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Thread: Taxi Hassle - Suggestions?

  1. #1
    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    Angry Taxi Hassle - Suggestions?

    Me and Sam went to a wedding on Saturday night. It was miles away and out in the sticks, so along with half a dozen others we'd pre-booked a taxi. I didn't book it, but the guy who did (several days previously) had agreed a fare of £30, which was pretty good given the distance and the 1am pickup time.

    Now the hassle starts. By 1:30 there was still no taxi and the pub landlords were starting to get miffed because they wanted to get locked up for the night. After several phone calls where we were told "he's on his way now mate" and "oh, he's nearly with you now", the taxi firm finally admitted they couldn't get hold of him and didn't know where he was.

    At 1:45 he finally arrived, saying he'd got lost on the way. ****ing idiot, it's a straight A road from Stoke to Alton (as in Alton Towers) and this pub was right on the main road . Oh well, at least he was there. So we all piled in, and he dropped off the 3 other couples as arranged on the way back into the city. As each of them got out, they gave us their share of the fare, and by the time we got back to our house, I had the £30 in my hand to give to him.

    He pulled up outside our house, I handed him the cash and even though he'd been so late, thanked him (I was brought up to be polite, unlike most of the idiots around today). As we got out of the minibus, he called after us saying we hadn't given him enough money! I turned round, walked back to the minibus and quietly asked him what the problem was.

    He replied that for the mileage he'd done, he needed £40 to cover the fare. I explained to him that we'd pre-booked the trip and we'd been told £30. He called his base who said (and I heard it over the radio) they had no record of a quote either. After a brief discussion, it became obvious he wasn't going to let it go. I was hacked off because it meant I was an extra £10 out of pocket when I didn't need to be, but I was going to just bite the bullet and pay up.

    Sadly, the drink got the better of Sam and she started yelling at him, at which point he got quite nasty, and said that if we didn't give him the full amount he would
    a) sit outside the house until we paid, and
    b) call the police as we hadn't paid the fare.

    I gave up and paid the idiot the extra tenner just to get rid of him, but we phoned the taxi company this morning to complain. Funnily enough, they knew all about our pre-arranged £30 fare, and it turns out he'd charged us the extra to cover HIS lousy mistake in getting lost while coming to pick us up!

    I know there's a few cabbies on here, and I've honestly never had a problem with a taxi before, but is there anything I can say or do? I don't especially want the money back, I can manage without a tenner, but I object to the way in which it was taken from me!

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    i always get approx price from driver b4 the journey starts if i'm going far

  3. #3
    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    I didn't think I needed to, with it having been agreed when we booked

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    Ex Vec-C Admin ed taylor's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra Estate

    Trim : Elite

    Engine : 3.2 V6

    Year : 04

    Mileage : 000

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    I don,t think they sound a very reputable firm. I had a mate that was over charged and the control knew of the "correct" fare, when my mate complained they sent the driver back to give my mate the over payment back.. I dare say if a taxi firm gets a bad reputation they will not get much trade.
    Last edited by ed taylor; 26th November 2007 at 08:25.

  5. #5
    On a Sabbatical VauxVeteran's Avatar
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    Ok bud, here's what to do, call the firm politely and ask if they can recover the extra £10 from the driver or re-emberse you themselves out of goodwill, hopefully this will be enough, and ask to speak to the owner, don't rely on the telephonist to do it for you, they have enough on their hands and won't really be interested in someone else's mistakes.

    Assuming that they refuse to help, ask for the driver's badge number and state that even if it means the £10 is lost you are going to report it to the local council that license's the taxi office, this will count as a black mark to them, if it's a one off it won't matter to them too much, but if there are regular complaint's it will result in a visit from the council and they won't want that.

    The method ppl should use use this when they feel they have been overcharged is this....

    1 - Ask the driver why it's more in a calm manner
    2 - Make a note of the drivers badge and the car's taxi plate
    3 - Ask the driver for a full description receipt
    4 - Call the cab firm the next morning between 10am and 3pm
    5 - If #4 doesn't resolve it, report details to licensing authority

    Generally there can be genuine mistakes where the telephonist misquotes a job and the driver isn't told there is a quote, but most cab offices will get you some sort of satisfaction, and we don't like driver's who con ppl cos it's bad for business, but never resort to getting into a full on shouting match at the time or try to attack the driver or the car, this will just result in a criminal damage charge against you.

    Hth, and you get it sorted mate.

  6. #6
    Regular Member silverhairedracer's Avatar
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    Did you note his taxi plate licence number ?,report him to the council taxi office it taxi drivers like him that give the rest of us a bad name.
    On our circuit all our work [bookings] are on a computer and come to us on a PDA[,it gives us the address,name & telephone no of the customer] in the car so there is no query with the price,at the same time it also tracks us so the controller knows exactly where we are,we have a very good reputation for being on time & prompt.

    Your driver needs to be taught a lesson

    VV got in before me but we are on the same lines.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't have given him the extra £10... if he had sat outside your house all night then he is just wasting his own time and not earning any more money... as for getting police involved, that wouldn't get him anywhere... you have not made off without paying and you have not committed theft or fraud (so there are no criminal offences), so Police will not take any action in this. I would politely offer to provide the driver with my details, and if he wishes to take the matter to a small claims court, then so be it, he'll be the one out of pocket at the end of it if he's that stupid!!!

    As none of the above applies now, then I would say that the advice from VV is by far the best advice you're gonna get.

    On a personal note... if I got called to a job like this (which I regularly do!!) I would be giving a warning to the taxi driver that if he intends to sit outsie someones house all night to intimidate payment from them, I would be sorely tempted to lock him up to prevent a breach of the peace!!

  8. #8
    Regular Member G.O'Rilla's Avatar
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    Good advice from both the taxi drivers and the law. Thanks - I'll know what to do if this happens to us.

    Cheers

  9. #9
    Regular Member parapaul's Avatar
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    Thanks, VV, Silverhairedracer and Jamie for your replies

    This company is actually one of several large and well known firms in and around Stoke, we had a call back from them, they're going to refund the money and they have actualy suspended the driver pending an investigation.

    Very pleased with their response - not about the driver's suspension, it's his job at the end of the day, but he brought it on himself.

  10. #10
    Regular Member VectraV6CDTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    Personally I wouldn't have given him the extra £10... if he had sat outside your house all night then he is just wasting his own time and not earning any more money...
    My only worry is that if you didnt pay him and eventually he cleared off, if he's the wrong sort, you may find in a week or so damage to your car/property. He knows where you live so is it worth the risk and the hassle?

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