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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22322
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I am private car re operator in Auckland previously

Customer Question

Hi there, I am private car hire operator in Auckland previously signed up with Uber. At the time, this required me to obtain the necessary PSL licence, vehicle certificate of fitness, and Passenger service endorsement at significant cost. After a time of working with the Uber app, accepting rides, and being paid by Uber, they suddenly changed the rates at which they paid without any consultation with drivers. At the same time, they dropped the legal requirements under New Zealand law to carry and use a logbook, obtain a P endorsement, obtain a vehicle Certificate of Fitness, and to hold a passenger service licence. The effect of this has been to severely disadvantage businesses that have complied with their requirements from the outset, in a greedy grab for more drivers to expand their market share. This is not only offensive to me personally, I believe it is a breach of our Consumer trading laws on multiple levels. It is also possibly a breach of other laws, which I have not considered, that may give rise to a course of action to pursue Uber for damages. Uber have gained an unfair advantage through illegal means. Is there any course of action here with any degree of likely success? I have spoken to other parties in the taxi industry here and some are willing to put up for a collective fight. Yours sincerely, David ******* ************************ ******************* ********************************* FREECALL ****************

Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 5 months ago.

There are a number of possibilities for you and the other drivers. There is an act called the Commerce Act which sets up a procedure for making complaints to the Commerce Commission about monopoly behaviour. This can cover issues such as what you describe, and also bring and factors such as the Fair Trading Act, which is an act which deals with misleading and deceptive conduct in the course of trade. I would suggest at first instance that you make a complaint to the Commerce Commission at this website http://www.comcom.govt.nz/the-commission/making-a-complaint/ You can seek damages under the Fair Trading Act and under some of the provisions of the Commerce Act. Unfortunately the Commerce Commission is not always very fast at taking investigations, and it is possible to bring proceedings under the Fair Trading Act yourself, although in this case there may be real advantages in a collective lawsuit from as many affected drivers as possible.

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