back to article Birmingham UK to Uber: Want a new licence? Tell us about your operating model

Birmingham authorities have asked for more information on Uber's business model and operations before granting it a new licence. The not-a-taxi firm had a one-year licence to operate in the UK's second city, but this expired last month. According to Reuters, the city regulator has extended the licence on a temporary basis …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business Model:

    Lie, Cheat, Rape and Murder the customers ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Business Model:

      Because it doesn't happen by "vetted" drivers.

      https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/taxi-driver-jailed-sex-attack-10902353

      https://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/birmingham-taxi-driver-rapist-jailed-3969549

      Also many Uber drivers in Brum also work for regular minicab companies as well.

      1. jaywin

        Re: Business Model:

        Which is why there's a whole load of checks and balances in place to protect passengers and catch drivers who try to do such things.

        Checks and balances that Uber have been caught deliberately delaying, avoiding and ignoring.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Business Model:

          Which is why there's a whole load of checks and balances in place to protect passengers and catch drivers who try to do such things.

          Didn't work so well in the Worboys case, did they? So TfL getting on their high horse about standards seems rather hypocritical. Likewise those Brummie examples.

          Not that I'm in favour of Uber holding a licence to do anything more complex than sitting on a park bench.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Business Model:

            Sitting on a park bench these days can get you killed. Just putin' it out there ...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: park bench

              Yep, obesity is a massive problem, you need to be more mobile.

              1. Tom 7 Silver badge

                Re: park bench

                I'm mobile! Which is more than can be said for the poor bastard sleeping under the bench when it gave way under me.

                In fact it was the two foot of mobility that caused his problem.

            2. BoldMan

              Re: Business Model:

              > Sitting on a park bench ...

              I thought you were about to launch into a Jethro Tull song for a moment there...

            3. Alistair Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Business Model:

              Have a hankie for the snot.

            4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              Sitting on a park bench these days can get you killed. Just putin' it out there ...

              The question comrade AC, what else have you been putting out there?

            5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Coat

              Just putin' it out there ...

              My bad, I see (belatedly) what you did there.

          2. Stuart Castle

            Re: Business Model:

            "Didn't work so well in the Worboys case, did they? So TfL getting on their high horse about standards seems rather hypocritical. Likewise those Brummie examples."

            So, what are you saying? The checks don't work, so they shouldn't do them? In which case, I would ask do you lock your front door? I ask because people who lock their doors are still burgled from time to time, so surely locks don't work.

            Clearly, of course you should lock your door. Door locks do stop a lot of burglaries, and I wager that checks do stop a lot of potential attacks.

            1. Roq D. Kasba

              Re: Business Model:

              "whataboutism" is the Trump method of debate.

              1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

                Re: Business Model:

                I prefer the term 'Whatabboutery' myself.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Business Model:

              So the perfect solutions is to check your door locks.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Business Model:

          "Checks and balances that Uber have been caught deliberately delaying, avoiding and ignoring"

          Another untruth spread by taxi drivers via Facebook..

          The truth is TFL are responsible for background checks and all private hire companies, Uber included check the TFL documents which have already been TFL vetted..

          Uber have been at the heart of a very focused hate campaign by taxi firms along with very smart social media brainwashing. In the same way trump got in, we ended up thinking not being part of EU would be a good plan, Uber being evil beyond all else was very similar Viral PR campaigns behind it. Are Uber whiter than white, of course not, they aren't perfect, but I would prefer my daughter was in a tracked, non fakeable Uber than an untracked, potentially bought second hand and not even real black cab

          You might want to read and digest.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/uber-london-ban-driver-employee-rights-money-passenger-safety-women-a7969516.html

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or as the locals might put it "How yo make yo monet?"

        I know. Already gone.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Business Model:

        But at least proper taxi companies and drivers pay some of the tax that covers roads, health care for the raped and legal fees and prison costs. Uber is a parasite on society.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Business Model:

      Lie, Cheat, Rape and Murder the customers ?

      Those are just sidelines, the actual business model is simply to use predatory pricing to drive established taxi firms to the wall.

      This is illegal under EU law:

      "Under Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pricing below cost is prohibited where the seller has a dominant market position and the pricing will have an anti-competitive effect."

      It's badly worded legislation because currently Uber does not have a "dominant market position" but is seeking to attain one.

      It's also against the anti-trust laws in the USA.

    3. iRadiate

      Re: Business Model:

      You mean like John Worbys named the Black Cab rapist?

  2. Spudley

    Under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who came on board after last year's big scandal about the mass data breach and subsequent cover-up, has made efforts to spruce up its image.

    I'm fairly sure he came on board *before* that big scandal hit. Okay, sure, the actual breach and cover-up occurred before he came on board, but the scandal itself was triggered when they finally did come clean about it, which was some months after the start of his tenure.

    Coming clean about it was in fact one of the things he's done to try to fix the company's image. It didn't achieve that, although once he found out about it, it was a certainly a better idea to go public with it than to continue covering it up, because it would have leaked out eventually one way or another.

    (personally, I'm kinda sad that the GDPR regs hadn't already kicked in by then, because however much pain all the lawsuits around that scandal are causing for Uber, they're nothing compared to what the EU would have been able to do to them under GDPR.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      There are a great number of examples where "it would have leaked out eventually one way or another" failed to be an important argument when the decision of covering up the blunder was made.

      Because, generally speaking, multinational companies are not very quick in admitting any failure whatsoever.

      Maybe the fact that an Uber representative did admit it is a sign of the times.

      Maybe.

      It would be refreshing to know that those high-level CEOs are finally aware that the Internet is a place where failure is always exposed.

  3. wyatt

    Birmingham has (they say) quite strict rules for private hire vehicles and gets a large number from surrounding licensing authorities working in it's area. Not sure what them asking for their 'working model' is going to do for things.

  4. luminous

    Optional

    Why do we need all these checks and balances for a ride sharing app where you presumably know all the other people in the car rather well.

    Or is it actually a taxi app? In which case they should be told to apply for a TAXI LICENCE.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Optional

      Mate - they are regulated as private hire car operators in London and Birmingham, and only registered private hire drivers can drive for them. There’s no pretense at “ride sharing” by Uber in those cities. They’re not taxis because they don’t cruise for hire on the streets.

  5. Roland6 Silver badge

    Joined up government?

    Do you think the various regulatory authorities are sharing information...

    Suspect not...

  6. Velv Silver badge
    Pirate

    "rather than take up valuable court time and costs we intend to apply afresh for a new licence in the near future"

    In other words, "we know we've been breaking the law and will be exposed in court so we'll come up with a new scheme to cheat the system".

  7. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Losing how much?

    Uber lost $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

    What happens when they have destroyed the competition in various areas?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Losing how much?

      When Uber has destroyed the competition it raises its prices and then turns into the 'whining black cab' company complaining about neo-uber that pops up to undercut it. Unless it bribes lots of politicians to prevent any competition. It really is an evil corrupt business model.

  8. TheSkunkyMonk

    They are just taxi's that don't need to have the extra vehicle safety checks, or special insurance, or local knowledge tests, or any form of check really, face it they are nothing more than a taxi you order with an app instead of a telephone call. unless they are sending out registered taxi drivers they should be fined and stopped from trading in the UK or the regulations on insurance and vehicle safety tests should be dropped for taxi drivers.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple

    I just don't use Uber.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Personal Experance in Brum

    Black Cabs - Take you on the longest possible route

    Mini Cabs - Ask you how much you normally pay.

    Uber - Use Google maps to work out the route, normally the shortest and quickest

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: My Personal Experance in Brum

      Black Cabs - all wheel chair accessible by law.

      Mini Cabs - competitive rates, 7 seaters and accessible vehicles available on request.

      Uber - Sleazy, illegal, loss making, gig economy BS that's eroding society and employment law, a pariah that needs to be eradicated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My Personal Experance in Brum

        Black Cabs - Sit at taxi ranks with their engines running for hours (in breach of the Road Traffic Act)

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Lots of "people" commenting AC here.

    Or has Uber hired a PR firm?

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