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Addison Lee – A Driver’s View In 2016

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Addison Lee – A Driver’s View In 2016

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19 thoughts on “Addison Lee – A Driver’s View In 2016

  1. Addlee changed the points system last year when they changed to paying credit cards at full rate, as a result cash and card jobs score 0 points during weekday daytime off-peak making it difficult to avoid paying higher charges for the car, the only compensation was you could earn decent money on those jobs. Not anymore, many cash and card jobs now pay less than account jobs once Addlee take their cut and you get zero points to go with it.

    They keep crowing about earning £2 and 2 extra points in certain postcodes in the morning peaks but compared to what you’re losing later in the day it’s peanuts and there’s no guarantee you’ll get a job in those postcodes even if you’re in them. Their propaganda messages just wind everyone up. The reality is I’m earning less now than I was two years ago and some cash jobs I’ve done previously pay less than half what they did two years ago after admin charges. I’m having to alter my hours of work as, like you say, the daytime off peak is beyond a joke. The only thing for sure is it’ll all end in tears…

  2. Great article John. The drivers chats were interesting.good to see many views are that of the organization I help run and I feel the same as you of brand damaging with these price cuts and where it may lead.
    A cap on numbers is a must if all your followers signed it we may get somewhere.
    Good luck in Malta and I sincerely hope this is not your last blog.I will do a blog but as a Labour activist I will do after the Mayoral elections once we have a victory of a long needed lLabour Mayor

  3. good article John , would have been nice to have read the complete truth of it all. But as a ex Addison lee driver who had left 3 1/2 yrs ago i could see the way things were going. When they started prioritising cash work to the prius fleet which had joined us from w1 . Their drivers were paying 30% commision for cash work , while galaxy drivers were only paying a couple of quid , so if a cash job came in for lets say a hundred pounds , guess who was going to get allocated the jobs.?I also noticed that asap cash work instead of coming to your xda immediately , was actually coming down 3 minutes later , as did c/card and account work. i did a bit of sniffing around i discovered Addison lee had made a change to booking cars on their app. Originally in the app you booked for either up to 4 ppl or 6, Addison lee had added a 1 -3 passenger option . this new option was created to prioritise all the cash work to the prius fleet. too many times i was plotted up outside a venue , only to see one of our prius drivers pick up there when i had been there for some time . after finding out some of these drivers had been run 3-4 miles to the job i knew we was being nobbled.As you know before leaving i launched my own little twitter war with addilee, copying in account customers complaints etc , more sniping really , but it had the desired affect the 1-3 passenger option was removed, only to be re-introduced some mths later after i left. NOW dont get me wrong the 1st 8yrs were terrific but the next and last 18mths were no way to earn a living then.

  4. Thanks for yet another eloquent and fascinating article John. The race to the bottom is unfortunately still gaining pace and will step up a gear shortly with the launch of the (technically) excellent Karhoo app. It won’t be Uber to blame this time though.
    Let’s hope that one day the tide will turn and quality will win over price.
    Its a shame that Addison Lee, long seen as the benchmark of quality private hire appear to be morphing into an Uber clone. A great mistake in my view – why not just let Uber be Uber? Sure you might need deep pockets to ride the storm but the signs are not great for Uber right now : 2008 cars accepted, free topographical tests, and novice drivers being pitched in the middle of Central London. All a far cry from Addison Lee’s recruitment strategy just a few years back. Good luck John & I really hope you continue with the Cab4Now site.

  5. All true John I was saying that from the beginning of your comeback to al yet you had different opinion at the time and you were praising them to the point you even block me on Twitter at least I feel better now

  6. A superb article outlining the issues that are plaguing our profession.

    With bean counters who have no real knowledge of Private Hire playing with it as if its a toy they can dis guard later and rates being forced down for the benefit of the public.

    The reality is without good well earning drivers companies lose client goodwill.

    I believe that ignorant operators who feel that the you don’t like it then ‘Piss off’ way is acceptable should be shamed for their misdemeanour’s and crap attitude.

    Taking a privately booked car or taxi is a luxury it should not cost less than a bus trip.

  7. This was received by email today and reproduced with permision.

    To quote a great song lyric

    ” And now the end is near and so I reach the final curtain”

    Joking aside it is with great regret that working for Addisonlee has become no longer financial viable .

    As an example yesterday I logged on again at 5pm and was in East London…..I was then given a 45 minute lead time for a job in EC2 for a 17:50 pick up.
    This was going to W2 and was completed by 18:30and paid £16
    so 90 mins on job :

    payment to you £7.50
    (worked out on a 60 hour week at £300 or £5 p/hour)

    petrol £1

    Net balance left for me £7.50
    which is £5 p/hour .

    This used to be balanced out by full payment on Cash/ CC and with a realistic chance of getting a free car.

    Unfortunately you have now :

    1.increased my car cost
    2.increased my commission
    3.increased my CC commission
    4.increased my CC IPT insurance
    5.increased my car insurance
    6.penalised me by £10 per day by now giving the first 5 minutes waiting time as unpaid
    7.making the exec drivers wait for 60 minutes until we can prebook ( even though we have all achieved platinum status )

    All in All a very sad end to what was a truly amazing company .
    I can’t quite understand how a multi billion pound company like Carlyle group has made such basic mistakes .
    You would have thought that buying a company in an industry of which they have no previous experience, they would have relied on the management who made that company great to start with to take full responcibilty for its in-house decision making.
    I can only liken it to a billionaire buying a football club and then sacking the manager and picking the team…..Bolton Wanderers spring to mind.

    Anyway I do sympathise with you as I know that your hands are tied ,but I felt I needed to get the above off my chest.
    please feel free to forward this email onto The Carlyle group if you so wish.

    1. Why don’t we do something? Let’s join hands and stop working for a few days and take our cars into central London…this way media will be all over them…not for long i know,but this is not a life. 70h/week for 450£?:)))…what a joke of a company…can’t even see my family anymore. Screw you Carlyle Group

    1. We should get together mate. I know a few people working for Itv…we might make a difference. You know we are going to lose our job right?but i’ll rather work for someone else then be a slave for Addison Lee….it used to be such a nice company…such a shame…grerd has taken over

  8. I,have been working for Addison Lee since 2004. There were good times and a bed times, but since Boland became CEO of this company everything has changed into modern day slavery corporation… there is no future for drivers unless you work 100 or more hours per week… There has to be something made by government to stop that kind of corporation from making slaves from people. Last week I was working 48 hours like normal free man and I got 113 pounds for my work, it’s far below minimum wage…just to pay for petrol for the next week. I have heard on LBC that some Uber drivers won case in the court against them, but I do not know how it’s work. It’s very sad that after 13 years working for a company I just regret that I have ever went through the door in William Rd. There is nothing on this planet which I hate seriously accept CARLYLE group, BOLAND and the whole ADDISON LEE.

  9. This place is like modern day slavery. They employ abusive employment practices and deny workers basic rights. At Christmas they charge account customers double and compensate the driver with a fiver! The account jobs are already slave labour rates at £1.25 per mile. I have just driven 30 miles to collect a customer and take to London. add lee made extra £75 on this today. They paid me £5! How I that fair???

  10. Carlyle (CG) are on a SELL strategy, have been since ‘14 (See Daily Telelgraph) so what do you expect ? CG are disengaged bcos they’re selling ASAP. … unless Uber get a final cease and desist, which they won’t .
    Frankly I have FAR bigger problems. The roll out of UN-TIMED 20 zones is killing me for example, bcos every mile I’m in a 20 zone I am earning 33.33 % less. THAT’S a problem !!! Write to your MP and ask why are they making the rich a richer and the poor poorer through UN-TIMED 20 zones ? The Taxi chugs along … on a meter. The Uber smooths along … on a meter. Meanwhile I’m loaded down with the LEGAL STRICTURE of a fixed fare because I’m not allowed a meter. THATS criminal.
    MPs, the Judiciary, TfL, Local Borough Councils, the many political Mayors of London are ALL at fault. THATS a problem.
    However, this lot ARE publically accountable.
    For example, if I could get a Mayor of London to do anything, it would be to co-ordinate information flow to new roadside noticeboards which simply told you at EVERY strategic point which tunnels and which bridges were Open and Closed EXACTLY WHEN.
    That single thing would make me thousands every year; And I’d pay more tax.
    A switch to TIMED 20 zones would make me money again and restore a lot of parity between me and a Black cab and an Uber car.
    Moving cycle highways off-road and restoring lane width would be safer and free up arteries. Again, I’d make money.
    Reducing Traffic light numbers.
    Improving traffic light phasing.
    Investing in cheap over-passes, like at Hogarth, and underpasses and extra bridges and tunnels across the river would all make me money.

    All this and much much more CAN be done. If, you lobby and write to your MP.

    Whereas asking CG to change is like asking a tiger not be a tiger. It’s never gonna happen. Besides JG already made that deal, and he, and the families are very nicely off, Thankyou !
    How ‘nice’ is he looking now ?
    Although I know what you mean, but if there is a fault it lies mainly with JG not CG. This, was always going to happen.

    The GOOD news is there are nice tigers out there, interested in more sustainable business models, Branson for example, and we must hope one bites soon.

    A restoration of the old points system would keep us going ‘til then, restoring confidence, some loyalty and hope.

    BOO ! TO THE TIGER !!!!

    AdLee since 2000
    Still earning 16£phr gross whatever I do. It’s ok, but you’re all right, it ain’t nice anymore.
    The thing I hate most is never knowing now who to talk to, along with, never being able to figure out the pricing. That drives me CRAZY !!!
    Worth a letter to the FT actually … “PE gets lost in the City ! Again !!!” It is weird that Lehman Bros died because of bad calc. Now here we are suffering Private Equity Bad Calc, AGAIN !

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