Saturday, October 08, 2016

Woeful Incompetence From TfLTPH, Over Credit Card Acceptance Mandate .... By Jim Thomas.

I woke up to the sound of the postman banging on my door. It seems I had a very large package that wouldn't go through my letter box. Inside were the new stickers TfL is expecting me to put up all over my Taxi. Also included were covering letters explaining where these stickers must be placed.

They are expecting me to comply, or face getting a stop note from their new army of over 300 compliance officers, taken on not to make sure Private Hire are complying with their PHV act 1998, but to ensure we are carrying out Helen Chapman's and their financially interested third parties wishes.

What happened to Apple Pay Helen?
Have you left them off because they don't support your partners ?

Brushing aside the obvious safety compromising issues, in their infinite wisdom, TfL insist from 1st Jan 2017 every taxi must have a fixed CC reader in the rear of the vehicle.

I have been taking credit cards quite happily for many years with no problem or complaint from customers. TfLTPH are now informing my passengers to complain if they experience any problem with me and not only that, they even supply a " special phone number* " ... Just incase passengers have any difficulty getting drivers to accept Contactless payments. 

We can't even get a special phone number to complain about drivers waiting on licence renewals. 

Now look carefully at the 
" special phone number* "

Believe it or not, it carries a service charge !!!

Also, if you have a problem with your licence renewal, you can ring this help line
tel:03000 200 190 but beware, if you are on T-Mobile for instance, it will cost you 30p per minute service charge!

How come they can charge service charges and we can't ?
Why haven't they used freephone numbers ?

One rule for TfL to charge a service charge, but another rule forcing us to absorb all transaction charges.

Taxi Leaks would like to take this opotunity to say that nowhere in the covering letter, does it stipulate that drivers 'must' accept card payments of any kind. They may have mandated this using an act passed in the nineteenth century, but have failed to inform the 25,000 Hackney carriage Taxi drivers living in the 21st century.

Talking of ancient legislation, didn't TfL once say they couldn't enforce against Uber's virtual plying for hire through their app, as the technology didn't exist when the act of 1998 was written. 

Can Helen Chapman please show me an illustration of a credit card reader from around 1847 ?

While we're on the subject of new technology, not all drivers are on Twitter, not every driver reads trade publications. Not one word on the legallity of TfL's mandate in the covering letters.

They may have posted on Twitter and it may be on their website, but not every driver has a smart phone or computer. 

Twitter just doesn't cover it Ms Chapman, you need to write to every Taxi driver, laying out in detail, how TfL can mandate payment and insist on rear fitment of equipment. Also we need to know the legislation that gives TfL the right to insist we take un-guaranteed contactless card payments. 

And, as if this wasn't bad enough....wait till you see the media campaign LTPH are putting together.

You only have to look at the mess they made of the Cabwise campaign. 

Should we be demanding all private hire vehicles display this sticker on a rear passenger window....after all, the public's safety is paramount Helen ?

Plus, this one could be displayed on the other passenger window


As I write this message thousands of drivers will be receiving a large pack of instructions and stickers from TFL with threatening ultimatums but ironically paid for through our license fees....what a waste of our hard earned money eh?, I have not yet received mine but I do have a post office delivery notice through my door (the package is too big for the letterbox) stating I have 18 days to retrieve it from the sorting office.... yeh right.

I have been fighting tooth and nail about the nonsensical involvement TFL has illegally and unconstitutionally placed itself into and how the whole fiasco will ultimately end.

Yet TFL continues to plug away down the forceful route with no statutory duty in UK law to compel a private business (you) to accept credit or debit card payments so TFL separately threaten our vehicle licensing not having it fitted and strangely refusal for not accepting in the vehicle (two different legal points) as it seems how the legal bodies in our trade have distanced themselves on assumed promises of the greater good of the overall trade without first closing the clearest open wound of safety to the drivers let alone open day for major fraud losses it is therefore not a good day for a vote on strength of protest within the London Taxi trade to date.

Every driver must do themselves a favour NOW... by creating a separate unlinked & cheaper personal account for taking your own chosen suppliers for card payments, and never use the equipment being forced upon you by TFL a dreadful oppressive regime who take our license fees and spend it with such disrespect & frivolity they need to be taught a lesson by being given a bloody nose on this whole messed up over involved issue.

If a card is declined for any reason after a driver has supplied a service a driver must seek compensation for losses forced upon them by TFL's forced involvement and practically aided and abetted it, this is simply not (as TfL will try to argue) the same as being bilked because you have the legal right to ask any potential passenger for a deposit if you choose & refuse if they wont pay so this will be no different on advance card payments particularly if no percentage of the perceived estimate for the journey is stated, you can simply choose 90% and the balance can be paid by a 10% final transaction.

This precaution is clearly not necessary to a high number of your passengers, but we all know through job experience who makes the hairs on your neck stand up and you will not need any excuses at the journeys end & it will be deposit validation clearance option for out of the Met or expensive rides in certain circumstances as allowed by law.

This whole stupidly derived Mandate will eventually die a death like card printers and retro emission fitments, simply because of a financially over obtrusiveness by TFL who have this time idiotically swam out to far in the sea of bull $hit and are seeking a small but crafty percentage of self interested greedy suppliers trying to corner a huge chunk of a now corrupted market argue the glossy points for them without any sympathy for safety whatsoever and remember this..., 

THESE SUPPLIERS ARE GOING TO CHARGE A MONTHLY FEE on top of all they sell you now, I cant emphasise that any clearer and TFL are backing them up whether your machine works or not, but your vehicle will be deemed unfit and the package TFL have sent out today contains in taxi signs for passengers to report you if you refuse card payments.... so reach out and use your own personal up front reader and watch the cobwebs will render the forcibly fitted equipment useless.

Be Lucky

greenbadgejohn (on twitter)

Editorial comment: 
John, I have a guarantee from CMT that no rental charges will be put in place, no matter how little you use their equipment throughout the 3 year contract. 

But 3 years down the line is anothe matter. 

It is almost certain next year, TfL will mandate card readers will have to be connected to the meter.....this will leave drivers who have invested over £400 for independent machines, cradles and Bluetooth printers will be left high and dry.