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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Email received by Canberra drivers at 12.00 noon on Thursday 18 July 2019:

Hi Jack BeNimble,

On [Monday] 29 July 2019, a new Addendum to the Uber Service Agreement will be surfaced in the Uber Driver app. When you sign into your Uber Driver app on or after that date, you will need to agree to this addendum in order to continue using the Uber application.

This addendum contains important information regarding service fees.

A copy of this Addendum is available below for your information.

Please note: agreeing to this addendum does not result in any changes to service fees.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Uber Support.

Kind regards,

Uber

[end of email]

Jack Malarkey comments:

I'll have something to say about this addendum later.
 

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Seems to be that if you started before April 2016, Uber's fee is going down (to 22.5%).

If you started after April 2016, Uber's fee is going up (to 27.5%).

Which is a pretty bad result as a newer driver. If it had been an across-the-board increase, at least that might have taken a few cars off the road (leaving us with slightly more rides to partially offset the slightly lower income). If older drivers actually get a decrease, there won't be as much of an offset by having fewer drivers.

So... that sucks.
 

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Wait - Uber's fee is already 27.5% - or are they upping it to 27.5% (GST Exclusive) so 30.25% total?

That would.... not be nice :frown: :frown:
 

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Here's a copy of the proposed addendum:

D778ED1C-1CB4-4C50-963D-52D5664DFE36.jpeg


(https://m.box.com/shared_item/https://uber.app.box.com/s/zwumnblp4bswulx88of25cfv2zag84gc)

Jack Malarkey comments:

1. The service fee amounts in the addendum are already INCLUSIVE of GST so there's no prospect of a 30.25% rate for anyone.

2. The information email quoted in my original post includes the following:

'Please note: agreeing to this addendum does not result in any changes to service fees'.

3. The addendum puzzles me.

4. First, I don't understand why it's necessary. ACT drivers have already agreed to the current service fee. (Perhaps it relates to the recent introduction into Canberra of UberXL and Uber Comfort?)

5. Second, it seems that no equivalent email with addendum has (yet?) gone to drivers in other cities: there has been no mention of it in these forums for other Australian cities.

6. Third, the service fees quoted reflect an incorrect understanding of service fees in Canberra.

7. Uber commenced operations in Canberra on 30 October 2015. The service fee from that first day was 25% (increased to 27.5% from 1 December 2017 when it became inclusive of GST).

8. At that time, Canberra's service fee was higher than that in any other city in which Uber had operations (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney). In all those cities, the service fee at that time was 20%.

9. Uber increased its service fee in all those other cities from 24 April 2016 to 25% (increased again to 27.5% from 1 December 2017 when it became inclusive of GST).

10. However, Uber 'grandfathered' the old service rate of 20% so it continued to apply in those other cities for those drivers who started with Uber before 24 April 2016.

11. Canberra drivers have never had the benefit of the 20% or 22% rates, including if they began with Uber before 24 April 2016.

12. The addendum does not reflect this history and proposes a GST-inclusive rate of 22% for those Canberra drivers who began with Uber before 24 April 2016.

13. If the addendum is implemented in its current form, those Canberra drivers who began with Uber before 24 April 2016 (including me) will see their service fee drop from 27.5% to 22%.

14. This outcome can't be reconciled with the statement in the email that agreeing to the addendum does not result in any changes to service fees.

15. Finally, the links within the addendum don't link through to what they claim to link through to.
 

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Thanks for posting that Jack - good to confirm that they are indeed NOT increasing their service fee for new drivers. Had me worried there for a second lol. Would have been a strange move to increase their commission given the amount of competition. I still haven't received an email from them by the way, maybe only drivers who started before 24 April 2016 got the email? Who knows. Still, a nice treat for drivers who have been around longer ? But yes, some strange wording...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Canberra drivers who began with Uber before 24 April 2016 should carefully check the relevant commission rate in the addendum in its form when they agree to it from 29 July 2019.

If the relevant service fee is 22%, they should take a screenshot of the addendum as agreed to. They should then check the service fee as actually charged.

If the service fee as charged is still 27.5% rather than 22%, they should request fare adjustments by reference to the addendum agreed to.

[Post has been edited to replace incorrect references to 22.5% with correct references to 22%.]
 

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It's the same thing we got in Vic a while ago - it is just an update for the renamed trip categories (e.g. Uber Comfort) so nothing to worry about.
Edit: my comment doesn't address the issue @Jack Malarkey raises about no Canberra drivers ever being on the old lower commission rate though ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The new addendum has come through today as expected.

It’s identical to the version in my earlier post even down to the level of the date being incorrectly shown as 9 July 2019 rather than 29 July 2019.

Canberra drivers who began with Uber before 24 April 2019 should check the service fee. If it is at 27.5% rather than 22%, they should put in a fare adjustment request.

I propose to use the following wording:

‘Please lower my service fee for this trip to 22% from 27.5% in accordance with the legally binding addendum entered into on 29 July 2019; I was first activated as a driver-partner before 24 April 2016’.

It’s important you do this for each relevant trip separately.

The statement in the covering email about not changing the rate cannot trump the crystal clear wording of the addendum itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Drivers wishing to make a similar fare adjustment request are welcome to use my wording as shown above.

Do this by going to ‘Help’ then ‘Trip Issues and Adjustments’ then ‘Issues with my fare’ and finally to ‘I had a different issue with my fare’.

Whatever you do, don’t at the final step use ‘Request a fare review’. If you do, you’ll get an immediate knock back.
 

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Drivers wishing to make a similar fare adjustment request are welcome to use my wording as shown above.

Do this by going to 'Help' then 'Trip Issues and Adjustments' then 'Issues with my fare' and finally to 'I had a different issue with my fare'.

Whatever you do, don't at the final step use 'Request a fare review'. If you do, you'll get an immediate knock back.
I would be interested in how this issue pans out Jack. Please keep us informed. Do you expect another new / revised addendum on the horizon? If they 'rectify' this back to the spirit of the change, the next BAS calcs are going to be a mess.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would be interested in how this issue pans out Jack. Please keep us informed. Do you expect another new / revised addendum on the horizon? If they 'rectify' this back to the spirit of the change, the next BAS calcs are going to be a mess.
Happy to keep you informed about developments.

We certainly can't rule out a revised or new addendum and possibly one seeking back-dated effect.

The number of drivers affected is now likely to be small. It would comprise those drivers who started with Uber in Canberra from 30 October 2015 (when Uber began operations here) to 23 April 2016. That's only a six-month period.

I estimate that there were 500 or so drivers in Canberra in April 2016 compared with about 2,000 now. The great bulk of them would have moved on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have received the following reply from Uber in response to my fare variation request to reduce the service fee to 22% from 27.5%.

It is totally irrelevant to the issue I raised.

Other drivers have received the same irrelevant reply.

We'll need to persevere.

Copy of reply:

Uber Logo
I had a different issue with my fare
Hi Jack,

Happy to explain to provide further clarity - we can understand that this is a source of confusion.

Because of changes to the Australian tax law that took effect from 1 July 2017, non-resident suppliers such as Rasier Pacific V.O.F. ("Uber") were required to charge 10% GST on its services to customers who were not GST registered. This included the Service Fee that driver-partners pay Uber. As such:

1. Uber was required to charge GST on the Service Fee for driver-partners who were not GST registered (i.e. "non-business" customers)

2. Uber was not required to charge GST on the service fee for driver-partners who were GST registered (i.e. "business" customers)

From 1 December 2017, our new structure will allow driver-partners, delivery-partners, restaurants, and other business partnerships to contract with our local business.

As a result of this, GST will now apply to fees charged to driver-partners by the local business (e.g. the Service Fee they pay for the provision of lead generation services)

Importantly, because of this change, driver-partners who are registered for GST should be able to claim the GST back on the local Uber entity's fees and charges. As always, you should consult a tax professional who can advise on your personal circumstances.

Appreciate your understanding.


My further reply:

8D4F1E11-E6D6-45CA-BD68-29BE675045A4.jpeg


(The reference to 24 April 2019 should be to 24 April 2016.)
 

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It is totally irrelevant to the issue I raised.
That's a shock. :smiles:

Remember when we all first started with the Übes and we sent off our first query regarding ABC and the answer came back addressing XYZ?

There was confusion, disbelief and sometimes self doubt. We would go back to our original message, read it, and re-read it trying to understand how on earth it might be so misconstrued as to generate the totally obscure response.

We would then spend twice as long re-writing the original message, crafting it just so, ensuring the meaning was crystal clear and totally unambiguous, only to receive some abstruse response which may well have been about the weather.

If only I knew then what I know now. :smiles:

.
 
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