Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Action-for-Cabbies - IMPORTANT update ‘What’s Next’

Although the trade has let a perfect opportunity to get TfL in court under oath slip through its fingers, we now have to lick our wounds and move on. 


The Action for Cabbies team have therefore decided to fight two issues which will affect drivers income, issues that has been imposed unilaterally on the trade with no negotiation.

Before reading the ‘What’s Next’ update, please take time to consider two very important questions:

1. Should drivers pay passengers credit card fees?
2. Should drivers be made to have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment of their vehicle?
 
If you AGREE with TfL that drivers SHOULD pay passengers credit card fees and they should have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment, then you’ll need to cancel your pledge by 5.00pm on Tuesday 5th April 2016 (within 1 week) giving Crowdfunder 2 clear days to ensure your cancellation is honoured.  

Update

As you’ll be aware the AFC campaign has been extended until 5.00pm on the 7th April 2016. The extension was granted because many backers wanted to give all drivers who hadn’t previously pledged the opportunity to supported AFC. We were also talking to some larger backers to see if they would be willing to make up the difference.

The current campaign total stands at £351,208 so it doesn’t look like we are going to hit the required £600k to start action against TfL for illegally licencing Uber in 2012.

You probably recall AFC put out an update on the 3rd March 2016 with a one-question survey (independently conducted by AskPOB). We didn’t publish the results of that survey at the time, as many backers wanted the campaign extended for reasons explained above, so the results were held back until now.

The survey simply asked all backers, “Subject to more detail, if the target of £600,000 is not raised by the 14th March 2016, would you transfer your pledge to a Judicial Review (JR) that fights the adverse effects as listed above?” backers were given 3 options, ‘YES, NO, MAYBE’.

There were 1085 responders (out of 3660 registered backers at that time), which represented less than one third of those who’d pledged. 531 said YES, 237 said MAYBE (as they wanted more information) and 317 said NO.

In view of the survey results and combined with the realisation that the £600k target will not be reached, many backers have indicated they would like AFC to use their pledge to lodge a Judicial Review against TfL for the adverse effects of the credit card mandate. 
 
The JR would be focused on drivers being made to pay passenger’s credit card fees and also being forced to have a fixed credit card terminal in the passenger/driver compartment.

Its agreed by most (if not all drivers) that credit card acceptance should be mandatory, but making drivers pay passenger fees and being made to use terminals of TfL’s choice (ones which are listed on their approved list) is simply wrong.

Many drivers already accept credit cards with systems they’ve purchased, so why should they be forced to use another system (at their expense) when they already have a system that works perfectly well.

If TfL are not challenged for imposing passenger credit card fees on drivers, this will be the thin end of the wedge, as 3% will soon become 4%, then 5%, who knows where it will end.

When paying by card for most things you’ll be charged for the privilege, so why are London taxi drivers being singled out. Try paying by card for road tax on the Government DVLA website, you’ll be charged, book a holiday and you’ll be charged, etc., etc., etc.

Putting 20p on the flag full will be deemed as a fare increase by the public, but in reality drivers will be taking a massive pay cut, especially if they do a few long journeys which happen to pay by card.

The 20p increase also penalises passengers who elect to pay using cash, this will result in more passengers paying by card, which isn’t a bad thing but only if passengers pay their own credit card fees.

What’s Next?

If you AGREE with TfL that drivers SHOULD pay passenger credit card fees and that drivers should have a fixed credit card terminal, then please CANCEL your pledge by emailing Crowdfunder. Your cancellation needs to be submitted by 5.00pm Tuesday 5thApril 2016 (within 1 week) or your pledge will be used to help fund a JR against TfL for the adverse effects of the credit card mandate.

Please email your name, email address (which you made your pledge with) and a message simply saying, ‘Cancel my pledge’ to support@crowdfunder.co.uk

WARNING: If you do not cancel your pledge by 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016, any monies pledged will be used for a JR against TfL for making drivers pay passenger credit card fees and for making drivers have a fixed terminal in the passenger/driver compartment.

Website To Be Updated:

The Crowdfunder/Action-for-Cabbies website will be update later today to reflect the changes and will also provide important information detailing the next legal steps.

Please note: 

As the new JR will be lodged within time (unlike the JR against TfL for illegally licensing Uber in 2012) the cost will be a fifth of the original JR as the lawyers do not need to prove continuous breach. Its therefore very important that the new JR is lodged ASAP because proving continuous breach at a later stage can be very costly.

This update will be sent out several times between now and 5.00pm Tuesday 5th April 2016, to ensure all backers have had the opportunity to cancel their pledge, so apologies in advance for the repeated updates.

AFC would just like to thank everyone for the overwhelming help and support its received over the duration of this campaign. Its heart warming to know there are many who really care about this great trade, which has supported many generations for hundreds of years and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come.

God bless and fingers crossed for the trade’s future.

The Action-for-Cabbies team