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The Private Hire Eye; Drivers Opinion

TaxiPoint likes to keep an eye out on the competition in the Private Hire industry. 

We get the low down from a Private Hire driver explaining work levels and why other drivers should follow suit and leave Uber. 

"I'm an experienced PH driver. I’ve driven for many different firms including Uber at different times when it’s suited me. I’ve just stopped driving for them recently and I wish to persuade other drivers to do the same.  

Everyone who drives for uber knows by now the TFL licensing issue has totally killed working for them. It’s so slow, with hardly any surge anywhere last few weeks. Impossible to earn a decent living. Maybe it’ll improve in the future again, who knows? I’ve always said that Uber will never last in its existing form anyway. It’s simply not a sustainable business model for many different reasons. I think customers have all heard the bad stories but didn’t want to believe them but now the licensing issue has given a lot of credibility to that stuff. Now the novelty is wearing off, and they’re realising it’s not the future they were promised. I’ve also sensed a lot of shame from people that use Uber. Sometimes feels like it’s a dirty secret. Anyway I’ve gone back to my local office. This is a good office and if I was full time I never would have left them. (I’m not going to name it as of course now don’t want it flooded with enquiries from skint drivers!) There still plenty of good offices around, but drivers aren’t going to share that info too widely. I guess a good question to ask an office is “how many drivers have they got been there 10 years+?” Another way to tell good offices from bad might be to see how concerned they seem to be about your: knowledge PH experience UK driving experience appearance car cars appearance English language skills. If they don’t seem too concerned with any of the above and happy to sign you up without too many questions (think Uber) they’re a poor firm and avoid. If you don’t want to answer too many questions about the above, you’re a crap driver. Stay at Uber where expectations are low. Also remember you’re making money for them. You’re interviewing them as well they’re assessing you. Of course they’ll make you jump through some hoops to try and exert control. But you’re self employed and you ultimately have the control. So far back working for my local office I’ve taken £20 p/h after rent (Office commission). With uber it always seems to be feast or famine. Yes you can earn more than that but only in short bursts. It never seems sustainable for a whole week or even a whole shift. Even in better times I think the best most could manage overall is £15 p/h fares before expenses. Last few weeks have been about half that. Addison Lee. I’ve driven for them before and this is my assessment: If you’re a decent professional with reasonable working knowledge of London and happy to work roughly the same hours (at least 50 p/w) it’s a pretty good professional firm. Some of the people who work in control and driver Liasion are ****s, but once you’ve got through the recruitment process you won’t have to hardly talk to anyone at all. It’s still very flexible. Start and finish when you like, but them weekly hours need to add up in the end or money is poor, so doesn’t suit if you need an extra day off at short notice. Don’t have to worry about the car at all. Very good servicing schedule and any accidents/break downs they’ll have you in a replacement in no time. Also they have pre book system where you can log in and select your first job near where you’re starting. They’re a big firm so have work all over the Home Counties. And they have a going home feature which actually works. Compared to Uber’s destination setting which can be very hit and miss, a real human controller will find a job that is going your way. Once a day only, and I nly to your home address. My point is I honestly think more Uber drivers need to leave now. Cabbies are all very busy. Offices all seem to be busy. Customers are very obviously switching so it’ll help everyone if these local offices had more drivers to cover the work so the ex-Uber users stay. It’ll be better for drivers pockets and of course anything that hurtsUber  even more has to be a good thing, as they are ones that are killing this industry. Ok so what’s he downsides of leaving uber? Flexibility. Nothing is as flexible as Uber that’s true, but is it as flexible you think? You have to drive when it’s busy, so it’s not a lot different to set shifts at an office. Even then you can always not come in/change so long as you call the office. Lose ability to turn down jobs. How much time do you waste waiting for what you hope is a better job? Or logging out to get to a better area? It’s just the ability to be fussy and waste your own time. Rating system. Ok Uber have done something good here (even if the ratings we/customers see are typical Uber lies). Just the existence of the ratings means people do tend to be better bahaved. I’ve had a number of people already that have kept me waiting without even acknowledging it. So go forth and leave Uber!"

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