Public Carriage Office Complaints
The Public Carriage Office has the facility to investigate incidents in order to ensure that taxi passengers are offered a consistently high quality of service. To achieve this the PCO has a dedicated team dedicated who are charged with dealing with customer complaints. The fare table provided in all taxis displays information on how to contact that team.
Complaints against Taxi Drivers
If customers feel that they have cause to complain about a taxi driver or vehicle they are encouraged to write or e-mail the complaints team at the PCO. When they contact the Public Carriage Office Complaints team they will be asked to give details of their complaint and a means of identifying the taxi involved. Since every licensed taxi can be identified by vehicle registration number, licence plate number or the driver’s licence badge number this is usually accomplished fairly easily. Drivers are required to display their licence badge at all times, and are required to make the number available if requested.
Sometimes the Public Carriage Office Complaints team won’t be able to take further action. If Hackney Carriage Laws have been infringed a driver can be investigated. If the team cannot proceed customers are advised accordingly and are offered alternative courses of action. Often, Black Cab complaints relate to road traffic matters. These matters are not in remit of the Public Carriage Office Complaints team and complaints of this type are usually referred to the police instead.
Types of complaint
Complaints to the PCO vary from those of refusal of a fare to issues relating to misbehaviour and abuse by the driver. Others complaints may relate to overcharging. Still others may be over the use of an unnecessarily long route poor condition of the taxi. The rules that relate to the refusal of a fare are clear; a driver must, unless they have a reasonable excuse, accept any hiring up to 12 miles distance (20 miles from Heathrow Airport) or 1 hour duration, provided the destination is within the Metropolitan or City police districts.
The enquiry process
When their letter or e-mail has been received customers are sent an acknowledgement letter. Enquiries may take up to six weeks to complete. After this period of enquiry has been completed an action can result. That action can vary in gravity ranging from an initial warning right through to the revocation of a driver’s licence. All decisions of the PCO are based on an individual driver’s overall service history and the seriousness and nature of the complaint received.
For Taxi drivers, and particularly in London, a taxi licence can take a great deal of time and effort to qualify for. Decisions of TfL and the PCO to refuse to renew licenses can mean the loss of livelihood for taxi drivers. Due to the complexities of hackney carriage laws, it is vital that drivers seek professional help in such circumstances.
We are here to help!
Taxi Driver Defence Barristers are a specialist team with expertise in taxi licence refusal and revocation appeals.If you are looking for a taxi driver barrister, look no further as we have had a great deal of success in challenging the decisions of TfL and the PCO. We appreciate the importance of guiding clients through the complexities of public carriage office complaints and the legal process that can follow. We make sure our clients are informed at each stage what is happening and why.
Please contact us to discuss your taxi license refusal or revocation.