In order to ensure that taxi passengers are offered a consistently high quality of service, it is essential that the Public Carriage Office have a facility to investigate incidents where this aim is not met. To achieve this the PCO has a team dedicated to dealing with customer complaints. Details of how to contact the team are provided below or can be found at the foot of the fare table displayed in all taxis.
If you feel that you have cause to complain about a taxi driver or vehicle you should write or e-mail the complaints team at the Public Carriage Office. If you require advice before writing you can contact the complaints team on 020 7941 7800 between the hours of 09.00 and 16.00 Monday to Friday. When you contact us you will be asked to give details of your complaint and a means of identifying the taxi involved, every licensed taxi can be identified by licence plate number, vehicle registration number or the drivers licence badge number.
The licence number of the taxi is used in the majority of cases and can be found on a white plate on the rear of the vehicle or on the inside of the passenger compartment. The licence number consists of five digits (e.g.12345). Drivers are required to display their licence badge at all times, and are required to make the number available if requested.
In some instances the complaints team will be unable to take further action. Only complaints where a driver has contravened Hackney Carriage law can be investigated. If the team cannot proceed you will be advised accordingly and offered alternative courses of action. Commonly these complaints relate to road traffic matters; which should be reported to the police.
When your letter or e-mail has been received you will be sent an acknowledgement letter. Enquiries can take up to six weeks to complete. At the conclusion of an investigation you will be contacted to inform you of the outcome and any action taken against the driver. This action can vary in severity from an initial warning to revocation of a driver’s licence. All decisions are based on an individual driver’s overall service history and the seriousness and nature of the complaint received.
Complaints vary from those of refusal of a fare to issues relating to misbehaviour and abuse by the driver. Others may relate to overcharging, the use of a devious route or the condition of the taxi vehicle. With regard to refusal of a fare, 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 PCO seeks to ensure that all complaints received will be dealt with as quickly as possible and that complainant details remain confidential.