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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:57 am 
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Autocab is estimated at 25 % market share so CMA wouldn't be bothered

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:57 pm 
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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?

I suppose if it's surge prices then drivers wont give a stuff.

However for the normal run of the mill work it makes no sense for a driver to pay office rent and also give 20% of the job back. Thus I doubt that will be the deal.

If Uber are serious, and this system will cut down on their overheads, and IMO their liabilities, then they need to be looking at no more than 10%. And some of that 10% needs to be absorbed by the operator who is still collecting rent.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:00 pm 
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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.

But Uber can do that now, via their cross border abuse.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:17 pm 
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If I were a PH company I'd be looking very hard at this. If Uber lose their employment law cases then a lot of PH firms that run with self employed drivers are going to find themselves in a very sticky situation as they control their drivers far more than Uber does because I don't think there's a PH operator out there that lets their drivers work for multiple operators at the same time. If the drivers were truly self employed they could sit there and bid for work with any operator licenced in their area.

By funnelling Uber work through Autocab to their own drivers they at least keep them busy on their platform rather than using Uber directly.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:22 pm 
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This piece is a few days old, but is aimed more at the trade rather than the public.


Autocab moves to quell operators’ data fears after dramatic Uber takeover

https://www.prodrivermags.com/news/auto ... -takeover/

Autocab has reassured operators that the company’s sale to Uber will open up new opportunities for them, as it will give them access to jobs in towns and cities where the US ride-hailing operator does not operate.

Uber yesterday acquired 100% of the Manchester-based dispatch systems provider for an undisclosed sum, giving it access to Autocab’s technology, including its iGo aggregator platform, as well as a UK user base of 75,000 cars. Autocab’s management team, including managing director Safa Alkateb and directors Hasan Abod and Jon Smith, will remain in place, and the company will be run as a stand-alone business with its own board.

Chief marketing officer Jon Smith said: “Autocab operates in 33 countries, but this gives us a chance to be a truly global brand.” The deal gives operators access to jobs from the Uber platform, especially in places where Uber does not operate. Uber’s data shows there is demand for the service even in places where Uber does not provide one. In Oxford, for example, the Uber app was opened more than 67,000 times last year. Under the new deal, these Uber customers would be given a choice of cars from local customers on the Autocab platform.

And even if Uber is present in the city, there will be an opportunity for local operators to pick up new business, for example Uber Business pre-bookings, or food deliveries from Uber Eats, a significant growth area. “We’re introducing the opportunity for operators to have extra opportunities,” Smith said.

Smith admitted that customer reactions had been “mixed”, with positive and negative responses. Some operators have already expressed concerns that their data could be at risk, and could end up with Uber. But he said data sharing would not happen – and would be illegal under data protection laws. “We handle data for competitor companies already in some cities and we do not share their data – and we will not do that with Uber. We can only use data as instructed by our customers.”

Smith said there would be an opt-in screen on the Autocab system which would allow any Autocab customer to opt in to taking any Uber jobs. This would also allow the operator to opt in or out of any other aggregator’s services, such as CMAC, Brunel or Addison Lee.

Smith said the change of approach was being driven by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over in 2017. “Uber has always been a direct to driver model, but the new CEO has changed the strategy. Uber wants its app to be a multi-modal travel app, and it doesn’t want to get into running bus or tram services, so it has to work with collaborators,” Smith said.

“This means it wants to work with the private hire sector rather than against it.” Smith highlighted the fact that Uber has not launched into any new towns or cities since 2016, and in other countries, such as Spain, Japan or Chile, Uber has added local taxi operators to its app. Uber currently serves around 40 UK towns, but the link-up with Autocab will effectively give it a presence in 170 through tapping into Autocab’s iGo network, which allows any Autocab customer to pick up work booked by individuals using any other Autocab customer’s app.

In cities where Uber runs its own fleet, the app defaults to Uber cars. But elsewhere, if an Uber job is given to a local taxi or private hire firm, the customer will be notified via the app. And the relationship is “a one-way street”, Smith said. “If you book a car with your local operator, you won’t get an Uber car turning up.”

Smith said the growth in business for those taking on Uber jobs would be very strong. “We have done some modelling and we envisage that a company with 200 cars could grow to 350 vehicles within 18-24 months.” Some of this could be scooters or vans to cope with the growth in delivery work, which Uber is looking to expand beyond food. “If you strip out all the emotion, Uber is just an aggregator like CMAC, Brunel or Addison Lee. They are all pumping jobs into the iGo marketplace,” Smith said. He believes there will also be less driver attrition, with fewer drivers choosing to go and work for Uber if they realise they can pick up Uber work as well as their own jobs.

From Autocab’s point of view, Smith expects the company will need to expand as more global operators come on board and buy Autocab’s systems. “I expect we’ll get a long list of leads to sell dispatch systems.”


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:25 pm 
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Autocab has reassured operators that the company’s sale to Uber will open up new opportunities for them, as it will give them access to jobs in towns and cities where the US ride-hailing operator does not operate.

Will 'open up opportunities' to access jobs via Uber that the local firms already have access to direct? =D> :-s

Unless they mean access to the pizza deliveries, so drivers can dump their cars for a bike :badgrin: [-(


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:01 pm 
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Quite amused to get this in an email from iCabbi.


What Does the Uber/Autocab Buyout Mean for Private Hire Operators?

Uber have recently announced that they have purchased Autocab.

Full details are hard to come by, but needless to say there is considerable alarm in the Private Hire community about the implications of Uber taking ownership of a dispatch system that runs hundreds of Private Hire fleets across the UK.

This news raises some very big questions about independence, ownership of passengers and data, driver relationships, margins, motives and much more.

Here is a sample of questions being asked by Autocab operators and taxi firm owners today…

1. Anti-Competition – For many Private Hire Operators, Uber has long been the enemy. Now they will own a dispatch system provider that is used by businesses competing against Uber.

Is that a conflict of interest or even potentially a way to remove a competitor from the marketplace? The BBC has already contacted the Competition and Markets Authority for comment.

2. Compulsory Booking Aggregator - With Autocab being owned by Uber, does that mean that every Autocab customer will now be compelled to join a new booking aggregator – Uber?

3. Booking Fees – Booking aggregators take a share of fares; that's their business model. Uber typically rakes 25% off the top of a fare from its drivers, so how much will they keep from fares booked through Uber but "given" to Autocab drivers?

Passengers in an area where Uber doesn't operate simply search for a cab company in that area so those drivers keep 100%. Those same passengers will now be able to book with Uber (because Autocab fleets are automatically available?).

Does this mean that your drivers are now 25% worse off and you have just lined Uber's pockets?

4. Retaining Drivers – You have spent enormous time, effort, and money to build your business and your fleet. Will drivers become so used to working with Uber that they see moving to them as a natural step in the future?

5. Data Acquisition – It takes a lot of investment and time to build a passenger base that, until now, Autocab customers have fought fiercely to protect.

Will Uber have automatic access to this data now that they own Autocab, meaning they will know everything they need to in order to decide when to move into your area in direct competition with you, including the information required to market to your passengers?

6. Passenger App – Private Hire operators want their passengers to sign up for their Passenger App to protect their business and build customer loyalty.

Will customers now use Uber instead of a firm's own passenger app? Will this eat away at your hard-won customer base?

7. "Unfair" Offers to Win Passengers – Let's not beat about the bush, Uber have lost £billions with their "whatever it takes" policies, which have caused controversy all over the world.

How will Autocab fleets be able to compete with passenger offers that happily lose money just to "buy their custom"?

8. Uber Just Out for Themselves - in Autocab's own literature, they said this about Uber's rise:

"Uber have made quite a few enemies, upset entire cities and burnt through a tremendous amount of cash with some very cavalier business practices and sometimes blatant disregard for both governments and people who attempt to stand in their way." *

9. What Exactly Has Autocab Sold? – Uber and Autocab have both been very sketchy on the details. They appear to be withholding vital information from Autocab fleets, the industry, and the public. Therefore, one of the biggest questions is surely "What exactly have Uber been sold?".

What might Autocab customers have had traded away to Uber as part of the deal? Their data? Their customer app? Their individual pricing? Their drivers? Their independence?

10. A Deal With the Devil? – At this stage at least, can anyone objectively come up with any way this could turn out to be beneficial in the long term for independent Private Hire Operators?

These are no doubt just a handful of the many questions Autocab customers will have right now.

Another Future?

If you are an Autocab customer who is alarmed, angry, or disappointed by the whole situation, maybe we can offer you another future?

At iCabbi, we are 100% behind independent Private Hire firms and Fleet Operators, and our dispatch system supports those that choose to operate their business that way, without the potential interference and conflict of a direct competitor.

So, if you simply cannot see a future with Uber/Autocab, contact us to chat about joining the iCabbi family.

Our friendly team are here to answer any questions you may have, and our dedicated switching team are on standby to help you move quickly and hassle-free.

Call us on 01623 44 22 11, email us, or contact us via our website.


Now call me an old cynic, but if Uber arrived at iCabbi HQ with truck loads of cash, I'm more than certain they wouldn't be leaving empty handed. :-$

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:03 am 
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Sussex wrote:
Quite amused to get this in an email from iCabbi.

Much the same as some of us have been saying on here for days. But some of us are more objective and there's no conflict of interest :wink:

Sussex wrote:
Now call me an old cynic, but if Uber arrived at iCabbi HQ with truck loads of cash, I'm more than certain they wouldn't be leaving empty handed. :-$

Indeed.

But I'd trust iCabbi's PR to be a bit more impartial than Uber's PR :-o


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:23 am 
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Received this email this morning...

...I suspect this is more marketing ploy than free discussion but details below.

You have been invited to Join the Riide Webinar

Following the overwhelming response to my open letter on Uber's acquisition of Autocab, I have been in conversation with many of the industry’s thought leaders. We have decided to open up these discussions to operators who may be apprehensive following this disturbing news.

Join us, Friday 14th August @ 3:30pm via a webinar where Riide shall discuss what this deal means for the taxi industry, how Riide can assist and protect your business and how to safeguard yourselves.

Follow this link to register prior to the event:
https://Dotted.webinarninja.com/live-we ... 8fdcd8d52a

Our guests guests shall include:
Arnie Singh – City Taxis, Sheffield 2,000 cars
James Bradley – Alpha Taxis, Liverpool 1,250 cars
Noel Ebbs – Lynk Taxis, Dublin 1,000 cars

I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Kind regards,
Azmat Sherwani
Dotted CEO

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:58 am 
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edders23 wrote:
Received this email this morning...

...I suspect this is more marketing ploy than free discussion but details below.

You have been invited to Join the Riide Webinar

Following the overwhelming response to my open letter on Uber's acquisition of Autocab, I have been in conversation with many of the industry’s thought leaders. We have decided to open up these discussions to operators who may be apprehensive following this disturbing news.

Join us, Friday 14th August @ 3:30pm via a webinar where Riide shall discuss what this deal means for the taxi industry, how Riide can assist and protect your business and how to safeguard yourselves.

Follow this link to register prior to the event:
https://Dotted.webinarninja.com/live-we ... 8fdcd8d52a

Our guests guests shall include:
Arnie Singh – City Taxis, Sheffield 2,000 cars
James Bradley – Alpha Taxis, Liverpool 1,250 cars
Noel Ebbs – Lynk Taxis, Dublin 1,000 cars

I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Kind regards,
Azmat Sherwani
Dotted CEO


I joined for 15 minutes at the end and it was very much iCabbi and Riide are the good guys, join us to save the world.

I wonder if this purchase might see the beginning of Uber morphing itself into a Macdonalds franchise model? Were a business buys the 'rights' to a Macdonalds restaurant in a certain area and 'runs' the business locally. I believe that Macdonalds also retain the 'prime' sites and run these themselves.

Regarding the Uber self-employed/employed debate. I am puzzled by the way Operators are clutching at this desperately hoping Uber lose. Surely if they do lose it creates the same problems for them?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:13 pm 
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Tom Thumb wrote:
I wonder if this purchase might see the beginning of Uber morphing itself into a Macdonalds franchise model? Were a business buys the 'rights' to a Macdonalds restaurant in a certain area and 'runs' the business locally. I believe that Macdonalds also retain the 'prime' sites and run these themselves.

Yes, a bit like the Shell garages - some run by Shell, many franchised, either individually, or as part of a group with several franchises.

But interesting theory on the Uber/Autocab thing. In fact another view could be that each individual Uber driver is a sort of micro-franchisee*.

So if your theory is correct we could end up with some sort of multi-level Uber franchise.

(*At least one office here uses the term 'franchise' to refer to the radio fee, or 'settle', or whatever it's called elsewhere.)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:58 pm 
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Tom Thumb wrote:

I wonder if this purchase might see the beginning of Uber morphing itself into a Macdonalds franchise model? Were a business buys the 'rights' to a Macdonalds restaurant in a certain area and 'runs' the business locally. I believe that Macdonalds also retain the 'prime' sites and run these themselves.


There is a chap here that has done just that. He sold most of his cars to his drivers and then sold them the right to keep using the company name and receive bookings from him whilst he creams off all the good jobs for himself.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:07 pm 
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or they might just siphon all the good jobs into the uber cars and leave all the company drivers with the dross,who will cotton on and switch to uber,the p/h companies die a death of a thousand cuts and uber take over everywhere by stealth and ignoring all legislation and LA rules and conditions,as has been there MO since day one in this industry

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:50 pm 
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My understanding is that from Jan 2021 firms using Autocab will be added on the Uber app as a 'local taxi' option.

Depending on the location of the cars they will be the top option if they are the nearest car, so there will be no Uber priority.

Everything I hear and read indicates to me that Uber want to be that MacDonalds or Shell, and (in the mid to long term) want Autocab operators to be their franchisees.

I'm also told that Autocab have been approached by a number of prospective operators based in areas that don't have Uber working in those areas. :-$

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:30 pm 
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Someone like Uber is always going to do well in towns with high tourism trade, lots of students or people going on business.

Being in a strange place the first thing they're going to reach for is someone like Uber because then they don't have to try and figure out who the decent local operators are.

I suspect that this aggregator model will go a lot like Just Eat, use the app for the first few orders but then get pointed to the restaurants own website for cheaper orders.


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