Uber Sydney Blasts Registered Users, Asks Them To Complain To NSW Politicians

It's no secret that Uber Sydney and the NSW Government don't see eye-to-eye. Now Uber is trying to get its users to fight the battle for it by contacting candidates ahead of the upcoming State Election.

Uber Sydney blasted an email out to its subscribers yesterday, calling for them to tell their local candidates and MPs what they thought of Uber.

Ever since Uber launched it has annoyed the local cab industry, and in light of the launch of the ride-sharing service UberX, the Government has been looking to shut the service down.

Now Read: Uber Wants To Create 20,000 Jobs In The Australian Economy, But What Sort Of Jobs Are They?

Here's what the email says:

The NSW Election is on Saturday 28th March and politicians are asking for your vote.
It's time to tell them why you choose to ride with Uber. The taxi industry has been pressuring politicians and candidates to shut down Uber. They want to stop you from having a choice about how you get around your city.
Let your local candidates know what you love about Uber, and tell them that it's time to introduce sensible ridesharing regulations.
Click 'Contact Now' to let your candidates know why you want them to support Uber.

Although, it may not be going quite to plan according to this tweet:

Be careful what you wish for, Uber Sydney.



    ...hmm... something didnt' feel right about what they did here.

    Not sure how I felt about the email I received from Uber about this BUT I very much agree that the NSW state government needs to review the laws regarding ridesharing. Taxi companies need to also overhaul their service though if they have such an issue with Uber. In past 12 months my experiences with taxis are consistently bad, dirty cabins and with drivers who do not know where they are going and ask you for directions.....no wonder I am making the switch to Uber Black or X.

      Do you realise that when you ride in an UberX vehicle you are riding in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle as most UberX drivers use their personal vehicle which is only registered for personal and not commercial/business use. Who do you think will be paying your medical bills if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident? YOU!

      Come and take a ride in my taxi in Newcastle if you're ever up this way, it's always clean; I am always polite and courteous; and you will always be asked which route you, as the paying customer, prefer to take.

      Hope you gave a great afternoon

    I'm from Melbourne and I have noticed that since the launch of Uber taxi service actually improved like 1000%. With taxi's actually having to compete, it forced them to be:

    1. Take fares which didn't make them $$$
    2. Able to follow basic directions on GPS and not take the scenic $$$ route
    3. Have a clean cab
    4. Have there personal phone switched off

    I have been kicked out of the cab mid journey and left on the side walk because a booking call came through to send a new client to the airport. Also I have had female friends stranded at midnight on weekend because they are not going to the suburbs the cabbies live. Both of these are against the law. I complained both times and got no response back from the taxi authority.

    I understand from speaking to most drivers they earn a pittance and most of the money goes back to the licence holder. I am not angry at them, but the system that allows them to operate in such a contemptible manner.

    That said I haven't taken an Uber ride yet so if people have good news stories about that service perhaps they should post them here and spread some cheer.


    Last edited 17/03/15 10:09 am

      Unfortunately I have not seen the same improvement in service in Sydney as you are seeing in Melbourne. I travel a bit for my job so take a lot of taxis and these days more so Uber Black. Have used Uber X also a few times and it has been fine.

      My experience with Uber has always been great. Clean cars, including the Uber X cars, good service and polite drivers who know they are providing a service and seem to take some care with how they appear and give a damn about the service they provide. All of these are in stark contrast to the services I have been provided by taxis lately. I too had to make a complaint regarding a taxi issue about 9 or 10 months ago now and I heard nothing back from the company.

      Having said all this, I am not a huge fan of the email from Uber that got sent out but I like the service they provide and think we should have the option of choosing this mode of transport if we want it.

    The problem is that taxis have all sorts of laws and conditions to comply with and insurances etc they have to pay for. The taxi plates alone cost a fortune. To then allow an unregulated service to run like this is completely unfair to the people who have gone down the right path and has none of the consumer protections.

      The problem is that these pointless, aritificially created and inefficient beaurocracies exist in the first place.

      I personally think Uber is quite okay with what it is doing, as it's safe to say any change towards a fairer system simply won't happen while special interests i.e. taxi lobby have a stranglehold on government opinion, period.

      Also, you think Uber's email is bad? How about when i attended an info session at Uber, there were UNIFORMED (police-looking and dressed) Department of Transport officers there, basically intimidating potential incoming Uber drivers by handing out flyers ambiguiously stating that it is illegal to be paid for driving people, without being a taxi.

      If this was aimed at truly educating and upholding these laws 'for a reason' then i could undesrstand. However, it's just ridiculous requirements to be able to drive a car with people in it for money.

      No need for fear mongering and pressuring people through intimidation because they don't actually have a valid argument or reasoning as to why the system is set up as it is to promote a monopolistic taxi market.

        These ' ridiculous ' requirements are to keep people safe. There is no laws protecting you in an uber vehicle more than jumping in any car on the street that offers you a lif, and no recourse either. Remember that when you trust some random who has never had a full police check, proven they can drive (do you ask to see their personal drivers licence? Taxi have theirs taxi licence on display. Also insurance, hey in an accident and insurance finds out is an illegal taxi (definition of uber) your not covered.

      I agree, I am a taxi owner/operator and just the cost of the insurance to $14,000 and the CTP for registration is just under $6,000 let alone the taxi company base fees, and the licence plate costs!!! The government has ensured that taxis have to be insured appropriately but have not enforced the same regulations on UberX vehicles. I would be able to also provide a cheaper fare to my passengers if I didn't have to pay the extra costs of insurance of $20,000 per year!

    I'm waiting for the first case of an Uber car having an accident and the passenger suing for damages. Then we'll see why taxis are regulated. The Uber driver will be told "you took money to give somebody a ride? Cool thanks for your insurance premiums you paid for nothing", and the poor passenger gets nothing. I'm actually staggered that Uber hasn't been shut down because how this 'service' is considered legal is beyond me.

      I dont think that's the hypothetical outcome of such an insurance situation/claim whatsoever... You need to obtain a number of extensions (on your vehicle registration and licence) in order to be an uber driver.

      You're not accepting money from a passenger, your're accepting money from Uber so you're technically not a 'taxi' service that's how it gets around it, currently. That being said there were cases of $1300 fines against eastern state uber drivers last year however uber paid them all.

      At the end of the day, if someone wants to save money and use uber and the driver is licenced and has the requisite insurance, then why should government policy stop it?

      Put simply, taxi licence restrictions are a hangover from Australia’s protectionist past and have no justification in a modern economy.

        Cheaper for now yes, but there are so many cases in the US of Uber charging exorbitant amounts for rides and people suing Uber! New Years eve a passenger was charged $500 for a 10km ride due to the high demand.

        So do Uber vehicles registered as business vehicles? Do they have public liability insurance in case a passenger is injured? What are these "extensions" on insurance & registration? If they are as mentioned above then the Uber vehicle insurance would be about $14,000, also if disclosed to the insurance company what the vehicle was actually used for they would require proof of the vehicle being either registered as a taxi or hire car otherwise they would not insure it.

        If passengers are paying the driver then he is providing a taxi service which is illegal in NSW unless registered as a taxi. If as you say the driver gets paid by Uber then the passenger still has no insurance as the Uber vehicle is still carrying on a business.

          Exorbitant charges - like during the Lindt cafe siege when Uber increased it's price for trips out of Sydney by severak hundred percent. The whole thing is beyond shonky.

          And as for "technically not a taxi service", well that is really not going to end well. @Linou raised a good point about public liability insurance - and that's what I was getting at too. I don't think Uber drivers have this. If they did, that would mean their cars would be registered as business vehicles, insured as business vehicles, etc. It's only a matter of time before this all unravels in court. And coming from a family of taxi drivers / operators (my uncle has about 80 vehicles in the UK), and where my family pays all the fees, licences and taxes to be legit and safe, I hope Uber disappears.

      I totally agree!


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