Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Letter to the editor : TfL, Cartels And Restrictive Trade Practice.


Are you happy about Tfl's decision to form a Cartel of credit card companies to provide a fixed unit in Cab solution for compulsory credit / Debit card  acceptance in London ignoring the other big players in the market such as Apple Pay and many others in the market and many drivers have signed up to lengthy contracts with these suppliers for POS hand held and Apps based devices.

Personally I think that any company who are PCI compliment should be allowed into the London Taxi market.


By choosing the selective few I see this as a restrictive trade practice.
If we are to offer the public a truly open and transparent payment option surly this should include the ability to pay for a journey in the currency of the customers choice.

DDC Dynamic currency conversion gives the best spot price in real time, in the currency of the customers choice. This is picked up when you swipe the card, it will automatically know if it is an American card to offer the transaction in Dollars for example and also reward the driver with a percentage commission, normally 1%, which is then deducted from the merchant fees.


Interesting to note that none of the chosen few have the ability to provide this option.

If we, the London Taxi trade are forced to accept credit cards, which by the way is not legal tender and force the driver to absorb the merchant charges, we should IMO, have the right to market this imposition to a free and open market, giving us the choice of which provider we choose based on payment frequency and efficiency of the Point of sale terminal. 

The notion of having fixed units installed in Cab relying on a manual printer is archaic and prone  to problems, some drivers have said it's too dangerous having a unit in the back! Punters can say "it isn't working"... what does the driver then do, get out of his cab to get in the back to offer assistance? I don't think so.

Are Tfl asking for the terminals to be connected to the meter via a "dongle", a hard wired cable which transmits the data from the meter to the POS, or is it a manual process whereby the driver enters the fare? 

The reason I ask is because it would not be practicable for set prices at Heathrow going out of the Met, or agreed prices for longer journeys in town.

What happens if you share a Cab?
Can any driver sign on with fixed equipment ?

What about spare fleet cabs p, when you change over in the middle of the night, or when you are in overhaul?

Most of us have our own preferred supplier for credit card processing using an App based or hand held POS device. 

Why can't Tfl just leave it to up to us to make our own business decisions?
 
Customers love the fact they can get a PDF receipt via email or SMS which gives a full audit trail of the transaction including the time, date, location and driver details instantly, printed receipts only show the amount date and time and can easily be lost by the customer who will not be able to claim back his expenses. 

We as a trade could and should see compulsory credit card acceptance as a massive positive, without restriction, limitation or interference from Tfl.

What would be welcome is a positive marketing campaign from Tfl promoting the 100% credit card acceptance with Licensed London Taxis with any fees being paid by the drivers so passengers are 10% better off than last year for example.


Kind regards 
Tom Scullion

6 comments:

Al said...

Drivers do not mind taking credit cards except there needs to be a more guaranteed protection of payment to the driver...in the last week alone I am trying to retrieve about £40-00 from 2 fares as the machine only appeared to process the payments as normal...However,I soon found out that something had gone wrong and without full credit card details it is proving difficult to ensure payment...this is not acceptable..no other business would have to be obliged to accept this...For example,when paying fees to TFL,if your card did not go through you,for example,may not be able to apply for your license.
Also,why should the taxi trade have to pay fees incurred by the system?We should be compensated in our fares...
TFL...Are you listening?...

Luddite said...

no there not !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

IF WE ARE FORCED TO ACCEPT THE CC TERMINALS THAT tfl CHOOSE AND WE ARE FORCED TO ACCEPT CC THAT ARE NOT LEGAL TENDER AGAINST THE LAW OF THE LAND, THEN THE WAY I SEE IT IS IF,YOU GET A DECLINED CARD OR A CARD WITH INSUFFICIANT FUNDS, THEN THE LICENSING BODY IS LIABLE FOR YOUR LOSS, THIS WOULD RESULT IN A CLAIM AGAINST tfl IN THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT FOR THE RECOVERY OF YOUR LOSS, AS THEY HAVE FORCED YOU TO MANDATE THE CC TRANSACTION, BECAUSE THE POLICE WILL NOT PURSUE A CLAIM FOR BILKING AS THEY HAVE TRIED TO PAY YOU. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE LEGILATION THEY ARE IMPOSING ON US, IF THEY ALLOWED US TO ACCEPT OUR OWN CHOICE TERMINALS THEN THE ONUS WILL BE OURS.

Fun Guy said...

The last LTDA branch meeting was in uproar when Florida Stve announced he has done the deal without consulting his members or is it mushrooms?

Brian Rice said...

Whilst I agree that all licensed London Taxis should accept Credit Cards, there isn't any question that TfL have not conducted themselves in the proper manner regarding this issue. At no time did TfL speak to the whole trade regarding how this topic should be implemented, if they had then perhaps the current turmoil could have been avoided. I believe the transaction in a London taxi should produce a printed paper receipt, I know some customers do not require them, but that is not the point, we should be in a position to cater for the customer that does require a printed receipt. The experience in a London licensed taxi should be identical when paying by CC, not that some produce a receipt whilst others don't.
Regarding the positioning of the equipment, don't even get me started on that topic. I agree with Tom that for driver safety the equipment should be positioned in the front of the taxi and the driver passes the equipment to the passenger in the back or through the luggage window, the equipment is attached to the taxi by fixed wiring. Also what about the situation where a tipsy young lady can't process her CC correctly in the back of the taxi, does the driver get out and then get in the back to assist her? You can just imagine the problems that could cause.
Incidentally, both ComCab and DaC have their CC equipment in the front of the vehicle, for the two reasons that have been highlighted. In the case of DaC the equipment was passed by TfL in March 2011, they now say this is not acceptable, five years later, why is that?
Could it be because TfL never spoke to the circuits (certainly not DaC) before they made the announcement regarding the fitting of the equipment?
The whole scenario has been handled extremely badly, we need someone at TfL that understands our trade!

Brian Rice

The Truth said...

"We haven't done a deal" were the words exclaimed by Helen Chapman at the suburban roadshow. Her face told a different story,it had the look of a child caught with its hand in the biscuit tin.
Now just a few months later, it seems it's only the favoured few cc companies that gave had their equipment approved.
Even when we are forced against our will to accept card payments, it doesn't mean that drivers will. Tfl can't be everywhere and I can guarantee there will be drivers who will blatantly refuse, in just the same way as they blatantly refuse to take local fares from city airport or the 02.
Get ready for a few arguments on the ranks, because Joe bloggs on point don't do locals especially if they're paying by card.
All this is, is another weapon being used to divide and conquer the taxi trade.
Anything tfl has done since it took over the taxi trade has been to its detriment, NOT ONCE has it done anything to enhance it.