Taxi Operators under Spotlight – Council
March 22, 2023
Public transport providers are under the spotlight yet again as the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) has been made aware of certain taxi operators failing to keep their end of the bargain despite consumers making prior bookings/travel arrangements with them. To compound the issue, a consumer was even blocked from calling the taxi operator after he raised his grievances pertaining to substandard services.
In a recent case reported to the Council, a consumer was late to his destination twice in less than a week due to poor communication by the phone operator and failure to relay correct information to the customer in question.
The consumer had prebooked their pickup with the taxi base in question however, no taxi was sent to the consumer’s residence for pickup. Upon seeking clarification, he was informed that they were unaware of the prebooking and hence a substitute taxi could be sent. The consumer exerted his dismay as this not only reflected poor customer service, but also resulted in additional costs.
“While it may be easy to label these cases as a one off, it is quite evident that certain service providers need to have a good look and uplift their communication standards to ensure such incidents are not repeated and customer satisfaction is kept paramount”, said Consumer Council CEO Ms Seema Shandil.
It is high time that we move away from such unprofessional behavior by taxi operators because when consumers make prior arrangements, their expectation are that they would be picked up as per the agreement and providing an excuse as petty as a communication breakdown is unacceptable.
“The Council has received approximately 107 cases against taxi drivers and operators since the beginning of January 2022 however we strongly believe that the total number of incidents is much higher than this. Any service provider/business should understand that we are living in an era where consumers would want the best of service. Should they fail to provide the same, there can be loss of potential customers”, Ms Shandil further stressed.
While the Council does understand the predicament of taxi operators who may face delays due to factors beyond their control such as traffic congestion, it is advisable that consumers are informed of the same in a timely manner.
The Council has referred the matter to the relevant enforcement authority who are further investigating it.
Consumers who have complaints pertaining to taxi services are encouraged to contact the Council on the toll-free number 155 or, email email@example.com. Alternatively, consumers can also lodge complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.