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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:45 pm 
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One struggles to comprehend the thought process that led the IoL to invite Uber to speak at their Taxi Conference. #-o

https://www.instituteoflicensing.org/Ev ... ntID=23406

As Uber have been deemed to NOT be 'fit and proper' by an increasing number of local councils, I wonder how many other NOT 'fit and proper' firms the Institute of Licensing are going to invite to their party? [-(

As Uber have been found by a number of courts to have acted unlawfully, have been deemed by TfL to have acted outside of licensing laws, in TfL's letter of refusal have implied Uber committed perjury, in Uber's own words have acted unlawfully by not disclosing a huge data breach, and have been found by the courts to have breached employment law, I'm just wondering how many other serial lawbreakers the Institute of Licensing are going to invite to their party? [-(

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Interesting question, could quite easily write a lengthy answer, but in short Uber are likely to remain major players for several years at least, and the can of worms that they've opened (and let's face it, a lot of the issues are old hat for old hands in the trade) won't be dealt with definitively for several years to come, assuming there ever is some kind of clear cut solution to all of it.

And the issues that are relatively new - such as the booking process and how that fits with existing law - won't be going away anytime soon either. So I suspect the IoL think it right to engage with Uber in some way, and I'm inclined to agree with them.

And the fact that many of the issues aren't exactly new is another reason why Uber perhaps shouldn't be totally ostracised - many drivers and operators fall foul of the law, some get away with it, others are brought to book but remain in the trade. It's not as if Uber are to regulation and licensing what Worboys is to the fit and proper debate. Yet.

But not so sure if Uber should be the only industry representation at the conference - if I'm reading it correctly then there's no trade bodies or other such representation on the schedule, but to be fair it does say there will be more speakers scheduled. And I wonder who the two barristers are representing?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:18 pm 
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I take the view that those before the courts shouldn't be invited to conferences run by people representing those that are bringing the cases.

I also take the view that the legal profession are looking at Uber as a cash cow that keeps on mooing, and looking at those behind the IoL it appears their are quite a few legal eagles looking at gaining nice holidays out of Uber and it's ongoing lawbreaking.

In short, it stinks. :sad:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:23 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I take the view that those before the courts shouldn't be invited to conferences run by people representing those that are bringing the cases.

I also take the view that the legal profession are looking at Uber as a cash cow that keeps on mooing, and looking at those behind the IoL it appears their are quite a few legal eagles looking at gaining nice holidays out of Uber and it's ongoing lawbreaking.


Yes, there will certainly be conflicts of interests and machinations going on, and I certainly don't know enough about the personalities involved to comment on the details.

But my remarks were maybe more along the lines that *in principle* I don't see a problem with Uber being invited to attend, any more than I would see a problem with Uber being asked to a House of Commons committee hearing on the trade, say.

There's more than a sniff of tall poppy syndrome going on as regards Uber, particularly in that issues that have previously been ignored are now to the fore because Uber's global and huge, and is the kind of business many would like to see cut down to size or eradicated completely. A good example was the one in Aberdeen the other week, when the politician was huffing and puffing about the application procedure, whereas no one had really raised much in the way of concerns previously.

But from where I'm sitting that's always been the case to a degree, and those with clout, cash and influence (the bigger firms and the unions, in particular) have always been able to get preferential treatment on the one hand, or are targets to be cut down to size on the other hand.

So I agree with you to an extent, but to a degree it's all just same old, same old.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:05 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:
I take the view that those before the courts shouldn't be invited to conferences run by people representing those that are bringing the cases.

I also take the view that the legal profession are looking at Uber as a cash cow that keeps on mooing, and looking at those behind the IoL it appears their are quite a few legal eagles looking at gaining nice holidays out of Uber and it's ongoing lawbreaking.


Yes, there will certainly be conflicts of interests and machinations going on, and I certainly don't know enough about the personalities involved to comment on the details.

But my remarks were maybe more along the lines that *in principle* I don't see a problem with Uber being invited to attend, any more than I would see a problem with Uber being asked to a House of Commons committee hearing on the trade, say.

There's more than a sniff of tall poppy syndrome going on as regards Uber, particularly in that issues that have previously been ignored are now to the fore because Uber's global and huge, and is the kind of business many would like to see cut down to size or eradicated completely. A good example was the one in Aberdeen the other week, when the politician was huffing and puffing about the application procedure, whereas no one had really raised much in the way of concerns previously.

But from where I'm sitting that's always been the case to a degree, and those with clout, cash and influence (the bigger firms and the unions, in particular) have always been able to get preferential treatment on the one hand, or are targets to be cut down to size on the other hand.

So I agree with you to an extent, but to a degree it's all just same old, same old.


Carillion was big and an international company who thought it had some clout but was hung out to dry correctly,shareholders and perhaps my pension fund having to take the hit.No company is too big to not crumble,Ubers investors will not wait forever for a return on the investment,losses cannot be sustained and it only takes one to pull the plug and it will go the same way.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:01 am 
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The Aberdeen example might be a good one but the facts of it do not support Stuart W position.

Stuart W argues the being a major global player it makes sense for the IoL and Govt to engage with Uber. Fair enough.
Does he really believe the global hooha is simply tall poppy syndrome.
Would it be likely for such a regulator as TfL to refuse renewal
Would the many courts who have fond against Uber even allow frivolous cases before them.

The Aberdeen elected representative was not seeking Uber eradication or cutting to size as he suggested. In fact his complaint was that Aberdeen Officers treated Uber as a simple applicantion with the minimum public notification. Hence the lack of objections. Which led to the licence being granted somewhat under the radar.
It was Uber global reputation that he sought to highlight.
The application for Licence was not from an aspiring local highly unlikely to ever be invited before the IoL.

It is tempting to consider Stuart W as an Uber apologist or employed minion spouting its PR to deflect from reality.
The citing of Aberdeen as an example suggests not. He is likely to be simply poorly informed and lacking in judgement.
But nonetheless just as damaging..

Uber do not bring new technology.
Uber are not satisfied by simply finding loopholes in laws and regulations.
Uber do not comply with regulations and laws.
Uber lie under oath.
Uber are not profitable .
Uber can not compete with incumbent services operating within the regulations.
Uber claimed in court they should be allowed to carry on because they are just taller poppies than everyone else who cheats.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:50 am 
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Cabhappy wrote:
Stuart W argues the being a major global player it makes sense for the IoL and Govt to engage with Uber. Fair enough.
Does he really believe the global hooha is simply tall poppy syndrome.
Would it be likely for such a regulator as TfL to refuse renewal
Would the many courts who have fond against Uber even allow frivolous cases before them.


Can't disagree that there are major problems with Uber both globally and in the UK. But my point was that many of the issues are old hat, but it's only now that politicians, the unions and 'experts' are highlighting them. Self-employment, for example. Why are these issues being highlighted now and not previously?

And that relates to the litigation aspect - let's face it, if taking action through the courts was easy then lots of people in the trade would never be out of them, both as litigants and as targets of litigation. But local authorities and people in the trade have gotten away with things for years because the politicians aren't interested and, for most people, court action is simply not an option.

Quote:
The Aberdeen elected representative was not seeking Uber eradication or cutting to size as he suggested. In fact his complaint was that Aberdeen Officers treated Uber as a simple applicantion with the minimum public notification. Hence the lack of objections. Which led to the licence being granted somewhat under the radar.
It was Uber global reputation that he sought to highlight.
The application for Licence was not from an aspiring local highly unlikely to ever be invited before the IoL.


So what were the deficiencies in the application process that weren't evident in preceding years? Why didn't the MSP highlight those deficiencies when the Scottish Parliament was proposing new legislation, and the MSP chaired a committee investigating taxi and PH licensing?

Quote:
It is tempting to consider Stuart W as an Uber apologist or employed minion spouting its PR to deflect from reality.


Sure you'll find that I've been critical of Uber on here, indeed think I made a point about their overuse of PR. :roll:

As for being an Uber 'employed minion', couldn't be further from the truth, but I'm certainly open to offers 8-[

Quote:
The citing of Aberdeen as an example suggests not. He is likely to be simply poorly informed and lacking in judgement.
But nonetheless just as damaging..
:shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:02 am 
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heathcote wrote:
Carillion was big and an international company who thought it had some clout but was hung out to dry correctly,shareholders and perhaps my pension fund having to take the hit.No company is too big to not crumble,Ubers investors will not wait forever for a return on the investment,losses cannot be sustained and it only takes one to pull the plug and it will go the same way.


Indeed it could all go belly up in the commercial sense, but that's a bit different to the regulation/licensing aspect, and I doubt if the IoL conference will be concerned so much with Uber's business strategy.

Of course, Uber's profitability is a huge unknown. I suspect that in some respects it is very profitable. In London, for example, full time drivers must be paying it £200+ per week in commission, which is a lot by trade standards.

On the other hand, its system is highly automated. For the number of drivers it has on its books, its staff numbers must be miniscule compared to more traditional cab offices. Of course, it has high start up costs and will have a huge bill for lawyers, lobbying and PR, and the staff it does employ will be relatively high paid. But I still reckon its business model is highly efficient by industry standards, and to that extent should be profitable in the long run, provided things settle down as regards regulation and court cases etc.

Of course, it might simply never get out of the rut and end up fighting endless battles with regulators and politicians, so could just as well all go massively pear-shaped. But I wouldn't be surprised if we're going around in driverless cars before it's all done and dusted, so all the current stuff will seem a bit academic :-k


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:46 am 
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StuartW wrote:

But I wouldn't be surprised if we're going around in driverless cars before it's all done and dusted, so all the current stuff will seem a bit academic :-k

I saw a story somewhere the other day that suggests that driverless cars may well be stopped on the grounds of terrorism. The use of driverless cars to commit terror offenses would wipe out any benefits.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:39 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Can't disagree that there are major problems with Uber both globally and in the UK. But my point was that many of the issues are old hat, but it's only now that politicians, the unions and 'experts' are highlighting them. Self-employment, for example. Why are these issues being highlighted now and not previously?

And that relates to the litigation aspect - let's face it, if taking action through the courts was easy then lots of people in the trade would never be out of them, both as litigants and as targets of litigation. But local authorities and people in the trade have gotten away with things for years because the politicians aren't interested and, for most people, court action is simply not an option.


Can’t dissagree at all. Are the vast majority of ‘Offices’ employers. Liable for sick and holiday pay and such like.
Undoubtedly. Never challenged though as the exploited falling for the notion of being ‘self employed’ then finding themselves slaves to the supply of work.
Uber’s defence that “everyone is doing it” is ludicrous but ironically is a competent one in Italy where Uber are banned.

Quote:
So what were the deficiencies in the application process that weren't evident in preceding years? Why didn't the MSP highlight those deficiencies when the Scottish Parliament was proposing new legislation, and the MSP chaired a committee investigating taxi and PH licensing?


The deficiences were the actions of the Council Officers, perhaps not recognising the nature of the beast Uber, and perhaps acting loose would their delegated powers.
BtW it was made clear that the Scottish Parliament were not proposing new legislation as such, and I tend to agree what we have is adequate.
The aim of the consultation and subsequent committee investigation was I believe to improve best practice guidance and consistency across the country. Sadly this has not transpired.

Little wonder, when you consider the two Taxi trade ,witnesses. Typical Trade types and absolutely clueless.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:54 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Of course, Uber's profitability is a huge unknown. I suspect that in some respects it is very profitable. In London, for example, full time drivers must be paying it £200+ per week in commission, which is a lot by trade standards.

Hubert Huron's in-depth assessment on Uber's profitability is absolutely fascinating.

http://horanaviation.com/Uber.html

His view is it will never make money.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:48 am 
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StuartW wrote:
But I still reckon its business model is highly efficient by industry standards, and to that extent should be profitable in the long run, provided things settle down as regards regulation and court cases etc.
:-k


Highly efficient on what evidence? The billions it is losing annually? Drivers want jobs, nothing else from Uber. Jobs come from passengers who want a ride. Nothing else. It’s a simple interaction. C2B getting from A2B No requirement for add ons. And there is no loyalty. Cheap will do. And availability.
To get them Uber has to entice passengers by throwing money at them. Cheap ✅ They have to get drivers so they throw money at them then try to squeeze on the afermentioned slave syndrome. Availability done ✅
Lots of money going out the door - call it start up if you like. But how do they get it back ? If they stop throwing money at passengers they will go elsewhere. No jobs so will drivers.
Uber need a monopoly and they need it quick. Hence the disregard for regulations and the court cases and more money.

Highly efficient ? If they achieve a monopoly sure. As long as it lasts.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:06 pm 
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My new best mate the Economist Hubert is quite clear that Uber are not an Amazon or the like, and when you think about it Uber don't have any advantages other than the ability to be used in different areas. So foreign students and tourists use them if they can't get a local hackney on the street.

But Hubert also goes into the finance and once again he conclusions can be understood by us mere mortals. People use Uber because they are cheap, drivers use Uber because they can earn. However currently that leads Uber to lose about £5 Billion a year.

For Uber to stem that flow of losses they need to either increase fares, or increase the percentage they take from drivers. Either of those options will have massive effects on Uber. Punters will return to traditional taxi/PH firms, or other app systems, if the fares increase, and if drivers earnings are cut they will leave Uber and either work elsewhere or leave the trade.

In short Uber will never make money, and all this nonsense about driver-less cabs is only being spread to cover those losses. Driverless cabs will not happen for many many many years, for many many reasons.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:59 pm 
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Life’s too short to read Mr Horan’s several hundred pages on Uber, but from what little I’ve read from him he certainly makes some good points. For example, that a lot of what’s said about Uber is based on hype and PR, and that its reputation as an 'innovator' is overdone. Of course, anyone working in the trade will be well aware of that. Uber is different, but as Kenny MacAskill aptly said, it’s simply private hire “on speed”.

But Uber’s profitability and sustainability is a different kettle of fish, and since the company is privately-owned and thus financial information limited, to a large degree any analysis is going to be guesswork, including Horan’s.

But I can’t see why Uber’s core business model can’t be profitable. I mean, if a fleet of 30, 300 or 3,000 private hire cars can be profitable on a long-term basis, then why can’t Uber’s 30,000 in London? So Uber has 30,000 cars on its books, and many of them will be paying £200+ in commission per week. And I’ll bet that office staff numbers required for 30,000 drivers is miniscule compared to the traditional private hire/minicab trade.

Of course, Uber will pay more than most for PR, lobbying and legal advice. And perhaps the big unknown is the start-up costs in terms of brand development, marketing and incentives paid to drivers, blah, blah. Also, London will be a different kettle of fish to the likes of Edinburgh and Newcastle, say, not to mention the hundreds of cities Uber operates in worldwide. In Edinburgh, for example, the efficiencies (or economies of scale, as Huber puts it) that Uber will enjoy in London just won’t exist on the same scale.

So because Uber isn’t really that different to a big private hire office then I don’t see any reason why in principle it can’t be profitable. Whether it’s paid too much to fund its very rapid expansion though is a different kettle of fish. Time will no doubt tell…


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:07 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Life’s too short to read Mr Huber’s several hundred pages on Uber,

What's that say about me, cos I've read it? :D

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