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Please can someone tell me what the legal or moral position is with.........

(28 Posts)
RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 10:39:01

Please can someone tell me what the legal or moral position is with................


Yesterday we went in a LONDON CAB and we were going from Shaftesbury ave to Selfridges

Logically the journey should go shafesbury ave, regent street then oxford street. or round the smaller roads in the area.

We went via Pall mall and st james palace

When we get to selfridges he charges us £8 for a journey that usually costs £5.60

Now what is the legal situation?

Do we say........

1. we want to go up regent street and along oxford street? And if we sit in traffic jam and it costs more then ok it was our fault.

2. we are only going to pay £5.60 and so if you want to take us around the houses and on a tour of the west end then that is your choice but we are only paying you what it usually costs.?

I said to him when we got to selfridges why didn't we go down regent street and he said cos of the traffic and this way was quicker ---- don't think so

I said it usually only cost about £5

Now are we allowed to pay him just £5.60 or do we have to pay the £8 even though he conned us


I just wish I knew where exactly we were when we went down PALL MALL and past ST JAMES PALACE. I knew we were going the wrong way but didn't know exactly. Looked at it on the map this morning and we went in the oposite direction from the way we should have gone

The traffic was not even that busy

Who is in control the passenger or driver?



Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 10:43:16

Legally, the taxi driver is supposed to go by the most direct route, irrespective of traffic conditions, unless the passenger asks him to go via a specific route.

It may be that there were roadblocks or whatever (due to current terrorist disruptions) which made him go the other route. If that's not the case, he should have gone the most direct route.

However, you are still obliged to pay him. If you have a complaint, you can report him to the carriage office - believe it or not, they are incredibly strict, and do take passenger complaints seriously. They have the power to suspend a taxi driver from driving for a period of time.

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Jul-05 10:46:43

Well, I have occasionally, when a bit pissed, argued with a black cab driver and it's usually pointless and totally not worth it imo! They've done the knowledge, you haven't, so unless you ask them to go a specific way then you trust them to take you the most logical/sensible route. I haven't checked the details of your route though but I'd say you're legally obliged to pay what's on the clock and unless you told him which way he wanted to go then you have no case.

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Jul-05 10:48:30

And I don't think you can haggle either and say 'we're only paying you £whatever for this journey'! They will prob say, ok I'll stop when the clock gets to £whatever then, which is fair enough. Mini cabs you can haggle with though.

Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 10:49:24

I'll ask my db later on today about the route if you like - he's a black cab driver (got the knowledge guv )

coppertop Sun 24-Jul-05 10:51:44

I think it depends on whether it was done deliberately to get the extra money or if there was a genuine reason for going the other way. We have no car so usually use a taxi to get the shopping home each week. There have been a couple of attempts at conning us:

1) Driver went a very long way round to get us home, despite dh telling him it was quicker the other way. The fare was about £3 more expensive than usual. Dh told the driver that the journey usually cost £x and that was what he would pay. He added that as we were regular and known customers of the taxi company he would be more than happy to phone them and explain what he was doing and why. The driver backtracked very quickly and accepted the lower fare without questioning it.

2) A driver set his meter to the night-time rate during the day. When I questioned it he said that it was because it was a 5-seater. I knew that was a load of rubbish so again paid the usual fare, told him I was going to phone his boss and did so. The taxi boss was furious and we heard from another driver at the company that this person had lost his job.

3) A taxi turned up with someone else in it and the driver expected us to share. We said that we would therefore expect to pay only half the fare. The driver insisted it would be full price so dh got his phone out to call the company. The driver quickly told his friend to get out of the taxi and off we went.

There have been other times where the fare has been more expensive because of roadworks or traffic problems and I've been happy to pay the extra cost. I don't mind if it's genuine but I won't put up with being ripped off.

coppertop Sun 24-Jul-05 10:52:47

Should add that we're not in London so maybe it works differently elsewhere?

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Jul-05 10:54:15

coppertop I'd say diff rules apply to mini cabs vs black cabs though, the latter being regulated by the carriage office or whatever they're called.

Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 10:54:49

Blimey coppertop, these haven't been London black cabs have they? Because all those examples are outrageous - they're just not allowed, full stop. Particularly 2 and 3 - he'd be hauled up before the carriage office for those, if you reported him. But you mentioned his company - most London cabbies are self employed.

coppertop Sun 24-Jul-05 10:56:26

These were the big Hackney-type cabs (not sure what they're called ) but the firm was a private one and not in London.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 11:04:41

Thanks guys

Yes I know I don't have the "knowledge" but this was no way a direst route

I am used to being taken down the little side roads to avoid traffic etc. but he did this as well

I wish I had got his reg number or his badge details

btw when I said £5.60 I would have been prepared to go up to around £6

But he was just taking the michael

There weren't any roads closed yesterday AFAIK cos we could see up regent street and traffic was travelling up and down ok and then when we crossed oxford street that was ok and then we drove down part of oxford street and no problems.

I just feel frustrated that we were taken for mugs

It isn't really the money that bothers me it is the principle that he conned us by going the long way round.

Could I have said that I knew we were going the wrong way while he was driving????

I said it to DH and DS.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 11:08:33


I have no idea what the code things mean in the cab

I know he started it at £2.20 as we got in

coppertop Sun 24-Jul-05 11:14:41

That's probably about the right starting price for London I would imagine. Here they've now got rid of day and night rates and each fare starts at £3. It's expensive so we only use a taxi when we absolutely have to.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 11:21:58

Yes think the £2.20 is prob fair

It had a number or letters lit up next to the counting part of the meter

But can't remember what it said

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 18:15:57

Does anyone else have any views of what they would do?

franke Sun 24-Jul-05 18:30:34

Just thinking about the route RTKM. If you got the cab on Shaftebury, he would still have to get in the one way system to get onto Regent st -down Haymarket and then round and up Lower Regent St and then onto Regent Street. Presumably he went down Haymarket then turned left onto Pall Mall and then up past St James's, straight over Piccadilly and then dog-legged up through Mayfair to Selfridges. If this is right, I don't think he was too far out of the way - sometimes traffic on Oxford St comes to a standstill because of the number of buses at any given time and he could have been avoiding that. But having said that, an extra £2.40 on the fare seems quite hefty for a not so out of the way detour. I think it's borderline whether or not you were ripped off.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 19:05:41

It was from Queens theatre, shaftesbury ave.

We were on the side of the road to go to piccadilly circus {opposite side of road from theatre}IYSWIM

We have done the same journey several times and have gone up regent street or in the little roads surrounding it.

Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 19:11:55

Just spoke to my brother. He says the route is : straight up Wardour St, then Noel St, then Greater Marlborough, then Maddox St, then Grosvenor st then right to Davies St, left into Wayhouse Street, right into binney st, then left onto Oxford st, then Selfridges.

Unless someone flags you down when you are on the left hand side of the street; in which case, the road forces you to go down to Haymarket, which would then force you to go round Pall Mall and St.James.

So it sounds like it could have been legit.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 19:27:29

DEFFO BRILL please thank him for us

So it is our stupid fault for crossing the road

Did he say what was the right thing to do if you want to go the shortest route and IYHO they are taking you for a ride?????

I don't understand why previously we have been driven along regent street then? <<confused icon>>

Sometimes taxis seem to do U turns where I wouldn't have the guts

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Jul-05 19:34:34

I do think London black cabs are generally v trustworthy actually.

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 19:44:24

WWW it was obviously our stupid fault for going over the road

We usually don't

I guess we were too busy talking

WideWebWitch Sun 24-Jul-05 19:49:25

Bill Bryson is very funny about London cabbies in Notes from a Small Island, he says something like they're the best in the world but will NEVER admit to not knowing where somewhere is! Caligula, has your brother read it?

Flossam Sun 24-Jul-05 19:50:19

Hijack, WWW, sorry, I must have missed [ how did your interview go?

RTKangaMummy Sun 24-Jul-05 19:52:16


Janh Sun 24-Jul-05 19:57:02

Caligula, I'm just thrilled reading your brother's Knowledge-like route! Imagine being able to rattle that off like that! <swoon>

Bit like Mornington Crescent

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