Taxi Driver Online

UK cab trade debate and advice
It is currently Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:20 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 84 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
Sussex wrote:
I can see Uber losing the 'workers rights' Supreme Court case.

I can see Uber losing the VAT case when that eventually happens.

Not sure about the London ops license appeal.

However if they lost all three, then this Autocab take over is the perfect back up for them.

If they pass work to another operator then the 'workers rights' issue isn't a Uber problem anymore.

If they lose the VAT case then they can pass on work and only pay VAT on the commission, not on the whole fare.

But that's the thing, surely, quite apart from the other stuff.

If Uber lose the employment and VAT cases, then it's a potential can of worms for local operators anyway.

So they're then going to want their cars appearing on the Uber app? :-o

Don't think so, somehow [-X

That would just draw attention to the can of worms, even if they avoided that without getting involved with Uber.

In fact even without local operator getting involved with Uber, this whole thing will just draw attention to the similarities between Uber and the traditional trade 8-[

So Uber portraying it as win-win, but somehow I think local operators will lose out in the long-term - what's in it for Uber, I think is the basic question, and to that extent I think the Autocab operators will lose out.

And that's just in terms of customers and fees/commission. It could also all open up a can of worms with regard to the employment status and VAT issues :shock:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:08 am
Posts: 162
Location: Chorley
I wonder if Autocab firms will be pressured into adding Uber livery to their cars? That would really go against the grain im sure.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:01 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:39 pm
Posts: 1474
I find it amusing
Manchester Street Cars are a 700-car firm who day on day battle with Uber. They are Autocab’s Show site where Autocab would take customers to show them how a professional firm is fighting Uber.
Uber is now Street Cars dispatch provider and holds their data.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 46676
Location: 1066 Country
heathcote wrote:
Everyone seems to be forgetting the pie is always the same size,the slice in this trade is always getting smaller,Ubers sole intention is to have total control of the pie and reduce the ever shrinking slice to a crumb.

When will you waken up to the threat that is there.

The threat has been there for years and I doubt anyone in the trade isn't aware of the threat of Uber.

But what we have here is Uber indirectly offering to send work back to the trade, albeit the part of the trade that uses the Autocab dispatch system.

Now those Autocab operators have a choice, do they take the work from Uber or refuse that work?

If they refuse it there is no guarantee that the customer will rebook with them, they may well book with another local operator, they might flag down a hackney, or they might think f*** it and get a bus.

It's my view that any current Autocab operator who refuses Uber work, during this absolute crisis we all find ourselves in, needs sectioning.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 46676
Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
If Uber or any operator are paid the fare before passing it to the driver surely VAT is paid on the full fare?

Depends if they take a commission?

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 46676
Location: 1066 Country
Quote:
But the point is, surely, that it's an easy way to get a foot in the door of these local markets, then once they've built up a customer base, get an operator's licence and give the jobs directly to the cars. The cars could still actually be working for the Autocab firm.

But they could do that without spending tens of millions buying Autocab.

Uber's abuse of the cross border issue has basically allowed them to work anywhere now, so why buy Autocab just to do that?

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:30 pm
Posts: 46676
Location: 1066 Country
mancityfan wrote:
I find it amusing
Manchester Street Cars are a 700-car firm who day on day battle with Uber. They are Autocab’s Show site where Autocab would take customers to show them how a professional firm is fighting Uber.
Uber is now Street Cars dispatch provider and holds their data.

Interesting.

I don't know anything about that firm, but I will be amazed if they bin Autocab, in light of the Uber take over.

_________________
IDFIMH


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:27 pm
Posts: 18456
Sussex wrote:
heathcote wrote:
Everyone seems to be forgetting the pie is always the same size,the slice in this trade is always getting smaller,Ubers sole intention is to have total control of the pie and reduce the ever shrinking slice to a crumb.

When will you waken up to the threat that is there.

The threat has been there for years and I doubt anyone in the trade isn't aware of the threat of Uber.

But what we have here is Uber indirectly offering to send work back to the trade, albeit the part of the trade that uses the Autocab dispatch system.

Now those Autocab operators have a choice, do they take the work from Uber or refuse that work?

If they refuse it there is no guarantee that the customer will rebook with them, they may well book with another local operator, they might flag down a hackney, or they might think f*** it and get a bus.

It's my view that any current Autocab operator who refuses Uber work, during this absolute crisis we all find ourselves in, needs sectioning.

How much commission will UBER take from each and every job that they pass to the Autocab operator? If a job is £10.00 now and the Autocab operator and the driver get all of that, if that same booking is made through UBER and they taxe 20% the Operator and driver now have only £8.00 between them for the same job. Is that drop of £2.00 going to be taken from the operator or the driver?

_________________
Grandad,
old fart with no heart


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 14903
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
this email popped up in my inbox this weekend. The opinion of someone on the inside well worth reading :wink:

Quote:
YOUR DISPATCH PROVIDER JUST BECAME YOUR COMPETITOR
A note to the taxi industry,

As you all know, the entire private hire industry has been shaken with the news of Autocab selling to Uber. A lot of people have been contacting me asking my thoughts on the matter, so I thought I’d share…

Firstly, lets address why Uber would want to buy Autocab?
Taxi companies have beaten uber, who now cannot attract drivers. Now uber wants to contract that work to taxi companies, so they may get stronger in areas they couldn't win so they can take out taxi companies.

I'm currently still in shock after hearing the sad news that Autocab would sell to a company that has destroyed so many of its client’s businesses. Uber globally has been enemy number 1 to the taxi industry. I headed up New Business Sales for Autocab and my opening line would be “Autocab’s technology will help you fight Uber so your business can survive”. Imagine doing national road shows on how to 'combat uber', and labelling them as ‘the enemy’ to then sell out and allow this ‘enemy’ to take over Autocab? A firm that has put countless taxi operators out of business and is currently the biggest threat to the industry.

I live in Manchester, the taxi firm I use is Street Cars. Street Cars are a 700-car firm who day on day battle with Uber. They are Autocab’s Show site where I would often take customers to show them how a professional firm is fighting Uber. Street Cars today, in my opinion, would be 2,000 cars strong if it was not for Uber. Uber and Street Cars go head to head fighting to become Manchester City centres premier taxi provider. Following yesterday's announcement, Uber is now Street Cars dispatch provider and holds their data.
Year on year Autocab’s financials would be published and I would sit in a room whilst it was discussed how to spin the declining numbers. Usually blaming excessive spend on development. This year with the closing of international offices and yet again financial decline, I knew the only option they had was to sell. Autocab spent the past few years trying to sell, however, no-one wanted to buy a declining business. I know desperate times call for desperate measures but there must be some sort of sense of loyalty and care for your customers.

I’m very intrigued to see how the Autocab management team will look to frame this take over as a ‘good’ thing for their customers, please be wary. It's very difficult to see how Uber, a company hell bent on monopolising the private hire industry, will be looking out for the independent operators.

Say goodbye to your data (as Autocab once said) ...
Remember when Autocab began spreading misleading propaganda about iCabbi following the Renault deal? Apparently, the French were going to steal data and put driver-less cars on the roads... This inevitably turned out to be nothing but malicious and petulant lies to tarnish their competition. For Autocab to then sell out to public enemy number 1. It really shows the lack of respect they have for their customer base.
When the COVID-crisis happened, I was inundated with calls from Autocab customers as they had seen on LinkedIn, iCabbi offered a 3 months payment holiday during the COVID crisis.

Autocab mocked up the "500k" incentive - a complete marketing ploy in my opinion. I had calls from customers who had 30 cars on the road but were being charged for 300 licences. Now I am being told they are offering deferred payments on outstanding bills from the COVID period, with these payments having to be made in October. So just as your business begins to bounce back, Autocab customers will be hit with a deferred payment invoice.

For any Autocab customer, I believe it’s ludicrous to remain loyal to them, this business only views you as a number rather than a customer. They proved this today. Unfortunately, I never had the honour of meeting Falah Abod. I hear nothing but great things about him as he created Autocab for the purpose of helping taxi companies for good. It makes me sad to think what he would think today of the new shareholders decision to betray the core values he fought for.

There are other dispatch providers out there who will look after their customers over their profits.
There is a reason why Autocab requires you to sign a 2-3-year contract whilst their competitors work on 30 day rolling. If you are in a contract with Autocab, I implore you to get legal advice on whether yesterday's announcement releases you from that.
I think what everyone needs to ask themselves is how can someone be their competetior and their supplier at the same time? You may aswell hand them the keys to your office!
I am proud to be partnered with companies such as Riide, an app that is made by operators for operators. I will continue to work with companies in the private hire industy as we try get through this difficult time together.

I am happy to speak to anyone who needs any advice or help.
If anyone would like to speak to me further you can get me on azmat@dotted.org

Azmat Sherwani
CEO
Dotted

www.Dotted.org

(Everything stated in the above text is the opinion of Azmat Sherwani)

_________________
Taxis Are Public Transport too

Join the campaign to get April fools jokes banned for 364 days a year !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 10:47 pm
Posts: 14903
Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
mancityfan wrote:
I find it amusing
Manchester Street Cars are a 700-car firm who day on day battle with Uber. They are Autocab’s Show site where Autocab would take customers to show them how a professional firm is fighting Uber.
Uber is now Street Cars dispatch provider and holds their data.



the same situation for DG cars of Nottingham Autocab's biggest customer or so I am told

_________________
Taxis Are Public Transport too

Join the campaign to get April fools jokes banned for 364 days a year !


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
Sussex wrote:
Now those Autocab operators have a choice, do they take the work from Uber or refuse that work?

If they refuse it there is no guarantee that the customer will rebook with them, they may well book with another local operator, they might flag down a hackney, or they might think f*** it and get a bus.

But that's the point, surely - the customer wouldn't be rebooking with the local operator, they'd be rebooking with Uber.

So in Grotsville, Uber could go from 0% market share to 30% market share without all the rigmarole of an operator's licence and starting cars off from scratch (not sure precisely how it works, but don't they have to offer big incentives to new drivers when they start in new markets? - that's one expense they wouldn't incur for a start).

So now Uber have got 30% of local customers booking through their app. They could then get an operator's licence, and recruiting existing drivers would be easier than starting from zero.

And even if they don't get an operator's licence, they've still got a big market share booking through their app, so the existing operators are losing out in some way or other, even if it's not just the Autocab operator who's taking the biggest hit.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
grandad wrote:
How much commission will UBER take from each and every job that they pass to the Autocab operator? If a job is £10.00 now and the Autocab operator and the driver get all of that, if that same booking is made through UBER and they taxe 20% the Operator and driver now have only £8.00 between them for the same job. Is that drop of £2.00 going to be taken from the operator or the driver?

And chances are the job will be worth less than £10 via Uber anyway :shock:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
But the point is, surely, that it's an easy way to get a foot in the door of these local markets, then once they've built up a customer base, get an operator's licence and give the jobs directly to the cars. The cars could still actually be working for the Autocab firm.

But they could do that without spending tens of millions buying Autocab.

Uber's abuse of the cross border issue has basically allowed them to work anywhere now, so why buy Autocab just to do that?

So why is Uber saying it'll allow them to expand into other areas? And that they won't be going in via Autocab in areas where they're already operating? Apparently they haven't opened in a new UK market since 2016. Maybe they realise they've made inroads into the 'low hanging fruit' areas, but others are more difficult. So Autocab offers a ready-made way into the more difficult markets.

There could be various reasons for that, and not just the economies of scale thing. For example, Aberdeen is mentioned in several articles. Uber got a licence there, but decided not to bother. One reason might be that it's not so easy to get a PHD badge there (like Brighton), so more difficult to attract new blood, and existing drivers probably reluctant to jump ship in case it all went belly-up.

So Uber gets into Aberdeen via Autocab. Assuming the local Autocab office there plays ball. I have my doubts, somehow.

And reading that email earlier from the ex-Autocab insider, the business obviously on the decline, and of course Uber probably at least partly responsible for that. Now with Covid, there's lots of bargains in the market, so Uber no-doubt getting Autocab at a knock-down price.

So they've bought a viable business on the cheap, a viable business in its own right, plus it gives them easy-access into the more difficult markets.

At least, that's the theory, but whether local operators will play ball is a different matter. Mabye Covid will be a game changer in that regard, and the operators will be desperate for new work.

Which may work for them in the short-term, but in the longer term I suspect they'll just be cutting their own throats.

So Uber could get Autocab for a song because of Covid, and local operators will allow them to come on board because of Covid.

I agree with you to the extent that what might happen in the next few months won't be the same as what would have happened a year ago, but I still think it would be a bad long-term move for local operators.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
Some interesting nuggets in here, in particular it mentions Oxford, Doncaster and Aberdeen as markets Uber are targetting. Articles in other outlets also mention Exeter and Swansea. So I suspect that all comes from a press release which Uber have been putting out, but which doesn't seem to be in the public domain.

But a couple of the outlets repeat the bit about the licensing difficulties Uber faces in opening up in new markets, so again I suspect that's what Uber has been putting out.


Uber acquires UK minicab software company Autocab

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... ny-autocab

Move will allow Uber to offer journeys in towns such as Oxford, Doncaster and Aberdeen

Uber has bought the British minicab software company Autocab for an undisclosed amount, giving it a new platform for its first major expansion in the UK in four years.

The purchase will allow Uber to offer users journeys in towns such as Oxford, Doncaster and Aberdeen where it does not currently operate. But rather than booking an Uber car in those towns, riders opening the app will be able to book a minicab from a local outfit instead.

Autocab, which will continue to operate as an independent business after the acquisition, provides technology such as the dispatch app iGo. That service allows minicab companies across the UK to pool their customers’ bases, and is currently advertised to those independent companies as “helping you compete with apps such as Uber, MyTaxi and Lyft”.

Safa Alkateb, Autocab’s chief executive, said: “Autocab has been working with local operators across the world to provide the technology to make them more efficient and open up a marketplace to provide more trips. Working with Uber we can scale up our ambitions, providing hundreds of thousands of additional trips for our customers, and help cement the place of licensed operators in their local community.”

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said: “Autocab has worked successfully with taxi and private-hire operators around the world for more than 30 years and Uber has a lot to learn from their experience. We look forward to working with the Autocab team to help local operators grow and provide drivers with genuine earnings opportunities.”

Uber says that each month hundreds of thousands of riders open the app in cities that it does not currently serve, including 67,000 in Oxford, 25,700 in Exeter and 23,700 in Doncaster. The company has not expanded to a new British town since 2016.

The UK is a particularly heavily regulated market for Uber to operate within, and the company is required to legally set itself up as a minicab firm in each town and city in which it operates. That gives individual councils the power to approve or reject Uber’s application to operate in their jurisdiction, as well as apply other limits as they see fit.

By using Autocab’s partnerships with independent minicab operators, the company will manage to sidestep some of those requirements. But, at least initially, the partnership will only apply in those areas where Uber doesn’t currently operate. Riders will book a car through the Uber app, which will be clearly marked as provided by an independent company, and the independent driver will receive their booking and payment the way they currently do for any booking.

“Through Autocab’s iGo marketplace, Uber will be able to connect these riders with local operators who choose to take their booking,” the company said in a statement. “In turn, operators should be able to expand their operations and offer more earnings opportunities to local drivers. Uber will also explore providing drivers with additional revenue opportunities related to its platform for other services, such as delivery.”

The acquisition could also provide a lifeline to the company if a TfL ruling from November 2019, which stripped the company of its licence to operate in London, is upheld. The ruling, which found that Uber was not a “fit and proper” body to act as a private hire operator, is currently suspended pending appeal.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 5:33 am
Posts: 6596
A BBC article on Friday also said:

Quote:
The BBC has contacted the Competition and Markets Authority for comment.

So presumably the CMA didn't comment. Maybe they'll do so soon.

But Uber will no doubt have had competition lawyers running the rule over the Autocab purchase, so presumably they don't think there's an issue.

In fact maybe the CMA has already pre-approved it all :-o

I think companies can approach the CMA confidentially to pre-approve deals like this, but I'm not too sure about all that :-s

Or maybe Autocab is just too small beer for the CMA to bother with [-(


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 84 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 1 hour [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group