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BACKLASH from taxi trade as FREE NOW increase driver commission fees

Taxi ride-hailing app FREE NOW have faced the wrath of UK taxi drivers after increasing commission fees on all jobs.

Since the 1st August 2019, FREE NOW (previously known as mytaxi) has increased its commission in London to 15%.

Announced by email to all FREE NOW registered drivers, the business stated that the surge is a “necessary change” which will “help the taxi trade to have a sustainable and bright future”.

In light of the news being released, drivers took to social media to vent their frustrations. Here are some of the most popular tweets from drivers following the revelation of the news.

Cabbies if you use FreeNow (like myself) it’s time to delete the app! I deleted Gett when they increased commission. I’ll be doing the same to FreeNow. I begrudgingly accepted them taking 10% of my earnings per job but certainly won’t be taking 15% from me! Where does it end? — AKA Luddite Dan (@LondonCabbieDan) July 23, 2019

Freenow commission now 15% will you stay until it’s 25% ? — kevin just enjoying life now. (@ward_wardk4) July 23, 2019

Time to stop using @FreeNow_UK and for drivers to start promoting @TaxiappLdn
15% commission is shocking. — T (@LondonTaxiCent) July 23, 2019

15% commission? I don’t think so. #GoodbyeFreeNow @FreeNow_UK @FreeNowDrivers — The Gentleman Cabbie (@GentlemanCabbie) July 23, 2019

Take your work back join @TaxiappLondon and delete money grubbing @FreeNowDrivers @FreeNow_UK who put their commission up 50% today. Tell all your punters to support the taxi trade with commission free taxiapp UK and win back YOUR STOLEN WORK. PLS RT RT RT RT — holborn golfer (@holborncabbie) August 1, 2019

Poor from @FreeNowDrivers to raise commission to 15%. Your mad if you think that’s worth working on now, we didn’t go through 3+yrs on the knowledge to be charged 15% to do our job. August 1st =👋🏻 Obviously lessons have not been learnt. #Hailo #Mytaxi #FreeNow — Jack Mclaughlin (@JackMcglocks) July 23, 2019

The commission increase was also a major talking point in the latest Cab Chat episode (43:22).

FREE NOW (formerly MyTaxi) is a leading mobility provider. FREE NOW currently runs in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Derby and Leicester.

FREE NOW is part of the mobility joint venture between BMW and Daimler, formed in February 2019.

In response to the commission hike, FREE NOW have released a video message addressing all drivers:

A spokesperson from FREE NOW said in a message sent to drivers: 

“London is one of the most competitive cities in the world and the taxi sector here has changed almost beyond recognition over the last 10 years. Technology and weak regulation have strengthened the competition, giving passengers more choice than ever before.

“We now need to make some changes in order for us to be able to continue to help you fight the competition and for us to be able to support the long term sustainability of the trade.”

“When we launched in 2011, we were able to charge a low commission rate and have kept the lowest rate in the industry for as long as possible, while others have increased theirs. We have invested some £200m to support the trade, developing a cutting edge app and running big advertising campaigns. We want to continue to attract new passengers, ensure current passengers are satisfied and to help black cabs stay relevant.”

Is the FREE NOW commission increase fair? Tweet us your thoughts @PlanInsurance