Thursday, May 19, 2016

Action For Cabbies Update : TfL Formally Served.

 
Action for Cabbies wholly supports and agrees that all taxis should accept credit cards and that passengers are able to pay fares by cards as well as cash; what we do not support is the ban on transaction surcharges and the surcharges being levied against drivers. 

If card payments become as popular as TfL suggest they will be, TfL’s ban is likely to cause annual losses to the taxi industry of over £9m a year, losses the industry can ill afford when it is under unprecedented competition from  minicabs. 

Therefore, Action for Cabbies has funded a claim brought by driver, Mr James Thomas, for a judicial review of TfL’s decision to ban drivers from passing on transaction fees to passengers where they are paying by card. 
The claim was formally served on TfL yesterday, 17 May 2016. 

It is our view – and the view of Rosenblatt (Jim’s lawyers)  - that TfL’s ban is both unfair and irrational. 

A much fairer solution, and one supported by the majority of all respondents during TfL’s 2015 consultation, would have been for TfL to have allowed drivers to charge a surcharge which reflects their transaction fees, but no more than these fees incurred by the driver.  

We very much hope that Jim’s claim will encourage TfL to review its decision and adopt this fairer solution.

Thank you for your continued support, stronger together.
Action for Cabbies.

Editorial Comment:
Of course the CC mandate is a great idea, it brings us inline with most of our competitors. But at the same time, we can't have an open ended agreement where equipment suppliers can raise the odds ever time the opportunity presents itself. 

If the percentage of card users rises in line with TfL's expectations, at present rates, the trade will lose over £9m a year. If the surcharge should rise as contracts come up for renewals, the trade could possibly be losing £18m every year.

It should be left to individual drivers, to decide whether they charge the passenger or not. If using more economical equipment from companies such as iZettle, PayPal or CabApp, all set at around 2.75%, some drivers will feel they can absorb the charge.

But many drivers feel 4-5% plus a 20p transaction charge is an unwelcome expense, which they should be able to claim back from passengers, using their facility. 

The trade has to protect itself and should never agree to any arrangements which may put its future in a precarious position.