Advanced search refuse to pay a minicab driver who *didn't* pick up my relatives from the airport?

(10 Posts)
mummypig Tue 17-Jul-07 15:07:58

I booked a minicab for my relatives who are coming back from Brazil, giving the flight details, terminal number, number and name of the people to be picked up. The minicab company asked for a mobile phone number but my relatives weren't carrying one with them, so I gave my number (which I now regret having done).

15 minutes after the plane was due to come in, the driver called me asking if I wanted to meet him inside or outside. I said I wasn't the one being picked up, to meet them inside and again I said who he was meeting and what name to put on the card.

He called again about an hour later to say they hadn't turned up. I didn't know what to do as I had no way of contacting them. About ten minutes later the minicab controller called to say that his driver had been hanging around 'like a lemon' and had paged them twice, and was going to page them again to see if they were around. I said it wasn't worth it and I apologised for the driver having waited for so long but I really didn't know where they were. I offered to pay the parking fees but the controller said I should pay more than that.

I didn't hear anything more until the cab driver called having driven back to my house and demanded that my relatives (who were back there by then, having waited for 45 minutes at the terminal, looked round all the minicab people and at all the people holding up cards, and then caught a black cab) should pay him for the journey they didn't have! Since they refused, he called me to complain. By this time I was doubtful that he had been at the right place at the right time to collect them. Over the next hour I had repeated calls from him and from the controller in which they threatened to take us to court. I passed the phone over to one of my relatives and he also threatened her (quote "my lawyers will scare you", to which she asked if he was trying to be like the Godfather)

My relatives have now said they will pay up if we get any more hassle.

In the end it comes down to one person's word against the others (although of course there are airport security cameras) but I am basically dubious as to whether the driver was there on time. As my relative said, all he needed to do was to get there on time with a card with the right name on it. He wouldn't have needed to page anyone if he had been there when they came out. And I can't believe they would have caught a black cab if they had seen him - after all it costs about twice as much. They knew I had booked it as I e-mailed them the details, and they replied to the message so I know they received the e-mail.

It is a shame that the driver waited for so long without getting a fare, but I don't feel we should pay for a service we didn't receive - am I being unreasonable??

PotterCandles Tue 17-Jul-07 15:15:20

I've many times booked minicabs to collect my parents from the airport, and never had the hassle that you have had. The only time there has been any problem was once when the driver went to the wrong terminal. He had my number, and contacted me, and my parents had the details as well and contacted the company, so, he did eventually get to them and pick them up. I was not charged for the 'wasted' time, as it was due to the driver's own error. So it seems to me that - as long as you did give the correct details - you should not have to pay at all. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will respond! But it seems to me that if they are threatening you, or trying to scare you, you should tell them to go to the police. Even if you do owe them anything, they have no right to try to frighten you. Doing so makes them seem dodgy to me. If they are legit then they will not be afraid of the police.

MotherFunk Tue 17-Jul-07 15:18:08

Message withdrawn

rosmerta Tue 17-Jul-07 15:21:35

I can see how they might've missed each other if your relatives had only waited 10-20 mins but 45?. I think you offering to pay the parking is generous enough and certainly wouldn't pay more than that. If they don't want to accept that then leave it.

If you are worried about them taking you to court (which I doubt they will, I think they're just trying to scare you into paying) then perhaps contact someone like CAB for advice?

Basically, YANBU

rosmerta Tue 17-Jul-07 15:22:03


gringottsgoblin Tue 17-Jul-07 15:28:41

i would threaten them with complaint to council licensing dept if you get any more threats. gits.

kneazlechick Tue 17-Jul-07 15:33:54

I agree that YANBU. Like you say it is a matter of the driver's word against your relative's but it is not very likely that he was in the right place at the right time.

Also agree that you should threaten to report them if they continue to bother you.

rosmerta Tue 17-Jul-07 15:38:18

<<<slight hijack>>>>

Hi kneazle, you following me around?

<<<hijack over>>>

kneazlechick Tue 17-Jul-07 15:39:40

<<Kneazle quickly hides binoculars and removes dodgy hat and rain coat>>

Who?? Me??

<<sorry for hijack - you're still not unreasonable >>

mummypig Tue 17-Jul-07 16:03:18

I don't mind hijacks, and thanks for the reassurance that I anbu. I didn't think of the council licensing dept, thanks for that tip.

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