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'Absolutely filthy': 610 complaints made about taxis in the first six months of the year

Some 229 complaints concerned taxi driver behaviour while 214 related to overcharging.

Image: Shutterstock/Jaromir Chalabala

COMPLAINTS OVER STICKY seats, “an unpleasant smell” and “an absolutely filthy” taxi were just some of the 610 complaints made concerning taxis in the first six months of this year.

New figures provided by the National Transport Authority (NTA) show that the largest amount of complaints at 229 concerned taxi driver behaviour.

A further 214 complaints were made in relation to overcharging and other fare matters; 128 in relation to hiring and booking taxis and 36 in relation to the condition and cleanliness of taxis.

The 610 complaints compare to 629 complaints for the corresponding period of last year.

In total, the NTA has imposed 820 fines totalling €25,900 on taxi drivers who have contravened regulations in the first six months of this year.

The figures show that 123 taxi drivers were each fined €60 for sub-standard vehicle condition with a further 239 taxi drivers fined €40 for failure to notify details of taxis being operated.

One of the complaints released in response to a Freedom of Information request concerned a taxi driver who didn’t have the option of accepting a fare by credit card “made me go alone to an ATM, yelled at me and made me pay two more euros because “I made him waste time”.

In response to the complaint, the NTA issued the taxi driver with a fine for failing to print and offer a receipt.

One other passenger in January of this year complained to the NTA who “felt very dirty coming out of this vehicle”.

She said: “I was deeply shocked and concerned upon entering the vehicle as to the level of unkemptness by the appearance of the driver and the vehicle itself. The seats were very sticky.”

The complaint was not proceeded with as there was no evidence of any offence.

‘I felt every bump’

Another passenger complained to the NTA in February 2019 to state “the vehicle was old and torn up and not in a fit state for use on the road. I felt every bump”.

The outcome of the complaint was that advice was given to the driver and the vehicle was inspected.

Another passenger complained in February that the condition of the taxi “was absolutely filthy. The driver should not be allowed to taxi with a car in this condition”.

In response, the NTA fined the driver for failing to comply with vehicle standards.

Another passenger wrote to the NTA to state: “There was an extremely unpleasant smell in the car. It was so bad that we travelled with the windows down, even though it is Winter. The driver’s clothes were dirty and the car had not been cleaned for some time.”

In response, the NTA imposed a fine on the driver for the state of the car.

In April, another passenger complained to the NTA that there was “no heating and leather seating in the back of the car, an absolute disgrace. All completely worn”.

As a result, the NTA imposed a fine on the driver.

‘Absolutely filthy’

In June, a passenger wrote to the NTA to state a “car was absolutely filthy. Driver provides no leg room to his passenger. Said he needed the leg room. Full of white hair. dirty tissue on the back left foot well”.

The outcome was that advice was given to the driver.

In March a complaint concerning driver behaviour from a 20-year-old girl and three of her friends who got into a taxi.

She told the NTA: “I am using my mobile phone which the driver then suddenly grabs out of my hand. He rolls down the window and and holds my phone out the window as if to throw it, at which point I reach over and grab it back. The driver laughed and I stated: “I know it was a joke but I don’t think it was very funny.”

In May a passenger complained: “Driver was rude, took the wrong turn and as a result couldn’t drop us off at the correct address…he kicked us out in the rain”.

In response, the driver was cautioned after interview.

In an overcharging complaint, a customer told the NTA that a taxi driver “played the fool”.

The customer complained that the taxi-driver took the longest way to the destination with the fare costing €38 when it usually costs €25.

The customer stated that google maps showed that there was roadworks on the M50 and the driver pretended to be surprised about this. In response, the NTA impose a fine for failing to print and offer a receipt.

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About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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