UBER SAYS THEY ARE A “TECH” COMPANY AND NOT A TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, BUT FOR ALL THEIR BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY CAN’T EVEN GET THE BASICS RIGHT
With Licensed Transport Uncovered only being a few months old we have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the Uber debate.
Uber who have been hitting the headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons has become a multi-billion dollar goliath. With states in America, to entire countries across the world banning Uber in the heavily regulated passenger transport industry I thought it best to start with the basics.
UBER IS NOT A TRANSPORTATION COMPANY! OR IS IT?
Uber repeatedly claims to be a technology company and more specifically an app, but when you look at the facts this statement could not be further from the truth. As LTU is based in the UK I will for now concentrate on UK legislation and how Uber is affecting the trade here.
Licensed Taxi Driver Association (LTDA) and others are taking Uber to the High Court in England as the London legislation states only hackney carriages can use a meter. As Uber’s app uses mileages to calculate the fare this argument should not have ever needed a high profile court case if TfL had done their job properly in the first place.
The case does however raise an interesting question due to the fact Uber sets the fares partners charge via its app. Uber’s app is only available to Uber partners who must then have the Uber logo on their vehicles and operate through Uber’s private hire operators licence, including cities such as Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
The app cannot be used by another private hire company who may want to use it in slack period. A normal app made available to the private hire market would be made available to everyone who would sign up and pay a licensing fee to use the technology.
Most of the large private hire firms have either opted for this route or invested in having their own app developed for their customers who may prefer to use their smart phone rather than call the operators office to make a booking.
The fact Uber controls every aspect of the service provided to the end user leaves the “tech” company’s argument weakened. They control the charging, the commissions partners pay, who can and can’t work for them, the terms and conditions enforced onto both passengers and partners and have the power to strike off a partner who may complain about Uber via social media.
Throw into the mix that in the UK Uber holds private hire operators licenses further proves Uber is NOT an app or a TECHNOLOGY company, but in fact a transportation company. Because Uber hold private hire operators licenses in the UK, the company therefore has to abide by UK laws which in turn voids their terms and conditions. Uber claims NOT to be a transportation company and therefore is NOT liable for anything that may happen to passengers whilst be transported by an Uber car. Again a statement which is factually incorrect.
Besides being incorrect, Uber’s statement is both morally and legally. If a passenger was to suffer a serious assault, rape or death whilst using Uber, both the operator and driver would be held liable under UK law. If Uber failed in its duty of care or was negligent it could be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive and licensing authority.
This could lead to Uber having its operator licence revoked and facing unlimited fines. Having a operators licence immediately makes Uber a transportation company and taking into account all of the above they really can’t argue otherwise.
So, whatever Uber claim on their website or through their terms and conditions, Uber is a transportation company and would be liable if anything went wrong.
Source: Licensed Transport Uncovered