  I would like to see taxi drivers given FAIR employment and if that costs more to the user then so be it, we should pay what it costs for a fair service as users and we should know why it costs what it does and why services offering less are dodgy and breaking the law and will/should be stopped.

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2017, 05:38:47 pm »
I'm not quite sure why many users claim Uber is safer than a trad minicab - is this to do with the way other people can track your progress on the app?

Not a London point, but when I was in Bogotá the strict advice was never, ever hail a cab on the street unless with a Colombian. Despite uber being officially "illegal" in Bogotá it was the recommended safe way to travel, because of the tracking from before you even get into the car. As barakta says, the things uber is good for should be taken on board by other providers, then there will be proper competition rather than the silly closed-shop tactics TfL is attempting.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2017, 08:26:49 pm »
 "in Bogotá the strict advice was never, ever hail a cab on the street "

When I used to go to Greece (before the crash) it was also very unwise in Athens to get a taxi other from off a cab rank.  Once, very early, we got a taxi from near the cab rank and got charged 3x the proper rate.  He also dropped us off on the wrong, dark side of the bus station and I kept a very close eye on him and our luggage. 

Driving a taxi offers many opportunities for criminals.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2017, 09:48:53 am »
As for safety checks on drivers and such, the last time I used a taxi, which was last summer, it was a local company I'd used before and the driver they sent was in his own car, no taxi plates, no meter.

I didn't think minicabs needed a meter (in most places), I thought you just agreed a fare in advance (when booking, as you can't hail them). They should display their identification and details though.

I don't agree with some of Uber's practices re employment and taxes but these are things – as ever – that governments have control over. That are, after all, responsible for the loopholes that companies expose. That said, black cabs in London are precious about their monopoly and London is rather unusual – in most countries (other than the far-east), taxi driving is a immigrant job. The knowledge, of course, is one of those tools used to keep out new entrants. A level playing field should be level for all, not favouring the current black cabs.

The consequence of taking a lot of cabs off the road (though I'm sure Uber will figure out how to stay on the road) is that more people will use illegal cabs, because black cabs are uproariously expensive and never around when you need one (try hailing one at 11pm; however, they'll spend 9am-10pm blocking up every street in central London).

I've always used Uber abroad and never had some of the issues I've had with local firms (overcharging is a tradition, I've lost track of the number of countries I've been overcharged in, before Uber I used to book cars in advance).
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2017, 10:13:06 am »
It wasn't a minicab – I'm not sure that minicabs as such even exist outside London – just a phoned for in advance taxi, nor was the fare agreed in advance either, though it seemed reasonable. I reckon what happened is they just ran out of cover so got old Trev, you know the bloke who used to work for us a couple of years ago, to do the Sunday morning pick up.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2017, 10:36:05 am »
… it's just ridiculous to go backwards and not use current technology for booking and managing minicab use.  Because that's all Uber is, basically.  It's just a big minicab service that happens to use highly efficient systems.

The proof that that’s not true lies in Uber’s desperate attempts to persuade American courts that it is not an employer. Why should being an employer hinder the use of app-based hailing and other efficient technology?

The app is only a novel but now-trivial front end to a basic business model that is neither fair nor sustainable.

On the sustainability point, Uber lost about $3 billion last year and is starting to make some pretty desperate-looking bets. The Economist recently predicted Uber will be gone in 3–5 years unless they pull off a successful pivot – but they had no sensible suggestions. What options do you see? Self-driving cars are twenty years away despite hysteria to the contrary.

Some new legislation may be needed to improve the rights and earnings of the pseudo-self-employed in general.

Understatement of the thread.

The long term subcontracting pretence instead of direct employment  is being used to exploit some of the most vulnerable to the benefit of the unwitting middle class.

Indeed. I wonder why 96% of Uber drivers quit within a year.

ian

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2017, 11:22:13 am »
It wasn't a minicab – I'm not sure that minicabs as such even exist outside London – just a phoned for in advance taxi, nor was the fare agreed in advance either, though it seemed reasonable. I reckon what happened is they just ran out of cover so got old Trev, you know the bloke who used to work for us a couple of years ago, to do the Sunday morning pick up.

Then that would be illegal – all cab drivers, minicab or Hackney, have to be registered with the local council and should display their details and mugshot. Minicabs are just the ones you have to prebook. Hackney cabs are the ones that have meters and you can hail or linger outside the train station awaiting fares.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2017, 11:32:25 am »
Yes, of course it's illegal. The point is you can end up with an unlicensed driver through Uber, a traditional private hire taxi or even a hackney cab (though I'd imagine the last is least likely).
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2017, 03:09:39 pm »
What options do you see? Self-driving cars are twenty years away despite hysteria to the contrary.



Duly noted ;)  Samuel D said..

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2017, 03:23:42 pm »

Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2017, 02:08:37 am »
Interesting article about how Uber operates:

https://www.londonreconnections.com/2017/understanding-uber-not-app/

That is a splendid piece.

In particular, I'd suggest that Biggsy reads it, and reconsiders his earlier political grandstanding. City-wide booking is definitely a good thing (and making it app-based is convenient), and the wider availability of accessible vehicles is clearly also good, but it's really not about wanting to "go backwards and not use current technology for booking and managing minicab use" - among other things, it is about whether or not Uber accepts that it's a minicab firm, and has to comply with the rules that apply to every other minicab firm.

Ok, if safety needs to be improved, then improve it.  They will not get away with throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  There will be massive demonstrations of all sorts and Kahn hopefully will eventually resign.  He'll never be re-elected anyway.  I'm embarrassed that I voted for him.  I must have been ignorant on his policies.  My mother (with generally opposite political views from myself) says this would never have happened under Boris, and she's right.

(That's Khan not Kahn, of course.)

ian

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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2017, 07:48:59 am »
Yes, he probably gets quite angry if you spell his surname wrong.
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Re: Uber loses London licence
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2017, 10:30:52 am »
Yes, he probably gets quite angry if you spell his surname wrong.
What, on an internet forum about cycling? I think that's unlikely to trouble him greatly.
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