Uber – Foul play in Sweden and Finland

Over 20 drivers who have been driving for UberPop have been convicted of criminal charges for providing illegal taxi-services. They are also being investigated for non-payment of taxes. In Finland, several Uber drivers have also been convicted for providing illegal taxi services. They are appealing the convictions.

In both cases Uber has been supporting their drivers by covering the legal costs. However, the drivers now have convictions against their names and will have difficulties finding gainful work. That is a tragedy. The drivers face a long-term personal disaster – Uber gets to walk away as the innocent partner.

In its 8 page contacts with drivers and customers, Uber takes no responsibility for ensuring that a driver has proper insurance, that he has a license to drive and operate a taxi, that he pays his due taxes!

This same list is in the other contract that customers are assumed to have read and signed before stepping in to an Uber taxi anywhere in the world.

Most customers have never read the contracts, which are subject to Dutch law! Most clients believe that they are dealing with a reputable company called Uber and not with individual drivers.  They order a taxi through an application from Uber and make a payment with their credit card to Uber directly. For me that is a simple transaction with Uber. How can a passenger know if the driver has insurance, a license or has paid his taxes?

Nobody wants to be driven by a person who is acting criminally!

Uber has raised millions of euros through banks and hedge funds. It employs lobbyists and lawyers to change the law relating to taxis. As a global company, they should know better and stick to the present laws and regulations. In the Nordic countries, like elsewhere in the developed world, laws are to be obeyed and not openly abused.

Taxis are over-regulated, and competition is very limited – changes are necessary to allow a more flexible services where drivers and taxi companies are free to compete for both cost and service quality. Regulation is needed to cap prices and ensure honest and safe drivers. I have in my hand my last taxi receipt from Helsinki airport to the center of the city where the driver drove at over 120 km/h on 2 stretches of road where the speed limit was 100km/h and 80km/h. Lorry drivers would have been fired for such offences because their speeds are recorded on plotters. Speeding has occurred on almost all of my taxi recent trips.

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