We tell you the truth not what you want to hear.......
Every so often we here at CloudCars will get a phone call or an email from individuals or corporations which at times are very positive and at times negative. However, one thing we always do is read these communications and take feedback from all, as without this feedback we could not deliver the service of the CloudCars Experience.
Over the past two years, much of the negative feedback concerns the issue of price.
The cost is paramount to everyone, you as the passenger and CloudCars the business. We are no different from any other business always looking at the bottom line, which anyone in any organisation knows is difficult.
Where we think we are different from those in our industry, is our desire for sustainability.
Such a notion as sustainability may raise the question "what has this got to do with the taxi industry?" Our view is; everything. For us sustainability is being able to continue what we do to the highest standards and delivering an unparalleled service that is safe. It also means simply looking after our passengers (you), our CloudCars team and our planet.
So now you are probably wondering what this has got to do with anything concerning private hire vehicles and the cost of the fare.
We received a telephone call from a prospective client who saw one of our cars and requested further information. They informed us that they were having many issues with their current supplier, from lateness (a factor that can have a significant impact on business meetings and appointments) where time is money, to drivers who were falling asleep at the wheel! Upon hearing this horrific situation, we talked about CloudCars and what we could do for them. We believed the call had been very positive and productive.
This was followed up CloudCars providing a quotation email with most frequent journeys travelled by the enquirer. A few days later, after a series of emails, we received and email saying that they "love the cars and service that we provide but would only use us if we could match the current supplier’s prices"!
It was agreed that a face to face meeting was needed, to discuss this issue of the prices that they wanted us to match.
The initial feeling that I had about the cost and need for a good and reputable service and realising what this big organisation was asking us to match was absolutely ridiculous.
As an illustrative example let us take a Nottingham to Heathrow journey: price quoted was £118.80 vat inclusive; Nottingham to East Midlands Airport: price quoted was £18 vat inclusive. However, because most drivers don't make over the VAT threshold, it’s the operators that are charging the VAT, so the true price to the drivers is £99 and £15 for each of the respective journeys. It is hard to see and believe why private hire companies are driving prices down so low and major business were paying those prices without no cause for concern or impact on the driver or on their own safety.
By looking at the quoted prices it is possible to understand as to why there was such bad service being delivered?
If we break down the £99 Nottingham to Heathrow fare this will help to understand this important issue. A very high percentage of Nottingham taxis are diesel cars over 5 years old. A vast majority of drivers rent their cars at a cost to them which varies from £270 - £320 per week. So if we take the medium between the 2 numbers, say £300per week divided by 7 days = £42.85 daily cost. At the start of a driver's shift he is on minus (-) £42.85. Then he has his petrol cost to Heathrow of £42.09 (journeyprice.co.uk). He now has a minus amount of (-) £84.94.
As this is account work the driver will not get paid until the next Monday, once his docket is handed in to the operator and verified. He now has to pay a commission of 10% to the operator for giving him that work, thus £99 x 10% = £9.90. This now shows the driver as having an initial total loss that amounts to £94.84. In addition his journey to Heathrow, which in good traffic could take about 5 hours minimum to complete, begs the question is this journey of any worth to the driver?
The driver has now worked for 5 hours and made a loss. In order to recover from this he now works a further 10 hours to compensate for his bad day. We now have a driver in his car and driving you around, who has been on the road for 15 hours plus.
If you were in the drivers shoes in such a situation;
Would you be prepared to deliver great service?
Would you care about the cleanliness of the car?
Could you afford to keep the car properly serviced and roadworthy?
Would safety be paramount to you?
The above scenario is not how CloudCars operate. We treat our drivers, our cars and our clients fairly.
It is why we at CloudCars believe in sustainability, believe and enforce our service credentials, take the safety of our clients as of prime importance and will never under sell our service and drivers.
That is why we believe ours is a Fair Fare Policy.