We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Wanderley Massafelli via
rising complaints

Taxi driver fined after passenger forced to keep window open because of 'extremely dirty' car

There’s been a 25% rise in complaints about taxis in the first six months of this year.

THE SMELL OF one “extremely dirty” taxi was “horrific” – forcing the passenger to keep the window open for the taxi journey.

That is one of 492 complaints received by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the first six months of this year as the number of taxi complaints soared by 25% on the same period last year.

The sharpest rise in complaints was in relation to the condition of taxis where the numbers more than doubled – going from 13 to 30 for the six months.

The person who complained about the “horrific” smell in the taxi in April of this year stated that in the same taxi that a side panel on the door was missing while the leather covers were torn and dirty.

In response, the NTA inspected the taxi and issued the driver with a fine for failing to meet the standard required for a taxi.

Another taxi customer made a complaint in June of this year to state that the “vehicle was dirty and there was a bad odour. Brakes and suspensions were clearly damaged as the car made several strange noises when the car was braking”.

In response, the vehicle was removed from service by the taxi driver and replaced with a newer vehicle and advice was given to the driver by the NTA.

‘There was no reasoning with him’

The largest area of complaint for the first six months of this year was driver behaviour, accounting for 212 complaints – an increase of 20% on the 176 complaints lodged for the same period in 2016.

One customer lodged a complaint with the NTA concerning a Dublin taxi driver who ordered his two passengers to get out of the taxi into the freezing cold at night after one of them was hiccoughing.

The driver told the couple that he would charge €140 if the passenger was to get sick and after driving across the bridge from George’s Quay in Dublin decided that he wouldn’t take the two.

The complainant wrote: “There was no reasoning with him and at this point we were freezing cold.

My partner was angry and we wanted to go home. So we got angry and gave out and told him exactly what we thought of him for picking us up and messing us out and making us queue again at freezing point.

When contacted by the NTA on foot of the complaint, the complaint stated that he no longer wished pursue the matter.

Another passenger said that a taxi driver “stuck up his middle finger at me and drove off” after the passenger took a photo of his badge as a result of the two of them disputing the cost of the fare.

The passenger wrote: “I felt very uncomfortable when I was on my own in the car with him. He was aggressive. His verbal remark at the end of really upset me and I was shook going into my house.”

Another passenger said that she felt threatened in her taxi on her way from Dublin Airport to her home at Kinsealy in north Dublin in April of this year.

She said that after telling the taxi driver her destination, he rolled his eyes sand said: “This is just my morning, isn’t it?”

She said:

As I was getting a taxi on my own, I felt intimidated by a man when I just wanted to get a taxi to work to pay my fare… I paid my fare and I am absolutely disgusted that I was made feel like that in a regulated taxi.

Disputed fares

Complaints relating to fare matters were the next biggest category, accounting for 168 complaints – a jump of 17 on the 151 complaints for January to June 2016.

An Indian national who arrived at Dublin airport complained in February 2017 to the NTA after being charged €43 for a journey that normally costs €25.

The taxi driver charged €43 after taking his passengers on a significant detour. The driver was interviewed by the NTA. He made full admissions and sincere apologies and stated that it was poor judgement on his part.

A written caution was issued to the driver who made a refund to the customer concerned.

The figures show that a further 82 complaints were made in relation to hiring matters and this compared to 55 complaints made under that heading in the first six months of 2016.

Read: ‘People throw bananas at you or tell you to go back to your country just for asking to see a ticket’

Read: Clamping complaints: Elderly woman with no mobile or credit card clamped while at mass

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel