NTA and SPSV operators welcome assistance from the public in ensuring the standards in the industry remain high. One of the ways to do this is to register a formal complaint on those occasions where the service received is not as good as expected. The complaint must relate to an alleged breach of SPSV legislation. NTA cannot consider complaints of a criminal nature, or a road traffic offence or any offence which is primarily dealt with under other legislation.
Complaints can be made via:
Every complaint is reviewed by a member of NTA’s compliance team. Enforcement actions taken on foot of compliance investigations, including formal interview under caution, range from issuing an operator with
- advice following a misunderstanding or genuine mistake
- a formal warning to be retained on the licence file
- a fixed payment penalty for an offence committed
- a summons for a court prosecution
Often, of course, the investigation shows that no offence under SPSV Regulations has been committed and the outcome of the investigation is explained to the complainant.
On some occasions, it is not possible to take further action after the initial review. The reasons further action may not be pursued include:
- the complaint was anonymous
- the complainant did not provide appropriate contact details
- the complainant decided not to pursue the complaint when contacted
- the operator not being correctly identified.
It is important that any complaints are fully substantiated to progress. It is essential that the complainant identifies a driver or vehicle, by a reference to the name, SPSV driver licence number, vehicle licence number or vehicle registration number.
There are five categories of complaint which can be dealt with by NTA.
Category & sample complaints
Condition, roadworthiness and cleanliness of the vehicle, for example:
- interior or exterior dirt or staining
- malodour (bad smell)
- rubbish or deleterious matter
- condition of tyres or seatbelts
Conduct, behaviour and identification of a SPSV driver, for example:
- failure to prominently display the required driver identification
- acting in a manner that is perceived to be a nuisance to any person
- acting in a manner that is perceived to be danger to any person
- malodour (bad smell) or poor hygiene
Overcharging and other matters relating to fares, for example:
- route selection
- failure to issue a receipt
- charging more than the Maximum Taxi Fare or no change
- taximeter not working or not used
Hiring and booking of the SPSV, for example:
- unreasonable refusal of a fare
- unavailability of wheelchair accessible vehicles
- poor service from a dispatch operator
- late arrival of pre-booked vehicle
Identification and general appearance of the SPSV, for example:
- location of logos, stickers or advertisements
- content of logos, stickers or advertisements
- leaflets or other advertising matter
Drivers should keep a detailed record of any incident s/he feels may result in a formal complaint to refer to later, if questioned about an incident.
If the NTA receives three or more complaints relating to a driver’s knowledge of the area in which s/he is operating, within the period of three years immediately preceding their licence renewal application, NTA may require the driver to sit and pass the relevant Area Knowledge Test prior to renewing the licence.
NTA publishes records of all complaints received.