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Taxi drivers mystery shopped by council

Test reveals 47 ‘excellent’ drivers and one sweary cabbie

Published on September 16th 2010.

Taxi drivers mystery shopped by council

Manchester taxi drivers have been the subject of a mystery shopper exercise following an increase in dissatisfied customers.

The city’s cabbies were put under scrutiny by the council after three years of rising complaints.

In 2007, the council received 172 complaints, 69 per cent relating to Hackney carriage and 28 per cent about private hire taxis; in 2008 it received 212 (70 per cent/27 per cent) and in 2009, 280 people complained (69 per cent/28 per cent), according to a council report.

In 2010, up until July 28, the council had received 280 complaints, 66 per cent regarding Hackney carriage and 32 per cent relating to private hire.

In a test covering 100 journeys during May and June, 47 drivers gave excellent service, scoring more than 95 per cent, but 21 per cent fell below 70 per cent, which warrant further investigation.

One driver swore at the mystery shopper, working for an outside firm called Store-checkers.

Of the 21 journeys which scored less than 70 per cent the majority of these lower scorings were 'largely as a result of poor interpersonal skills of the driver.'

When the customer questioned the route from Manchester Airport to Peel Hall Primary School in Wythenshawe, the driver said: “Listen don’t give me a headache. I’m following the road, yeah? I can do without that s***.” The driver then took the mystery shopper to the wrong address.

The mystery shopping experiment returned the following results:

The external appearance of the vehicle - 97%

The journey experience - 96.2%

Interaction with the customer - 85.6%

Driver and customer service - 83.1%

Overall satisfaction - 76.4%

The council awards 1,031 hackney carriage licences and 2,420 private hire licences.

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AnonymousOctober 4th 2010.

A rude know-it-all taxi driver who took his cistomer to the wrong address? Say it ain't so!

AnonJanuary 17th 2011.

How come most taxi drivers i seem to use in this city mostly now appear to be asians and generally think they can charge a quid more than anyone else?? (from my personal experience) may sound bad, but i now specify to cab offices not send them to my house as i dont wish to be ripped off which is what happens 70% of the time i step into one of their cabs! Why are they also allowed to "Cherry pick" the best jobs as they see fit? when of paramount importance should be getting the customer home safely? this whole issue needs to be properly regulated and to sort this asian taxi cartel out once and for all. Cresta cars merged with apple cars in Cheetham Hill so they now cover Moston, Blackley and Harpurhey and what a disaster that created, YOU have to tell THEM where you are going they are clueless where certain pubs are etc have zero communication skills half the time and im sure half arent even licenced to drive here legally often sharing brothers/uncles licences etc.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2011.

Manchester is too small for taxis, unless you are very old or disabled.

You can cycle from the centre to the outer suburbs in 45 minutes, and a taxi often takes much longer than that.

M30January 18th 2011.

Applause @ Anon. You're quite right.
Anonymous - if you think I'm going to cycle from Canal Street to Worsley after a night on the pop, then you're living in dreamland, sunshine!

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