I recently had a really bad experience using a taxi. On 10th January 2010, my sister and I booked a taxi to take us from our home to our local cinema, and we requested a power wheelchair accessible taxi.
When the taxi arrived, we saw that the driver had parked half on the pavement and half in the road. We asked him to move to a more suitable place, as the ramp would be too steep and unstable for my chair, especially as there was snow and ice. However the driver kept insisting it was ok and it took us a few minutes to get him to move the taxi. When we arrived at the cinema we asked about the fare, as we thought it was a bit too much for the distance. He said that there is a charge for the time it takes to take out and set up the ramp for a disabled passenger, and that this is normal policy. I feel this is very unfair, it’s like a tax on being disabled!
At approx 9.30pm we called for a taxi to return home. The taxi driver arrived and my sister offered to help with the ramps, since it was very cold and we wanted to get home quickly. He spoke to my sister in a very rude manner telling her to move away. My sister said she just wanted to help and there was no reason to speak like that. The driver then immediately became more argumentative; he said he would not take us and started putting the ramps away! We were extremely shocked by his behaviour, and said to him that we thought he was being unreasonable and ignorant. The taxi driver swore and then just drove away and left us there. We couldn’t believe what had just happened. As the driver left we noted down the taxi registration number.
We then called up for another taxi, and finally got home. I have since written a letter to the taxi firm concerned about this incident and am waiting for a reply.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this?