Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Letters to the Editor: Covent Garden Hotel Complaint, Part 1.

Dear Editor
I would just like to let your readers know about an incident that took place, outside a Central London hotel. 

I stopped for a passenger who hailed me outside the Covent Garden Hotel in Monmouth Street. The customer asked if I would be willing to take him and his wife to airport and if I could give them a fixed price. 

I told him that I would be happy to do it for a set price of £60. I told him that the meter would be set and If the fare went below my quotation, then that's what he would pay. However, if the fare went above my set price, the most I would demand from him would be £60. The customer was more than happy with this arrangement and put his luggage in my Cab.

The concierge, realising that his kick back was about to go out the window, rushed out shouting that he had ordered a taxi from Addison lee and tried to remove the luggage from my Taxi. 

I refused to let the concierge take the luggage as the passenger seemed content with my offered fixed price. But to myself and the passengers surprise, the concierge launched in to a volley of extremely aggressive abuse and said he would get his Taxi friends to sort me out. He also said he was reporting me to TfL for Touting and that he would "have my Job"

I dropped my passengers off at terminal 5. As there was concerned over the incident outside the hotel, the male passenger gave me an email address and said he would be more than happy to make a statement on my behalf, to confirm that no touting had taken place and that he had flagged me down of his own free will in good faith.

I kept the details but thought that would be the end of it.

But to my surprise a couple of days later, I received this letter from TfL.

Complaint enclosed:

I have since replied to the TfL letter and answered the complaint giving a full and comprehensive description of the events outside the hotel, including a statement from the customer Mr Pistorius. 

I also went to the trouble to get collaborative evidence from Addison Lee that no booking or cancellation had been received by them from the hotel for that particular time or in fact for the whole day in question.

I have contacted the Hotel group, Firmdale Hotels who currently have six hotels in Central London, Ham Yard Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel, Soho Hotel, Dorset Square Hotel, Haymarket hotel and of course the Covent Garden hotel.

I explained that the concierge at the covent Garden Hotel, made malicious and false allegations about my conduct, which could possibly result in my licence being revoked. 

I have specifically ask the groups head office to deal with my complaint as I feel the Covent Garden Hotel management will do everything in their power to support their employee and may not handle my complaint fairly. 

I will let you know how I get on.

From the Wall Street Journal: August 12.
Eco City Vehicles: London Taxi Production on Hold

London taxi group Eco City Vehicles PLC (ECV.LN) Tuesday said production of the Mercedes Vito London licensed taxi it supplies the technology for, has been put on hold due to high stock levels.

"The Board expect production to resume in October subject to September sales performance," Eco City said.

-Shares down another 10%, valuing the company at GBP1.8 million ($3 million).


SuperCabby Podcast Episode 6 – TaxiCab App

We have been getting a lot of questions lately asking, “how’s the app going?” When will the app be available?” so I though that I would speak about how we started, how far we have come, when we realistically expect to have the app available. 

I talk about offers that we had from various third party app developers, why we didn’t accept any of the offers and the individual reasons why they were not appropriate for our trade. 

I mention some of the things that those involved with the project thought were fundamental for our app to succeed. I also talk about how the app business will be set up, how the cooperative will work and what drivers can expect from getting involved. 

This episode was not scripted and I spoke about the app “off pat” so please excuse some of the pregnant pauses and if I repeat myself please forgive me, this was originally broadcast on London Taxi Radio on Monday 11th August 2014 live. 

You can get in touch with the TaxiCab Group either by email or via twitter @TaxiCabLDN - 

Westminster City Council and The Metropolitan Police (Westminster), you have a duty of care to protect the public and make sure they are safe at all times.

This picture shows, the trust the people of London have in you is misplaced. 

How can you possibly allow this to happen.


Anonymous said...

Defamation , malicious intent.

Yet TfL seem to think that their one eyed version of justice is adequate.

Contact your union.

BlackRat said...

This has been happening for many years and I have been told that only one or two central London hotels are legit, which is unbelievable isn't it.

I have been approached before on a Sunday by a doorman from the strand palace hotel asking me did I want a airport and if so the drivers normally give him a £10, so I told him to jog on.So it's our own who have caused the problem by paying for the airport jobs. I have also been told its not just airports anything going some distance is taken as well.

The drivers say it will only go in mini cabs anyway,and I do know that mini cabs are also doing the same and will go to heathrow for roughly £40 from central London.

It's just another nail in the coffin for the best Taxi service in the world. So we have rickshaws nicking the locals and are own nicking the airports and we are fighting the mini cab companies for the rest.Five years of the knowledge for this headache.

Steve said...

I've never been one for trying to lose a man his job, but this fella tried to lose you yours. Take it as far as you can.

Gerald Coba said...

Another great podcast from Supercabby Jamie. Can't wait for the new app, it's getting quite exciting.

This is something the LTDA should have invested in years ago, but couldn't because of their commitment to supporting the minicab owned com cab.

It's so true what they say, " if you lay down with wolves, you get up with fleas".

Anonymous said...

This is a regular occurrence in response to your post. It is true our own have been handing the concierge a cash handshake for airport jobs and I've come to deal with it. The best I can do is chuck them a cheeky £10 when I get an airport job as a sign of good faith really.
In defence of the Covent garden hotel I've done a few jobs for them (not always airport) and can honestly say the boys there are generally nice lads. Younger guys just doing what they're told through the 'airport taxi bookings'.
I guess with uber and all else I'm fighting with in this city for a job it's probably best to try build friendships where you can.
Taxi 'super' Steve