Making a Complaint
There may be occasions when you feel you need to make a complaint against a licensed driver, operator or proprietor.
The Licensing Unit can investigate complaints such as:
overcharging (Hackney Carriage only)
refusal of hire
cleanliness / appearance of vehicles
safety of vehicles (such as seatbelts not in working order)
driver failing to turn up or turning up late
not providing reasonable assistance with luggage
Complaints about dangerous driving, assault or theft should be first reported to the Police and then the Licensing Unit.
How do I complain and what information do I need to provide?
All complaints must be sent in writing or by email. Where possible, you should include;
description of the incident
the drivers badge number
the vehicle plate number
date and time of the incident
journey details (from and to)
other passengers/witnesses present
private hire operators name
your contact details
If you have already contacted the operator and/or proprietor regarding your complaint, a short summary of their response.
You may wish to use the form under related documents.
What happens next?
If you have made a complaint, an officer will first acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing or email.
We will then contact the driver/operator concerned and they will be permitted to respond to the complaint. Your contact details are not divulged to members of the trade without your permission.
We will consider all the evidence and decide what/if further action should be taken. Once a decision has been reached, you will be informed in writing of the outcome.
For those complaints which may end up in court, we will require a witness statement from all those present during the incident. If you do not wish to complete a witness statement, the complaint cannot go to court and will be dealt with in a less formal manner.
What is the outcome likely to be?
As with all complaints, there must be sufficient evidence in order take further action. Often this may mean there being witnesses, or some other form of evidence, such as CCTV.
Where we have sufficient evidence to prove the complaint, we can either;
prosecute the driver/operator in the courts
take action against the driver's/operator's licence at a Licensing Panel
send a written warning as to their future conduct.
The action depends on a number of factors as some matters of complaint are not criminal offences and therefore cannot be taken to court.
Where we do not have sufficient evidence to prove the complaint it is unlikely we would take further action, however, we may record the details on the driver's file and re-consider the matter if we receive further complaints of a similar nature.
How long will it take?
Your complaint will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt. However, the process of conducting interviews and preparing evidence can take some time.
What if I am not happy with the response?
If you are unhappy with our response you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed.
Most licensed drivers and firms provide an excellent service to their customers and we like to hear of instances of good or exceptional service.
If you feel that a particular driver or firm has gone out of their way to help or has provided exceptional service or assistance in any way, please let us know.
By Telephone: 01643 703704
By Email: Licensingenvhealth@westsomerset.gov.uk
By post: Licensing Unit, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 4QA