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Old 11th December 2014, 16:23   #496
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
@Samurai; I agree with our ancient ostrich approach. Remember we had VCRs and cassettes for years before they realised there may be copyright issues, and tried to regulate belatedly. Then the recent attempt to block various sites.

The Uber issue is a total one off failure. One clever psychopath was able to breach the system of (non existent) security. This does not mean that the structure itself is bad. What about the yellow cabs and TSRs in Delhi? Are they all angels. Also, the govt gets a much higher percentage of revenue as tax from Uber than the taxi wallahs.
We need to segregate the rape issue with Uber issues

Well Uber customers have fair share of problems in USA such as being billed despite cancelling the cabs due to so called innovation of customer having no say in bill acceptance.

Uber is god send in USA because there taxis are non-existent in some areas.
I remember staying in a candle-wood suit next to workplace in middle of prairies and next point of civilization was 20 miles away so they may tend to overlook quirks of Uber.

However same does not apply to Europe or India so I do not think Indians need to be so benevolent towards Uber's ways.

I find OLA and TFS with localized practices such as identifiable stickers, Call centre support, cash acceptance and willingness to get registered far more suitable then Uber.
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Old 11th December 2014, 16:32   #497
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by akash_m View Post
I am somehow on the defensive side for the Uber in the entire case. Figure this hypothetical situation:

I purchase meal Coupons from Groupon App and then go out for dine in (Groupon has tie-ups with around 50K resturants). It turns out that a lizard is found in the food I am having. Will I go back to Groupon and hold them responsible?? Obviously not. The restaurant has to take the entire blame.

My logic may be wrong though....
A couple of points:

1. Groupon lets you choose the restaurant you want to eat at, and the other so called market places like flipkart and snapdeal allow you for a choice of seller. even then, people like flipkart and snapdeal take the onus of safeguarding your interest (in most cases at least) in case of a service delivery failure

2. in case of bad feedback, would groupon not delist the deal from their website. in this case, Uber did not do so even after a complaint against the driver. I gave a bad feedback about a seller on snapdeal regarding the packaging of the goods i received. the seller is no longer listed.

This is my first post on this topic, and my observation is that these cab services start out with great service, but are unable to manage the expansion properly, and then the quality suffers badly. In Uber and Ola's case, the expansion has been explosive to say the least, hence their quality drops are more perceivable than others.
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Old 11th December 2014, 16:49   #498
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Also, the govt gets a much higher percentage of revenue as tax from Uber than the taxi wallahs.
There is no proof of this happening. I am attaching two receipts one from Uber and one from Meru. Exactly the same pick up and drop points and same route. I leave to wisdom of readers, which bill is more transparent.
Attached Thumbnails
Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service-untitled.png  


Last edited by poloman : 11th December 2014 at 16:53.
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Old 11th December 2014, 16:56   #499
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Also, the govt gets a much higher percentage of revenue as tax from Uber than the taxi wallahs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by poloman View Post
There is no proof of this happening.
Quote:
"We have sent a tax enquiry to Uber. So far, they have not paid us a single penny in taxes. We have not sent them a demand notice as they don't have an office in the country, but are operating through their Netherlands arm," Mumbai Service Tax Commissioner SK Solanki told PTI.
Source: Uber under Service Tax Department's scanner
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Old 11th December 2014, 17:18   #500
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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"We have sent a tax enquiry to Uber. So far, they have not paid us a single penny in taxes. We have not sent them a demand notice as they don't have an office in the country, but are operating through their Netherlands arm," Mumbai Service Tax Commissioner SK Solanki told PTI.
Great example of how a new business model can challenge the existing tax code.
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Old 11th December 2014, 19:13   #501
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
If you read the posts starting from the date of Rape Incident, you would find how one by one every arguments in support of Uber is falling flat exposing the callousness of Uber.

First it was so called "Safety" argument, then the "Background Check", then the Point-to point taxi Vs tourist taxi", "Technology Co. not taxi operator", "previous complaint ignored", "billing method", "transperency" and now it is "looting the country without paying taxes".

How many more points it would take to justify the ban?
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Old 11th December 2014, 19:17   #502
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The cab booking app is the latest business model to fall prey to this age old problem. The booking apps (not just Uber) are breaking laws because the prevailing laws are based on older business/technology. If laws are not changed to suit new business/technology models, the new business models can't take root India.
Based on my experience with Uber, I feel Uber solves 2 problems compared to traditional taxi service:
1) Passengers can check if there is a taxi nearby
2) Auto payment - eliminate cash or card transaction for each ride.

There is no technological advantage Uber has in these 2 aspects. Any licensed taxi service with permit can easily offer these. I would be surprised if any of existing radio taxis aren't working on the smart phone app which offer these.

Rest like clean cabs, courteous service are non-technological aspects and there is no advantage for Uber here. These are bare necessities but considered luxury here. Uber is already premium service and hence they don't have any cost advantage. Price look competitive due to promotions and without discounts they are on par or more than most taxi service.

So Uber doesn't offer any radical change in business model, which babus here can't comprehend. Their business model is similar to a don managing from Dubai and his local henchmen running taxi service without permit, without bill or receipt. Hence no tax need to be paid to Govt.

If Uber wants to be recognized as legal entity, they could get permit and offer their service via their smart phone app. Nobody is stopping them.

Lastly, Uber, since their existence as a company, have proved to be unethical in their dealings, privacy policy, respect to local laws. They deserve no sympathy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by srameshdelhi View Post
How many more points it would take to justify the ban?
If I understand correctly, Uber is banned from offering taxi service within city. Since they have 'All India Tourist Permit', they can offer inter-city travel

Last edited by msdivy : 11th December 2014 at 19:31.
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Old 11th December 2014, 19:22   #503
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

Not just UBER, but other illegal cab operators also face RTA crack down in Hyderabad.

Source link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/45465282.cms

Quote:
HYDERABAD: A day after openly dissuading citizens from availing Uber-like cab services, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) officials on Wednesday cracked the whip on illegal cab operators in the city. They booked 35 cases against such operators for various violations and seized seven cars.

However, the seized vehicles were released after collecting penalties.

The RTA officials said about 500 travel agencies operate over 45,000 cabs in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.

Joint transport commissioner T Raghunath said the drive would continue for some more days and they would act against cab drivers plying without registration with RTA, driving licence and other documents, besides 'My Vehicle Is Safe' sticker issued by the Cyberabad police.

As of now, the RTA officials are clueless about how many web-based cab operators like Uber were operating in the city. "We are yet to prepare a list of organisations carrying out their business online like Uber. We need to promote pre-paid cab system, where a record of passengers and drivers will be properly maintained," the JTC added.
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Old 11th December 2014, 19:32   #504
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
This does not mean that the structure itself is bad. What about the yellow cabs and TSRs in Delhi? Are they all angels. Also, the govt gets a much higher percentage of revenue as tax from Uber than the taxi wallahs.
These lines sum up the entire debacle!

The structure by which Uber, Ola operated was never bad. And any day the app based would be safer than the black/yellow top cabbies. Do they even have GPS fitted on them??

And your last line nailed the whole fiasco. It's infact the opposite. The govt. was never getting any tax % out of Uber, Ola or Taxi4sure. Since the laws were archaic, the app based firms were able to bypass the tax levy. All the more reason to find another way to throw the book at them
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:09   #505
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

And your last line nailed the whole fiasco. It's infact the opposite. The govt. was never getting any tax % out of Uber, Ola or Taxi4sure. Since the laws were archaic, the app based firms were able to bypass the tax levy. All the more reason to find another way to throw the book at them
I just checked old electronic invoices dated 13th Dec 2013 of Ola cabs they do pay service tax.

I think except Uber which operates out of India everyone else is paying service tax.
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:09   #506
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

I don't understand the defenses for Uber or other taxi aggregators evading the responsibility for their drivers.

What happened: Uber was providing some service (aggregator?). It claims to not be a tour, radio taxi, or transport operator. But, it did provide a service with an accomplice (business parter, if you will) - the driver.

The nature of service: A cab ride is offered. Customer engagement of Uber begins with the customer booking a cab and Uber billing the customer after the ride is over. The part of the service provided by the driver is a subset of Uber's end to end service. Uber's operations are based on a claim that this subset is 'outsourced' to the partner and hence Uber is free of regulatory purview of transportation.

The customers: Need a cab ride, book Uber, take the ride, and pay for it, end of engagement. For all purposes, the 'product' of cab ride was provided by Uber. The clients never knew who the partner was.

The question is: One cab ride is catastrophic, should Uber 'recall' all the cab ride 'products'? In short, should there be a ban/stoppage/halt on the service till the future safety is ensured? Considering the disparate nature and experience of the customers, who would do it? If Uber fails, shouldn't the customers or someone on their behalf do it?

Case in point: Automakers recall cars with potential hazard and aircraft makers halt flights of an aircraft variant worldwide (not merely a city) in case of a catastrophic failure - till the immediate problem is addressed. If there is regulatory oversight, it is also exercised.

The confusion is: What makes Uber or anyone else so special? There has been a catastrophe and its possible recurrence MUST be addressed before this 'product/service' is sold again. Nevermind the loopholes of law or taxation, or product/service definitions.

The action: The fragmented nature of customers has prevented a market imposed ban so far, barring some conscious governments. The regulators/lawmakers had to do it in India and so they did. So what if the ban is kneejerk? Shouldn't the knee jerk when tapped in the designated place? This assault has been that tap (a whack rather), and it may well have been facilitated due to Uber's very innovative and profitable exploitation of the gap between an aggregator and an operator, leaving a gaping manhole of safety to griveously hurt a person.

The stand: There are many problems with a hard decision, the good drivers will suffer, many well to do commuters will miss their favourite service, and Uber may lose a lot of profits. But it has to be borne; if there is a likely assault on a woman (she could be from anyone's home), it takes the first priority. Do we want the investor friendly trumpets to drown the outrage of an assaulted woman? The incident has brought out a glaring flaw in the taxi aggregator operations, and let it be sorted out before another mishap. It will make the service only better. Our laws may not be agile enough and our lawmakers not alert enough. Our preventive mechanism may not be exhaustive enough - shouldn't this incident be a trigger for waking up and correcting the flaw? Let Uber and all such others emerge from all this with better service safety levels. If not, they have no business to profit at the cost of citizens' safety.

Last edited by Delta Wing : 11th December 2014 at 20:18.
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:13   #507
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by srameshdelhi View Post

How many more points it would take to justify the ban?
Just one point. Does the ban makes Delhi cab scene safer? If so. The ban is justified.

Otherwise, in my book, the law, the law makers the thinkers the dooers, the saints the sinners, the good the bad the ugly and the beautiful... all do not matter.

Only thing matters, is that does it mean, that I will be safer now ?

Will it be in my interest to hail a three wheeler late at night?

Will it be safer instead to walk home 2kms for women, because we all know Meru etc., point blank refuse short distance rides(personal experience, not heresay).

Last edited by tsk1979 : 11th December 2014 at 21:12.
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:22   #508
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So Uber is finally off the streets (as per the email). They are reaching out to the customers to update about the next steps. As a customer, I do appreciate their proactive message.

Pasting the message here as I think it's a standard response they would have sent to all their customers/subscribers.

Quote:
Hey Biraj,

We are sorry and deeply saddened by what happened over the weekend in New Delhi. Our hearts go out to the victim of this horrible crime. We have been and will continue to do everything in our power to assist the authorities to help bring the perpetrator to justice.

The events of this week have made us reflect on our operations in India and we are immediately undertaking a number of important actions. During this review, we will suspend operations in New Delhi.

First, let us acknowledge that we must do better; and we are conducting a full audit of our verification, rider feedback and support processes. We are implementing measures to ensure that critical rider feedback is escalated immediately and immediate action is taken in every instance. We are also re-reviewing rider feedback on every driver partner across India to make sure nothing has been missed.

Second, we are assessing all driver screening processes. We are evaluating additional screening options to include background checks on all our driver partners in India above and beyond what is currently required.

Third, we will also bring in our global best practices where it would enhance our India safety efforts.

Fourth, we will also partner closely with organisations that are championing women’s safety here in New Delhi and around the country.

Safety is our top priority. We are fully committed to partnering with and are in discussions with the government, other transportation organisations and safety experts in India to implement robust solutions to ensure a safe ride.

Our efforts will not end there. Uber stands shoulder to shoulder with the cities we serve, and are investing in technology advances to help make cities a safer place.

Your support means a lot to us. We will come back better and stronger for the New Delhi community, ready to serve you again.
Hope they go beyond statements and put some measurable effort towards improving their compliance and perception.
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:26   #509
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Default re: Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Just one point. Does the ban makes Delhi cab scene safer? If so. The ban is justified.
That would be a valid question if Uber was banned because they provided unverified drivers/cabs.

However, the ban was because government found that Uber didn't pay for the permits or pay any tax to the government. When our tax department chases after overseas deals and asks for a cut of it because someone somewhere is an Indian, how can they let something like this go by where the action happens in India and they get no tax?

As some Mumbai RTO official aptly put it, "someone should pay the tax to the government - either Uber or the cab drivers. We don't know who will pay but we want tax"
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Old 11th December 2014, 20:51   #510
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Default Review: Uber Premium Taxi Service. EDIT: Banned in Delhi after Rape case

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
These lines sum up the entire debacle!



The structure by which Uber, Ola operated was never bad. And any day the app based would be safer than the black/yellow top cabbies. Do they even have GPS fitted on them??



And your last line nailed the whole fiasco. It's infact the opposite. The govt. was never getting any tax % out of Uber, Ola or Taxi4sure. Since the laws were archaic, the app based firms were able to bypass the tax levy. All the more reason to find another way to throw the book at them

Actually I don't think there's any loss of revenue even on uber. If passenger pays uber and uber pays cab owner in india then ultimately there is a tax paying entity in india footing the tax for that ride. Since this is coming as wired income, it's all payi income tax (as opposed to cash income by black and yellows). And if the income is beyond a certain threshold per year they (than owners) ought to be paying service tax too. What is probably leaking is the delta income that uber makes over what the cabbie makes. That's probably slipping through the cracks if they're claiming service from offshore.
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