Absolute Cabs has been working on safeguarding measures to ensure customers and drivers stay safe whilst working for us or travelling with us. As a Private Hire operator we have a duty of care for the public and also for the drivers who work for us and this has led to a change in our night time pricing policy, dubbed ‘no money no ride’. This was feature in Doncaster Free Press as part of our announcement.
The issue has been heavily debated online due to the controversial changes of requiring the driver to ask for an advanced payment based on a fixed milage having received over 10.5k engagements on Facebook. If you would like to read more about the reactions to this issue, please read on…
What customers have said
I think any honest passenger will not mind paying upfront. What does it matter? You roughly know how much your fare is going to be and I for one wouldn’t mind. I normally pay by card anyway upfront , think it will save a lot of messing about, I have used your company for ages and never ever had a problem. I feel safe and know they will always be near enough on time. xx
Helen Dougal, 24 February 2020, Facebook Group
Absolute Cabs driver did not honour the fixed fare on the first Saturday, taking me the long way round over-charging me using his own made up meter price and I would like to thank you for investigating this. As a lady alone I did not have the confidence to challenge the fare although I did ask why it was not the fixed fare I was promised. It is very reassuring to know that drivers are accountable and thank you for holding the driver to account. Very reassuring.
D Ogden, Armthorpe, 2 March 2020, Facebook Messenger
It makes no difference to the loyal customers you have whether they pay before or at the end of the journey. Best taxi firm in Doncaster for me and I highly recommend
N Cheshire, 2 March 2020, Facebook Page
I’ve always used Absolute, wouldn’t use anyone else! Reliable, quick, efficient, great prices, happy drivers, can book on the app & track your taxi, & see what car to look out for, couldn’t ask for more! Your safeguarding measures only give me more reason to use you.
Natasha Barker, 25 Feb 2020, Facebook Group
What drivers have said
Q. So is this put in place to stop drivers ripping customers off or customers not paying for the journey?
A. This is there to safeguard customers and safeguard drivers. There was one serious incident on the weekend of driver not following the fixed price (and yes, ‘ripping-off’ customer), so to safeguard and avoid conflict, the advance payment and fixed fare is there to benefit both.
Q. This isn’t going to work people will just use other companies, it will put normal regular customers off. It will be a disaster.
A. Customers are driving this change and want to know why the same booking is differently priced when different drivers pick them up, in fact customers have responded overwhelmingly positively and we guarantee that customers will come to us because our prices are transparent with no hidden charges.
Q. But how do I charge waiting time when the customer wants to stop for cash?
A. The problem with this approach and attitude is customers are having to pay extra because the cab driver isn’t providing any in-vehicle card options. As part of the development of our service, all drivers are required to provide debit and credit card payment facilities in the vehicle. If you haven’t got these facilities, you will not be authorised to add waiting time and the cost of not having these facilities will be yours.
Q. How about charging waiting time in general?
A. Our company policy is to allow up to 5minutes non-charged. Absolute Cabs is not the cheapest in terms of price and we believe that the price we charge includes a buffer to offer a quality service. If you are waiting near to or over this time, you can advise the customer and apply for the price to be re-fixed to include the full waiting time.
Q. I’m worried about my earnings, I will lose tips because of this change won’t I?
A. No, your customers will still tip you for good service. In fact, we understand that your customers are more likely to tip you because they feel increasingly safe due to these safeguarding measures. We ask you to focus on providing good service, safety to the customer and we guarantee you in the same way every good waiter and waitress is tipped, so will drivers be who honour our safeguarding policies.
Q. If the customer wants to go ‘the quicker longer way’ instead of ‘the shortest route’ how do I charge this?
A. The customers’ route, mileage and fare has been pre-calcuated using the most efficient route. You can check the planned route with the dispatch team and if the customer wants to travel a different route, you can re-fix the fare for the customer before setting off. It’s really important that with regard to any changes the customer is in the driving seat and is the one making those choices.
What Absolute Cabs have said
Jaan G Saqlain, Director
(chronological order, latest statements at the bottom)
As of Wednesday the 26th February, 2020, Absolute Cabs has changed its pricing policy affecting all bookings after 6pm, requiring all late night customers to pay for their journey before the driver commences in a measure to better safeguard customers and drivers.
One of our customers who used our online complaints process for fixed fares has been authorised a full refund due to the driver not following our new Pricing Policy for 6pm to 6am nighttime. The driver was asked why he did not ask for advanced payment from the customer and why he decided to calculate his own fare. The driver was advised of the new policy and how it affected his night time work and we authorised a full refund to the customer with an apology.
We had to let go driver today because he said he doesn’t like the 6pm to 6am policy ….no doubt he will be going to our competitor￼ to rip customers off. Absolute Cabs is the only taxi company in Doncaster who offer you fixed price before you start the journey… #startYourJourney with Absolute
Absolute Cabs will not barr addresses or would be customers when drivers do not follow our safeguarding policy. All have been instructed on day one of the change to take payment for the fixed fare prior to setting off under the new 6pm to 6am nighttime policy. Low and behold on the fifth day of our new nighttime pricing policy our Dispatcher received a call from a driver where the customer had left the cab at the end of the journey, saying “I will nip in the house and come out and pay” in Balby near Springwell Lane. The passenger never returned. I can only iterate to our drivers that if they wish to be safeguarded, the best policy is to confirm the fixed fare and check the customer is willing to pay by taking the payment in advance. This really is the best way.