Taxi firms called out for ‘made up’ fares

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Students have complained about poor service from various taxi operators last weekend, with some alleging the meter was ignored and prices made up on the spot.

Services across Leeds were affected by drivers taking time off work to observe Eid al-Adha.

The three-day celebration is one of the most important in the Muslim calendar, and forms one of two Eid feast festivals.

The reduced number of drivers saw delays of several hours for many students trying to get taxis, and a number of those people could not even get through to the call centre.

When students did manage get in a taxi, it is alleged some drivers were setting their own prices and ignoring the meter.

A third-year English student told The Gryphon, ‘My Amber Cars driver told me that students were being overcharged for taxi fares on Saturday, with some being charged £40 to get from the city centre to Headingley.’

Amber are one of the most popular taxi firms amongst Leeds University students, and benefit from a good relationship with the university’s union.

This has led to an agreement by which students can leave their student card with a car as a deposit for payment if they have no cash on them.

Explaining the situation, a spokesperson from Amber cars said, ‘We had one of our busiest weekends ever over the Eid period.

Approximately 60% of the drivers were celebrating at this time. ‘We received over 38,000 calls across Saturday and Sunday, so it was impossible to answer everything coming in to the call centre.

‘We are not aware of meters not being used and this is not company policy at all.

All drivers must have their meters visible at all times and the meter must be on, with the fare on display so the customer can see it. It is imperative that complaints of this nature are forwarded direct to the company’.

Jake Hookem

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