Uber Banned By Turkey

Uber Banned By Turkey

Uber is no longer allowed to operate in Turkey, a notice from the government states. Turkey believes the company is running an illegal taxi service and therefore cannot be allowed to continue without the necessary permits. Regular taxi drivers have protested against Uber, just like in many other countries.

If the service doesn’t fully cease operations, fines can be imposed against drivers and passengers. A first offence for a driver is $709 and is $80 for passengers.

Uber has 2000 registered drivers in the region and mainly operates in Istanbul.

It appears the company will fight this order.

Uber to pay $20m to ‘misled’ drivers

Uber to pay $20m to ‘misled’ drivers

Between January and March 2015, ride-sharing service Uber put out ads on Craigslist in the hope of attracting new drivers by offering attractive hourly rates of pay.

In Boston, for example, it told potential drivers they would earn $25 an hour.

In truth, fewer than 10% of drivers in the city actually managed to bring in that amount, according to a lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.

In separate statements pushed out to the media and posted on its own site, Uber said “the potential income a driver on UberX can make in a year is more than $90,000 in New York and more than $74,000 in San Francisco”.

The FTC said the median amount earned in those cities – for drivers working a 40 hour week – was significantly less ($29,000 and $21,000 less, respectively).

The FTC listed 18 cities across the US where it said Uber was painting a far more lucrative picture than was realistic. In Baltimore, fewer than 20% of drivers earned $16 an hour. Chicago – fewer than 20% earned $21. Minneapolis – 10%, $18. And so on.

‘Cost, risk and burden’

On Thursday, Uber agreed to pay $20m to those drivers in order to settle the claim. Quite how it will do that it isn’t yet clear, but the FTC has ordered the company to work with it to find a way.

The company said its settlement didn’t constitute an admission of guilt, disputing the way the FTC calculated its figures.

The company said it has modified the way in which it advertises potential earnings to new recruits – but would not go into further detail.

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the FTC,” a spokeswoman said.

“We’ve made many improvements to the driver experience over the last year and will continue to focus on ensuring that Uber is the best option for anyone looking to earn money on their own schedule.”

Drivers complain, however, that the improvements to the driver experience do not extend to covering the costs of running and maintaining a car.

“The reality of being a ride-sharing driver is a far cry from the rosy picture these apps describe and it is encouraging to see the FTC take them to task and refund drivers,” said Jim Conigliaro from the Independent Drivers Guild.

“Companies like Uber shift cost, risk, and burden onto drivers and taxpayers when they fail to provide the basic benefits so many Americans take for granted, from health insurance to sick leave.

“On top of that, drivers are stuck with the bill for their vehicle, gas, repairs, maintenance, insurance, the list goes on.”

The FTC also criticised Uber over the financing options it gave to drivers interested in leasing a car via the company.

The regulator said drivers were paying an average of $200 per week – higher than first advertised. Money to pay the lease is automatically taken from a driver’s earnings.

 

Source: BBC

I Have A Fishing Rob…Doesn’t Mean I Can Fish…. By Lee Ward.

I Have A Fishing Rob…Doesn’t Mean I Can Fish…. By Lee Ward.

I have continued to work on my theory (knowledge actually) of the Uber App being illegal, and have continued to search for further evidence.

Some information that I was intrigued to read was from the TfL Press Releases that are found online. The one that I was intrigued about was from the 9th of April 2014 headed ‘TfL Invites trades to help shape regulatory framework for taxi and private hire apps’ where it stated:
However, the rapid pace at which smart phone based technology has been developing in recent years has led to a need for clarity about what is required in order for apps to comply with the regulatory framework in London.
TfL is seeking to clarify that position and has asked the taxi and private hire trades for their input to formalise the regulatory framework and ensure there is a level playing field for all operators.
Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: `We welcome developments that make life easier for passengers.
`As in many other areas of transport and retail services, apps can offer passengers the potential of better and more convenient services.
`We are asking the trades to embrace these advances in technology, which have the potential to further improve London’s taxi and private hire services, and have asked them to be part of the formal process to help shape the regulatory framework in this rapidly developing area.’
It goes on to state;
Apps can put a customer in touch with licensed private hire operators, either by signposting a customer to a choice of licensed operators or by transmitting a customer’s data directly to a specific licensed operator.  Apps that deliver this service do not in themselves ‘make provision’ for the invitation or acceptance of private hire bookings.  Only a licensed operator can ‘make provision’ for the invitation or acceptance of a booking
And then…
While it is perfectly legal for an app to put a customer directly in touch with a licensed hackney carriage driver, any app that puts a customer directly in touch with a private hire driver without the booking being accepted by an operator first is illegal.  Even if the licensed driver is also a licensed operator, the booking must be accepted at the licensed premises.  A booking can not be accepted by a private hire operator in a vehicle or through a mobile phone on the street.
Now for the threats of legal action, and a reminder of whatslegal (from the very same statement by TfL on the 9th of April 2014)
Only a private hire operator licensed by TfL can make provision for the invitation or acceptance of, or accept, a booking for the purpose of private hire in London.  A licensed private hire operator has to meet a number of legal and regulatory requirements and is subject to regular compliance audits and checks to maintain public safety and promote a high quality service to customers.
Any private hire operator found not to comply with these requirements will be subject to action which can include the suspension or revocation of its licence.
And furthermore states;
Private hire apps may either direct a potential passenger to a choice of licensed private hire operators or transmit the passenger’s request directly to a licensed operator who will then accept and record the booking and allocate a driver.  From TfL’s perspective, the essential aspect is that an app facilitates a customer to be put in direct contact with a licensed private hire operator.  Any app that puts a passenger in direct contact with a driver for the purpose of a private hire is illegal and TfL will take appropriate action against the person responsible for the app.
Now here is the other info to throw into this mix, the rules and regulations about what an App must adhere to are NOT mentioned again in any post throughout the consultation, none that I could find anyway.
So lets start with some court case about Meters shall we?
On the 2nd of October a certain Leon Daniels stated in regards to the court case mentioned that;
“The consultation we are running has various ideas that came out of the earlier consultation and discussions with the taxi and private hire trades and others. These include stricter rules on insurance, English language and navigational skills. Other ideas around changing the rules governing the use of Apps are clearly more controversial, and we want as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and tell us their views.’
Finally, we have a comment referring to the use of Apps, but only stating that these Apps will be controversial…probably supported by the previous statement of…
“and to review the current regulations that were written well before smartphones were invented.”
So I guess at this point, he had accepted that Apps were bending the rules, and being the want to be politician, he was choosing his words carefully.
Sorry Mr Daniels, but I see through this, I apologise for having a brain and not being a stereotype taxi driver as you perceive us all to be.
OK, so this doesn’t really show much apart from a hint of someone at TfL who is playing a careful game, so let me introduce some other information.
The initial concern shown in the News Press from TfL about the legality of Apps was in April 2014, and it has been shown through a FOI that was discussed on Taxi Leaks on the 1st of August 2016 that Leon Daniels had private conversations with Jo Bertram from Uber UK (article linked here) that happened to start on 11th of June 2014…and then the discussion of Apps being legal went away…I wonder why?
We can always guess, assume or make a conspiracy theory about this, but that would have no support right?
Erm, wrong
This conversation was simply because we had started to prove that Uber were illegal and that the Authorities, TfL and the rest of the licensing authorities across the country had turned a blind eye to this fact.
I can partly see why other authorities have allowed them to be licensed, if the big and mighty TfL have allowed it then it must be legal right?
Wrong again…
TfL through the association with one Leon Daniels have become corrupt, and this may be the best act in the country, just like the famous quote from the film ‘Usual Suspects’
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Perhaps the greatest trick that Uber ever pulled was that they made everyone believe that they were legal…
Let’s be honest here, Uber has a great business model and an App that is great for the customer and driver alike… Yes, I just said that, it’s really me, honest…
But it’s not legal… so it doesn’t count. And here is why. Remember the bit that TfL stated then never bothered to refer back to or address? No? well, its this bit..
Private hire apps may either direct a potential passenger to a choice of licensed private hire operators or transmit the passenger’s request directly to a licensed operator who will then accept and record the booking and allocate a driver.  From TfL’s perspective, the essential aspect is that an app facilitates a customer to be put in direct contact with a licensed private hire operator.  Any app that puts a passenger in direct contact with a driver for the purpose of a private hire is illegal and TfL will take appropriate action against the person responsible for the app.
Now we add a couple of statements under oath from Uber employees or comments made by a Judge…
First, due to time order and the fact that Uber did not want to pay for a license to be a ‘Transportation Provider’ in Canada, the judge pointed out the terms of the license agreements which stated that;
“Rasier is engaged in the business of providing lead generation to the Transportation Provider comprised of requests for transportation service made by individuals using Uber B.V.’s mobile application (“Clients”).  Through its license of the mobile application (“Software”), Rasier provides a platform for clients to connect with independent Transportation Providers.”
•         “Rasier does not provide transportation services, and is not a transportation carrier.  In fact, the Company neither owns, leases nor operates any vehicles.  The Company’s business is solely limited to providing Transportation Providers with access, through its license with Uber, to the lead generation service provided by the Software, for which the Company charges a fee”.
Rasier is the name of the company that owns the Uber App (basically) and this shows that the App is nothing more than a tout. (I will keep this short, not for want of proving the point, more for the fact of keeping this post short)
The next point on this is a direct quote from Jo Bertram’sWitness Statement from the Uber Employment Tribunal;
45. ULL is responsible for accepting the booking made by a passenger, as holder of the operator license. However, at the point that a request is made by a Passenger, there is no obligation to provide a vehicle. As I explain below, the booking is accepted by ULL as the relevant private hire vehicle operator and allocated to the Driver. A booking is not accepted by ULL until a Driver has confirmed that they are available and willing to take it. Confirmation and acceptance then takes place by ULL almost simultaneously. A Driver is entirely free to make themselves available to provide the transportation services or not, which is described in further detail below. As such, the Operator License has no impact upon the freedom a Driver has when using the platform.
Here is the part that I think the telephone conversations were regarding (or part of anyway) and that is where it states that;
A booking is not accepted by ULL until a Driver has confirmed that they are available and willing to take it. Confirmation and acceptance then takes place by ULL almost simultaneously.
Almost simultaneously…. That’s NOT before, is it? Or has my ability of the English language left me? I don’t think it has, but I do think that Jo Bertram was careful in using the words almost and simultaneously…it detracts from the basic English of saying ‘after the booking is accepted by the driver, ULL record the booking’
Cambridge Council were given a demonstration as to how the Uber system worked and the following is what Cambridge released to drivers who were complaining about Uber;
1. The Uber rider opens the Uber app, selects their pick up location and presses the “request” button. The rider also has the option at this stage to enter their intended destination and to ask for a fare estimate.
2. Based on the criteria set by the local Uber staff managing the system through the dispatch tools, the Uber system identifies the most appropriate licensed partner-driver to offer that trip to.
3. When an available licensed partner-driver and vehicle has been identified, the relevant Uber operator for that partner-driver (i.e. the operator licensed by the authority in which the vehicle and its partner-driver is licensed) accepts the booking, logs the booking on the system and sends a confirmation of the booking to the rider (containing the driver’s name, photograph, licence plate etc). If the system establishes that no nearby vehicles are available to carry out the trip the rider is notified through the App that no cars are available.
4. The relevant Uber operation maintains the record of the booking in accordance with its local operating conditions.
Part 3 is simple UberTalk for when a driver accepts a booking request from a passenger (rider sounds just wrong)
Here is a flow chart showing how the Uber App works, see for yourself.
Now I am no Ironside, and certainly no Inspector Morse, but this is not difficult to show that the Uber App is illegal because until a driver accepts the request for a journey then a customer cannot make a booking.
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Act) 1976 states at Section 56
Operators of private hire vehicles.
(1)For the purposes of this Part of this Act every contract for the hire of a private hire vehicle licensed under this Part of this Act shall be deemed to be made with the operator who accepted the booking for that vehicle whether or not he himself provided the vehicle.
Where it says “every contract” is the important part. By a driver saying yes he’s acting as an operator. The contract is with the passenger and the operator, not the passenger and driver.
All other Apps that I am aware of have been developed to work WITHIN the Laws of this country, no matter if those laws were laid down before the idea of smartphones and Apps were so much as an eye in their creators twinkle, those App providers have worked within the Laws of this country and I, as I assume most of you, are willing to accept those. But for an App to be designed to work worldwide and expect that it satisfies all the criteria of every country that it is launched in both beggars beyond belief, and shows the naivety of the authorities that license it.
This World Map shows where Uber has either been banned or is in trouble, last updated 23/12/2016
I can have a fishing rod and it will catch fish all over the world, but it’s only legal when it meets the local legislation…
Uber Bans Passengers From Flirting In Attempt To Solve Predicted Sexual Assaults Issue.

Uber Bans Passengers From Flirting In Attempt To Solve Predicted Sexual Assaults Issue.

It seems that the Licensed Taxi trade’s fears of escalating sexual attacks on passengers using the UberPool service have been verified.

This dangerous service should never have been given he go ahead by TfL and should now be immediately banned.

In a bit to halt attacks on UberPool journeys, Uber has updated its guidelines to ban passengers from flirting and vomiting, amongst other misconduct.

These rules come following a year in which the minicab app company has been plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct.

In March, internal data also revealed that the company had recorded five rape claims and almost 170 cases of sexual assault between December 2012 and August 2015.

These passengers behaviour guidelines are a first for Uber, and give examples of unacceptable behaviour, which includes flirting, “vomiting due to excessive alcohol consumption” and vandalism. If passengers break these rules, they could face being permanently banned from the service.

In a statement, the company have tried to blame passengers for sex attacks on drivers

They also went on to say:
“Most riders show drivers the respect they deserve, but some don’t – whether it’s leaving trash in the car, throwing up in the back seat after too much alcohol or asking a driver to break the speed limit so they can get to their appointment on time.
“This kind of poor behaviour is not OK
Uber made no comment about the alleged attacks by drivers on vulnerable passengers.
New York Taxis Are Still Dominating Uber, By Giving Better Service And Completing Twice As Many Rides.

New York Taxis Are Still Dominating Uber, By Giving Better Service And Completing Twice As Many Rides.

Watch out Uber: New York City’s iconic yellow cabs are still thriving. And they’re fighting back!

According to a report by Morgan Stanley, there were 11.1 million taxi trips in April, compared with 4.7 million Uber trips. Rival ride-hailing company Lyft provided about 750,000 trips during the month.

Those 11.1 million taxi rides represent a 9% drop from a year earlier, however, as Uber’s rose 121%. Taxi drivers gave twice as many rides per week as Uber drivers with 91 vs. 44 respectively, according to the research.

Yellow cabbies saving grace….ARRO

Being introduced in London by CMT, 2017Via, the carpooling app that uses SUVs to shuttle up to five different passengers around the city, gave 450,000 rides in April, with each driver completing an average of 108 trips per week.

Via ride share, knocking UberPool off the marketHowever, similar to UberPool and LyftLine, Via picks up as many as five people per ride, each counting technically as an individual trip.

Uber has long been at odds with New York City.

In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio attempted to cap the company’s explosive growth citing worse Manhattan traffic. The proposed legislation would have crippled Uber in the city, causing long wait times as demand from customers would outweigh the supply of drivers.

De Blasio commission a $2 million study last summer in attempt to prove the ride sharing company was worsening Manhattan street traffic, as a means to help get the legislation passed. But the study’s results were in Uber’s favor: They showed ride-hailing services haven’t significantly contributed to traffic, marking a major win for Uber.

Uber has also had problems with drivers in New York and San Francisco who protested wages back in February related to the company’s 15% fare cuts.

In early June, a group representing 5,000 Uber drivers in New York City filed a lawsuit accusing the company of depriving then of various employment protections by misclassifying them as independent contractors, Fortune reported. The proposed class action is the latest to claim that Uber drivers should be considered employees entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, and reimbursements for expenses.

Source: Fortune

Uber Now Tracks Passengers’ Locations Even After They’re Dropped Off

Uber Now Tracks Passengers’ Locations Even After They’re Dropped Off

In its latest update, Uber gathers user location information even when the app is not open during a ride.

Uber’s latest update allows the ride-hailing app to track user location dataeven when the application is running in the background. The change in location data gathering is quite apparent — after the update is completed, Uber prompts users to accept the new policy by enabling their phones to make the change.

Previously, Uber only collected data from the user if the rider had the application open. Now, if a rider calls for an Uber and closes the app, Uber says it will continue to collect location data up until five minutes after the ride ends. That means Uber can see where you end up after you leave the car.

So your secret rendezvous may not be so secret.

Uber now will be focused on collecting rider data, rather than just driver and trip data. “We do this to improve pickups, drop-offs, customer service, and to enhance safety,” Uber says on its website.

Uber hopes to eliminate the most frustrating part of the experience: the game of phone tag that both the rider and driver play when trying to coordinate the pickup spot. By collecting location data when the ride is called, Uber can use the information gathered to gain a better sense of locations at large venues. Hopefully this will lead to less confusion when dropping a pin, or maybe it will improve the chance that users will be picked up on the correct side of the street.

The update raises worries for privacy advocates. The Electronic Privacy Information Center previously filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over Uber’s plans to collect more user data. “The FTC failed to act and Uber is now tracking users non-stop,” EPIC says on its website.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, who expressed disappointment with Uber previously, told NPR in a statement that the update “raises questions” that the app is requiring users to “grant permission to track their location at all times.” Franken said he plans to look at the issue further.

One reason this update could be causing a stir is the change in privacy settings necessary to use the Uber app. iOS users’ location-sharing choices changed from “Never” share location and share location “While Using the App” to “Never” and “Always.” The “Always” setting implies that Uber could access riders’ locations when they are not on rides.

However, Uber says on its site that location data will only be collected from the inception of the ride through five minutes after the end of the trip. iOS and Android users can choose the “Never” option, which will require riders to manually enter pickup information.

Uber has previously faced issues with location information collection. In January, Uber paid a $20,000 fine in New York following an investigation into the company’s “God View” tool. The tool allowed employees to view and track individual riders in real time.