Taxi and Limousine Commission
It’s been a rough couple of months for San Francisco software company Uber, the company that built a smartphone application that allows users to arrange and pay for taxi and limo rides with their phones. This month, the company’s attempt to add New York taxi service in addition to its limo services was swatted down by that city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Uber was also recently sued by taxi and limousine services in Chicago for “violating numerous local and state laws regarding public safety, consumer protection, and fair practices.”
Some say that Uber’s problems can be traced to the brash tactics and harsh criticism of city regulations of its CEO Travis Kalanick. Many cities have taken issue with Mr. Kalanick’s outspoken contempt “of any regulation (of his industry) in general,” saying that they are in a much better position to dictate policy in their cities than he is.
The lawsuit filed recently in the Northern District of Illinois claims that Uber’s pricing policies are predatory, especially the 20 percent gratuity surcharge for its e-hail and payment service. Uber has announced that they plan to implement a similar surcharge for New York customers. The suit alleges that while customers are charged 20 percent for a gratuity, only half of that money goes to the driver, with the other half going to Uber. The suit also claims that the company charges more than the established rate for taxi meters and charges customers for credit card processing costs, a violation of Chicago ordinances.
The suit also claims that Uber’s actions are unlawful, as they arrange fares without the knowledge or consent of taxi and limousine companies. The complaint states that the smartphone application gives users the “false impression” that it is in association with transportation providers. It says that this false impression gives Uber “the aura of legitimacy,” with the public while avoiding “the costs and time necessitated by compliance with the laws and regulations.”
As you might guess, we have our own perspective on this application. We feel that there is a far simpler method of arranging limousine rides, at least in the Bay Area, that doesn’t require a smartphone app or a smartphone. People who need to rent a San Francisco limo for an upcoming event can use any kind of phone to call us at 800-339-8936 and speak with one of our reservation specialists. A smartphone app may be slick and fast, but it can’t answer questions, greet you warmly, help you decide which Bay Area limo rental is best for you and your group or help you in many other aspects. If you prefer genuine customer service over cutting-edge technology, call us at NLS Limo today, and let us help you choose the San Francisco limousine that will be perfect for your special occasion!