Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Late taxi = missed train

    Hi all,
    Yesterday I booked a taxi to take me to the train station and specified the time for it to arrive.
    The taxi arrived 15minutes late and as a result I had to watch my train pull away from the platform when the taxi arrived.
    This resulted in me having to buy a new ticket, close to 100.

    The taxi company have described the situation as 'unfortunate' but do not accept responsibility.
    I was told the taxi would arrive at the time I had requested and in my mind entered an agreement.
    The train fare is substantial enough for me to feel I should go to small claimsicon.

    Am I right to do so?
    Really appreciate your help.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Hi there and welcome to CAGicon!

    When you made the booking did you specifically say that you had to catch a train at a specific time?

    DDicon


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder MrHat Novitiate MrHat Novitiate MrHat's Avatar

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Just my opinion but a 15 min delay causing you to miss a train probably means that you should have given yourself more time to get there. I always aim to get to long distance stations one hour before departure in case of delays and if I arrive very early go and read the paper/get a coffee.

    However, you have been let down by the taxi firm. A refund of the taxi fare would be good practice imo


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Whilst we probably all sympathise to a greater or lesser extent, your complaint is obviously with the Taxi firm, but I very much doubt that you will derive any benefit from a civil claim in this case.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Thank you everyone.
    Daniella - no, I just specified that I required a taxi for a specific time. I did not give the details as to why.

    MrHat - I see your reasoning and had my taxi journey taken longer than I anticipated then I would have to concede that it was my error.

    Old CodJA - could you explain more?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Did the driver give any reason for being late? Sometimes things are out of the drivers control and theres nothing they can do. Traffic, slow paying fare etc.

    Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    The possibility of a claim against the taxi firm would be stronger if you had said that you needed to catch a particular train. Then the despatcher may have suggested you book the cab for an earlier time in order to guarantee that you arrived on time.

    I honestly don't think you would succeed in making a claim against them because I don't think any judge would agree that giving a desired time of pick up for a taxi or minicab constitutes a contract, bearing in mind that their arrival will be governed by traffic, an earlier pick up being delayed, and so on. Otherwise we would all be suing minicabs every time they were late, and they often are.

    I would be absolutely fuming, like you, but I don't think you would win this and it would cost you even more money to take them to court and lose.


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    No there was no reason. I phoned when it hadn't arrived and they said it was on it's way but it arrived 10mins after that call. As I see it the train company specified the time I needed to board the train, and I in turn felt I had specified the time I needed my taxi. Have agreements not been made in both situations?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    We don't know which taxi firm or where this occurred and in practice I doubt it matters all that much.

    As an example this link shows the general T&Cs relating to one London cab firm and I guess that they are all pretty much the same:

    http://www.tlctaxi.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/

    It seems pretty well covered by Condition 3 in this particular list I'm afraid. I would expect all Cab firms have very similar conditions and unless you can prove that you were given assurances to the contrary, I cannot see much, if any, likelihood of success in taking this to civil action.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    I can't prove it as it is illegal for a consumer like myself to record telephone conversations. (The taxi firm are legally allowed to record them, which I would argue is a one-way defence, and have subsequently told me they record their calls)
    In the instance it was a written agreement I would be able to prove myself and in no doubt they may alert me to the terms and conditions.
    However I wasn't alerted to any problems: they agreed that the taxi would arrive on time and in doing so I believed they would. I could have asked my friend to give me a lift if I had warning the taxi would be delayed.

    I feel I'm entering into a sounding like a broken record now. I'm trying to avoid being angry about it, but I want to understand why these circumstances are different. Please don't feel I'm trying to be antagonistic. I appreciate your help as always.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Quote Originally Posted by incrediblebacon View Post
    no, I just specified that I required a taxi for a specific time. I did not give the details as to why.
    Therein lies the problem I'm afraid.

    The Taxi firm recording the call wouldn't really be a 'one-sided' defence if that recording showed that you said 'I need to be at xxxx station in good time to catch the xx.xx hours train', but if you did not make that stipulation I cannot see any impartial judgement falling in your favour.

    The Taxi firm will simply counter by referring to their T&Cs and additionally will say something along these lines: 'if Mr X had specified a need to catch that train, we would have said his time-scale was probably unrealistic and we would have suggested he needed an earlier booking to allow for traffic etc'.


  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by incrediblebacon View Post
    I can't prove it as it is illegal for a consumer like myself to record telephone conversations. (The taxi firm are legally allowed to record them, which I would argue is a one-way defence, and have subsequently told me they record their calls)
    .
    It doesn't help with your original query, but why do you feel it is illegal for you (as a consumer, rather than as a business) to record a telephone conversation that you were a party to?.

    What law have you been told you would be breaking?.
    There are requirements placed on businesses who record their calls (as part of their licence to access the telephone network) but these are more (not less) stringent than for individuals.

    I don't agree that a business is allowed to record calls to a business while an individual is not.

    If one should advise the other party that the call is being recorded, the intent (or lack of) at time of recording to later share the recording with others, and the later admissibility of the recording into evidence can all be debated : but I don't believe it is illegal to record one's calls to a business.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    The difference is that trains and planes run to a published timetable and taxis and minicabs do not. Generally if you phone and specify that you have to catch a train or a flighticon then the booker will probably call out the job earlier. When I have made complaints to my minicab service - a large city wide one - about late minicabs they have said they call out jobs 15 minutes before the requested pick up, and really they are hoping that a cab will pick up and get there on time. However, if a cab has been requested for a train or a flight they call it early - maybe 30 minutes before it is due - which is why often when you do request one in these circumstances your cab may well turn up early.

    I don't think a judge would accept that a cab arriving 15 minutes late breaks a contract because they can be held up by circumstances which are not their fault.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Very unlikely to succeed in getting any more than a refund of the cab fare, is this a private hire cab or a Hackney?
    It does appear as others have said you did not allow enough time to cover eventualities.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Hello there.

    I have to agree with the others, I'm afraid. I think you're going to have trouble proving this.

    Too late to tell you this time, I know, but if I'm catching a train at a specific time, I tell the cab company the timings. They know what traffic conditions will be like at that time of day and allow long enough for me to arrive with time to spare.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Just thought I would echo the above. I don't see any claim against the taxi company.

    Moral of the story is to allow more time for your journey in future.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    I'm with the others on this. I don't see how this is their fault. If a friend drops me to the station, (as they always do because it's too dark for me to walk there) I always make sure they leave early so that I have enough to get there due to traffic.

    The taxi being late is generally out of their control. I've had taxis arrive late usually because they're doing other jobs.


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    Well I suppose the sheer number of you saying I've got this wrong maybe is going to mean I must concede.
    It aggrieves me: All I can say now is I wish when I had phoned them when it was late that they had and given me an ETA rather than saying it was 'round the corner'.

    I was interested by this story I heard the other week:

    bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/features/lawyers-personal-battle-with-tmobile-over-bill

    I suppose I thought that an agreement made over the phone was still an agreement. If for example, as Old-CodJA states, I had stated it was for a train journey leaving at a specific time, I'm not sure how that why that should affect the agreement.

    Anyway, it's a costly mistake, I'm upset about it and I'm trying not to get myself more upset about it.
    Really appreciate all your help, genuinely. Any legal back up anyone could give would be great.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    An ETA is just that - an estimation. I've phoned for a taxi and always been told "we'll be a few minutes" and sometimes it can take longer.


  20. #20
    Basic Account Holder incrediblebacon Novitiate

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    Default Re: Late taxi = missed train

    @Nystagmite
    Yes but I agreed a specific time of arrival to start with. Hopefully I didn't confuse things there.



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