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Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver II: How we doing?

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  • goforit,

    I am not making hell a lot of assumptions in regard to drivers avoiding there responsibilies in regard to NZ Law. Experience gained from years of looking after drivers tell me most keep every cent they take and most dont give a dam about any laws at all. I do realised that you are mostly compliant but you are the exception in trying to do the right thing.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Uber should be telling their contractors exactly what is expected of them in regard to all the NZ laws not Ubers version of the NZ Laws

    For sure. Like they used to do only a few months ago, to a much higher degree than now. They had to actively remove their policy of compliance, in a deliberate move that involved making changes to their procedures and IT systems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    I just received an update from the IRD, have not fully understood the update, but basicly it says from augest this year overseas business suppling services to New Zealanders will be required to register for GST and pay GST and this is aimed at internet, on line type services.

    Reading between the lines looks like Uber can't hide from the tax man much longer.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd reckon they're liable for GST now - as they're making a supply in NZ, they should be charging GST and reclaiming any GST charged in turn by their driver contractors (or employing the drivers in which case no GST is due but employment law applies).

    What IRD should be doing (which is what they'd do if it was a small NZ business trying this on) is to issue a substantial estimated assessment of GST due as a negotiating point. If Uber refuse to engage then, they get a court order. If the funds aren't forthcoming, they go to the banks and garnish credit card payments with a destination of Uber BV.

    (The banks might whine about this, but in general, if someone owes the IRD (or even an ordinary creditor) a debt, then it's possible to get a court order to divert funds from their creditors before payment - and in the case of NZ credit card holders, the funds pass through an NZ bank before they reach Uber).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • goforit, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I fully agree with you, have always stated Uber operates outside NZ Laws.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Just heard that NZTA netted around 60 illegal Uber drivers in Christchurch on Saturday. How? They just used the rider app and pretty much were shooting fish in a barrel all day. I hope this sends a message.

    Apparently the drivers pleaded ignorance of basically every passenger hire law there is, stating that Uber told them these laws do not apply.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Does this mean that the unlicensed Christchurch Uber drivers will avoid new Uber app users (in case they are police tar-babies) ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    There is no way to discern in advance that a rider is new. The only telltale sign is the perfect 5 rating. But that is extremely common anyway, even for riders who have done a lot of trips.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    A French court fined Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] 800,000 euros ($907,000) on Thursday for running an illegal taxi service with non-professional drivers and slapped smaller fines on two of its executives in the first such criminal case in Europe.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-ubertech-court-idUSKCN0YV1DQ

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-court-convicts-uber-of-violating-transport-privacy-laws-1465477861

    and there is the disturbing alliance with the Sauds to consider
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/technology/uber-investment-saudi-arabia.html?_r=0

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-07/saudi-arabias-investment-in-uber-sets-a-dangerous-precedent

    Who is taking who for a ride?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    With the Saudi disdain for Human Rights, and Uber's disdain for law, it looks like there is some synergy there for creating Evil MegaCorp Inc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    Its about time the NZTA did something to earn there saleries. Pity the Auckland NZTA doen't get off their hands and ping some non compilant drivers.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    A French court fined Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] 800,000 euros

    The interesting thing about that case is that it was Uber, rather than the drivers, who were fined. France made unlicenced Uber-Pop drivers illegal last year after those serious protests from taxi drivers.

    If only the same laws were applied here. And maybe NZTA could grow some balls and crack down in Auckland as they did in Christchurch.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    Also Uber lost it appeal in Frankfurt, Germary against the desist order to operate.
    The noose is tightening slowly.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Does NZTA do field enforcement directly? I thought it was all done by the police?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    The NZTA can and do field enforcement. Depends on which staff is interested in actually doing their job. In this modern day compliancy issues can be identified easy using the NZTA data base.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    NZ alternative app/service in the works.

    Leon Kang, director of UrbanNZ, said the new service would match Uber fares and compete with the international transport app on "credibility and reliability".

    "We are making it mandatory for all prospective drivers to have background checks, medical checks and get a proper passenger endorsement under NZ Transport Agency rules," said Kang, who drives for Uber at present. "Quite a number of Uber drivers have expressed interest in joining us, but we will be screening who we take on."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • goforit, in reply to Sacha,

    thats interesting, I tried to find out more about this and the person behind it, couldn't find any information. is this for real or just a pissed off Uber drivers dieing breath before his Uber account is deactivated.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    just noticed an article in the Herald on the the previous, but still cannot find any NZ idendity on it,

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    Just found the NZ idendity of Urban NZ Ltd, it has two directors and because its a NZ Company it has to operated under NZ Laws not Uber Law.
    As a tranport operation providing on demand and presumerly a metered service it needs to become an ATO in other words a taxi organisation, it cannot be a private hire or ride share organisation, maybe in 18 months or so it can be when the new Transport Act is passed.
    In the mean time only a taxi can do on demand and non agreed fare price services.
    Looking forward to the outcome.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    A warning bell just went off over one of the listed directors I think I have heard his name before from several Uber drivers, I think he is one of the charactors behind the dodgy PSL scam that some Uber drivers operate under.
    If one does the maths and if the currant Uber rates are used and because of the NZ idendity GST becomes part of the package.
    $1.35 after GST is deducted becomes $1.18, 12.5% commission with GST added becomes 14.35%, the 5% dodgy PSL fee becomes 5.75% therefore one is no better off than driving for Uber.
    If GST is added on top of the $1.35 instead of being inclusive the rate becomes $1.55
    Commissions etc attract GST as they are additional services over and above the running rate.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to goforit,

    Just found the NZ idendity of Urban NZ Ltd, it has two directors and because its a NZ Company it has to operated under NZ Laws not Uber Law.

    Is this the company you're referring to? If so, it was only incorporated last month.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    All the information I have points to that one, looks like a knee jerk reaction. I could have it all wrong, I am usually wrong.
    If the information I have is right is a bit like jumping out of the pan into the fire.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    If anyone needs to check out the main provisions of the Transport Act in regard to the above look at provisions 6.1(4) and 6.1(6) of the Act. For Urban NZ to proceed they will need to be exempted from the Act.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I know the director of Urban you're talking about. He was instrumental in bringing the drivers together who were most furious about the price drops. He built a large Facebook following, from which the driver association has sprung, although he personally opposed the idea. Those who want to form a legal entity for the rights of drivers are pretty much diverging from that Facebook group, which is increasingly appearing to be a vehicle for enlisting drivers to Urban.

    Beyond his claims that Urban will save the drivers from slavery, no real detail has emerged about it. I'm personally doubtful that it is anything more than vaporware at the moment

    Other competitors will emerge, though. There are mature clones out there. I am doubtful that any of them will do much to make the lot of drivers better, though, since they will have to compete on price to grow market share.

    My belief is that a fair shake is only going to come to drivers that organize themselves and work collectively.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    You are dead right Ben, of course the other option is to join an organisation that is 100% compliant. As you aware Ezygo Taxi app is nearly ready and I have been part of the test team and have found minor bit and pieces for improvement. Its looks like its going to be a top app and takes drivers views into consideration. I think your group should be looking at this. Uber will not be here when the new act is ratified, they will not be regulated and thats their downfall.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

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