Smell, rudeness and overcharging among complaints about taxis
National Transport Authority got 492 complaints from taxi users in six months to June
Of the 492 complaints made about taxis, 168 were about fares. These included one from an Indian national who arrived at Dublin Airport and complained after being charged €43 for a €25 journey. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Complaints about being overcharged, bad smells and rude behaviour by drivers were among nearly 500 made about taxis to the National Transport Authority (NTA) in the first six months of this year.
The number of complaints about taxis to the authority rose by 25 per cent in the first half of this year compared to same period last year.
Of the 492 complaints made, 168 were about fares. These included one from an Indian national who arrived at Dublin Airport and complained 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 sincerely apologised and stated that it was poor judgment on his part.
A written caution was issued to the driver who made a refund to the customer concerned.
A total of 212 complaints were made about driver behaviour – an increase of 20 per cent on the 176 complaints lodged for the same period in 2016.
One passenger complained 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 really upset me and I was shook going into my house.”
Another passenger said she felt threatened in a taxi on her way from Dublin Airport to her home at Kinsealy in north Dublin in April. She said that after telling the taxi driver her destination, he rolled his eyes and said: “This is just my morning, isn’t it?”
Acustomer in another taxi complained about having to keep the taxi window open for the entire journey because of the horrific smell.The passenger said a side panel on the door in the same taxi 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 customer made a complaint that brakes and suspensions were clearly damaged in their taxi as it 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.