The Taxi Fare Hotline serves as a centralised platform for passengers to report fare-related issues in compliance with point to point transport law. Established by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner and backed by the taxi industry, the Hotline channels complaints to the appropriate service providers for investigation and possible action, including disciplinary measures against drivers. By doing so, it aims to enforce lawful fare practices, enhance industry accountability, and ensure passengers are treated fairly, potentially offering refunds or credit for future journeys.
- Why is there a hotline for taxi fares?
- The Taxi Fare Hotline 1800 500 410, was set up by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner, with the support of the taxi industry, to help passengers report any issues they have with the cost of their rank or hail taxi ride. This could include taxi drivers not using the meter, charging too much, or not agreeing to drive unless the passenger accepts a set price or is considered to be going too short a distance.
- The Hotline makes it easier for passengers to have their concerns shared and actioned by the right taxi company.
- What is the Hotline and how does it work?
- Taxi Fare Hotline is a centralised reporting platform, which brings together all taxi fare-related feedback into one place so they can be more effectively managed and actioned by the right taxi service providers.
- When someone makes a call, the Hotline team collects information from the passenger to make sure the report then goes to the right taxi service provider.
- That provider will then look into the issue, by, for instance, contacting the passenger, talking to the driver and taking action, if needed. This can include disciplinary action against drivers by suspending them, additional training, or even offboarding.
- Passengers may be provided with a refund or credit for a future journey.
- The Hotline is a way to help make sure passengers are being heard, treated fairly, being charged fares according to the law, and that drivers follow the rules.
- What happens if I get a complaint that was reported to the Hotline?
- If someone makes a taxi fare-related complaint about one of your drivers through the Hotline, the Commission will send you an email with details via the Industry Portal.
- Once you get your email, follow the instructions or;
1. Login to the Industry portal here
2. Click on ‘Account’
3. Click on ‘Activities’ located on the left-hand side of the page
4. Click on ‘Requests’. You will then be able to view a list of complaints that you must action.
5. You must report all outcomes of fare-related complaints to the Commissioner via the Industry Portal.
For step by step instructions on viewing complaints lodged and reporting the steps taken to respond to the complaint and the outcome of your investigations read our fact sheet
- What happens if the Commission is not satisfied with the outcome?
- The Commission will review the reported details and decide if further investigation or action is required by the service provider. If no further investigation is required, the case will be closed. You will see this in the Industry Portal.
Taxi Fare Hotline Statistics
Since Nov 2022
Calls referred to Service Provider by Hotline
2 317 (87%)
(Updated the first Thursday of every month)
If you have any questions or need further information, please search the Point to Point Transport Commissioner’s website or call the Industry Contact Centre on 131 727.
Taxi Fare Hotline stickers
Are they mandatory?
- All taxis in NSW must have at least two Taxi Fare Hotline stickers displayed (a minimum of one the outside and one inside) to give passengers, and prospective passengers, easy access to the Hotline. The stickers have the Hotline phone number. 1800 500 410, and a QR code. Scanning the code with a phone makes calling easy.
- The stickers also remind passengers that the meter must always be on during a rank or hail trip, and to record at least the taxi’s number plate if they experience a taxi fare-related issue.
Where do I put them?
- You need at least two stickers - one on the outside and one inside the taxi. It's a good idea to put one on the left side of the car. It's even better to have three or four stickers so everyone can see them easily.
How do I re-order?
- Taxi Service Providers (TSPs) can now order replacement, or additional, Taxi Fare Hotline stickers for vehicles in their fleet through the Point to Point Transport Commissioner's Industry Portal. Please read our step by step guide to ordering more Hotline stickers
Who is responsible for the stickers?
- Taxi service providers and taxi operators (taxi licence holders) must ensure that their taxis providing rank and hail services are displaying the required number of stickers.
For detailed information on the Taxi Fare Hotline stickers, such as where to put them on the vehicle and who is responsible, please read our Fact Sheet This fact sheet can be easily shared with your affiliates and drivers.
What is good practice when responding to Hotline complaints? How are other service providers responding to complaints from the Taxi Fare Hotline?
When a complaint or inquiry is reported to the Taxi Fare Hotline it is passed onto the relevant service provider to contact the passenger, investigate, and take appropriate action, where necessary.
Having a good process in place to deal with complaint is important and while, there is no ‘one size fits all’ system to responding to complaints there are some guiding principles that service providers should consider.
1. Acknowledge and deal with complaints in a timely manner.
- If an outcome hasn’t been reported back to the Commission via the Portal in 14 days, service providers will be sent an email by the Commission asking for an update and why action has not been taken.
2. Provide transparent information to the passenger about how their complaint will be handled. For instance
- Who is handling their complaint and how to contact them
- How the complaint will be dealt with
- What issues you are considering
- Their likely involvement in the process
- When they can expect a response
- The possible or likely outcomes.
3. Treat everyone involved, both drivers and passenger, in a way that is objective, fair and respectful. For example
- Ensuring your drivers understand your investigation process, their role and possible outcomes is important to ensure a fair process.
- Give the driver sufficient opportunity to present their position. Checking information and asking questions shows that you are listening.
4. Report back to the passenger the outcome of your investigations
- You must also report to the Commissioner, via the Industry Portal, on how the complaint was addressed as well as the outcome.
What does good practice look like.
The Point to Point Transport Commission team recently spoke with Robert Raslan from RSL Cabs, where he shared RSL Cab’s process when receiving a passenger call from the Taxi Fare Hotline.
RSL Cabs takes any passenger complaint seriously and has worked to ensuring taxi fare-related complaints from the Hotline are dealt with in a timely manner, the passenger is informed, and after an investigation, the driver, if necessary, is disciplined appropriately. Their process has resulted in a reduction in drivers choosing to overcharge or not use the meter.
Once RSL Cabs receive an escalated complaint from Point to Point Transport Commissioner’s Hotline team relating to a taxi fare issue, the case is looked at from both perspectives, the driver and passenger – to ensure a fair process.
All complaints are dealt with in a timely manner, and within two days of receiving the complaint, the passenger is called to understand and gain more information regarding the complaint, and to explain the process.
Next, the driver is contacted to relay their version of the events.
All information is then investigated, with considerations such as traffic and tolls are considered and whether the passenger had to make a stop along the way.
The findings are then presented to the driver, and the passenger contacted with the outcome of the investigation.
Robert shared that: “Where appropriate passengers are offered a refund. Passengers have overwhelmingly been appreciative of the process and happy that their complaint was taken seriously and actioned. “
How is the driver penalised, if required?
RSL cabs have let all drivers providing services know the process that will be implemented if a complaint is received about them from the Hotline.
All drivers are required to state their case to the person, or people, investigation the complaint from RSL Cabs.
If it is the driver’s first infringement, then the process will be explained over the phone and the driver will be asked to explain their version of events.
If it’s a second offence, the driver is required to state their case in person, missing out on driving and earning money while they are off the road.
If it’s the third time, the driver is required to state their case, they will also be suspended until further notice, and the vehicle will be made in-active.
Robert noted that: “Drivers know the process is fair and they will be given a chance to share their version events, they also know all complaints will be taken seriously and this acts as a deterrent to those few drivers who may be considering doing the wrong thing”.
RSL Cabs generally respond to the passenger via email and let them know the findings. If a passenger has been found to be overcharged, they will be reimbursed the full fare.
The action taken and outcome is then reported to Point to Point Transport Commission via the Industry Portal.
The process has not proved difficult or overly time consuming, and RSL Cabs have been pleased with how passengers and drivers have responded.
RSL Cabs have noticed that the drivers who were found to be doing the wrong thing, have since changed their overall attitude and behaviour.
The Point to Point Transport Commission recently sat down with Geoff Wong from St George cabs to understand their process when a call is sent through from the Taxi Fare Hotline team.
St George Cabs practising good customer service and holding drivers accountable for charging unfair fares.
St George Cabs, like other service providers, understands that it is only a minority of drivers in the industry who are choosing to do the wrong thing in relation to fares, but they are also committed to ensuring drivers driving for St George Cabs know that they will be held accountable if they choose to charge passengers unfair fares.
Each call received is assigned a number by the St George team. Dealing with all calls in a timely manner is important to ensure passengers feel confident their matter is being dealt with and they understand the process. Where a customer hasn’t provided enough details, the customer is contacted to gain further information.
Drivers who have a complaint made against them are required to attend a ‘driver judiciary’ in person on the Tuesday following the complaint be sent to St George Cabs. This timing ensures the journey is fresh in both the passenger and driver’s minds.
Prior to the judiciary journey details are collected, including GPS tracking and, where possible, a customer receipt.
Geoff explained that “the objective of the judiciary is to ensure a fair process and investigation by checking that the driver was logged on, allowing the driver to share their version of events, and if necessary, counsel the driver ahead of applying any disciplinary action. It is important to hear the driver’s point of view and to learn why the driver chose to break the law.
If necessary, how is the driver disciplined?
Disciplinary action for a driver who has been found to have done the wrong thing is decided on a case by case. For instance, it depends on whether the driver is a repeat offender or reported for the first time, and the severity of the behaviour.
If it is a first offence, the driver is issued a warning, and taken off a shift.
A second offence results in much stronger consequences with the driver being suspended for a period of time, this may be weeks or even months.
Where required, drivers will be required to undertake training to ensure they understand their safety obligations and safety standards.
Once the investigation has been completed, St George Cabs reports the findings and outcome back to the Commission via the Industry Portal,
The passenger will also be contacted, and if they were overcharged, offered a full refund. This also impacts the earnings of the driver. They are also updated with the outcome of the report which includes the outcome of the driver (i.e., suspension, warning, refund, etc).
St George Cabs also lets the fleet know of the initial report and the investigation’s outcome. This transparency means that everyone understands that St George is committed to safe and compliant passenger services and that poor driver behaviour will not be tolerated. It also means everyone understands what will happen if a report comes through from the Hotline or the normal complaints process - there are no excuses for not understanding the law or what happens if a driver does the wrong thing.
This process has seen drivers refine their behaviours on multiple fronts, not just fare-related matters.
St George cabs process works as it allows them to complete and investigate and report back the outcome in a timely matter. Ensuring they have investigation guidelines allows them to follow a process to ensure consistency and protocol has been followed across all investigations.
Their process also holds drivers accountable and ensures they fully understand the consequences for choosing to do the wrong thing.
In the future, St George is intending to introduce a short course or training module to ensure their drivers are competent in their understanding of all their obligations.