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Free Now says technical fault to blame for delay in paying drivers

Free Now says it has been assured that payments will be processed over the weekend.

Image: Shutterstock/Lloyd Carr

TAXI-HAILING COMPANY FREE Now has said a third-party technical issue is to blame for the delay in paying their drivers this week. 

The taxi app said it has been assured by the third-party payment providers that fares will be processed over the weekend but that an internal contingency plan is in place if this does not happen. 

“Free Now has been made aware of some delays regarding driver payments. The third-party company that manages this on our behalf has informed us that the issue, which was due to a technical problem on their side is being resolved. They have also assured us that payment will be processed over the weekend,” the company said in a statement. 

“We understand that this puts drivers in a difficult situation and so in parallel, we have a contingency plan internally to ensure that drivers are paid as soon as possible, regardless. We appreciate that this is unacceptable and thank drivers for their patience while this is resolved.”

Drivers who have spoken to TheJournal.ie say this is the second week in a row that payments have been delayed, and raised concern regarding the lack of communication. 

“Last week they had originally flagged that there was going to be an issue but this week they didn’t mention anything. They never put up any notices, I was just seeing message boards on Facebook that no one was getting paid,” one driver said.

He told TheJournal.ie that he went to the company’s head office to get a response as his calls and emails querying the missing payments had gone unanswered. 

“Communication was non-existent from them until I went down to the office, they emailed me after I left to say the money would be in my account by the end of the day but it wasn’t.

“We all have bills to pay,”  he added. 

“Direct debits are going to bounce this week, a lot of lads are living week to week,” another driver said. 

“We all understand there are tech issues, it’s just the fact they haven’t been in contact with anyone to explain or apologise.”

He said he has spoken to other drivers who are borrowing money from family in order to pay their car insurance and mortgages.

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In a statement to the affected drivers this evening, Free Now said it views the delay as “a serious issue” and that a full review of its third-party payment providers will be carried out.

The company has also offered drivers a 20% bonus top-up on any card trip they complete over the weekend.

In an earlier statement, Free Now said its trade has recovered well in the last few months and that taxi drivers have been “a key part of this”. 

The company also welcomed the Government’s new €1,000 grant scheme for the sector announced today. The new grant is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, taxi drivers and anyone who does not pay commercial rates.

Those who didn’t pay rates were ineligible for the Government’s original grant which was offered to firms earlier this year. Anyone wishing to apply for the grant can download the application form here

About the author:

Adam Daly

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