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200 Cars (Nottingham)

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Taxi and Private Hire / Address: 18a High St, Arnold, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG5 7DZ / Tel: 0115 920 0200

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      15.04.2010 13:48
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      200 cars is a local private hire taxi service in the Arnold area of Nottingham. I've used them many times to make the journey to and from the supermarket, and back from my parents house to my home in the evenings.

      With 200 cars, you need to book a taxi, you can do this by calling 0115 9200200, certainly an easy enough number to remember . Generally, they answer the phone fairly quickly, although at busy times such as Friday and Saturday nights, or pre-christmas shopping days, it can take a while for your call to be answered.

      At busy times, you may also find yourself waiting much longer for a taxi . Usually, if I book a taxi I'm told that it will arrive in 10-15 minutes, and to give them credit, on most occasions it does. However, on weekend nights, and again around christmas, it can be a long wait, something they will usually inform you of when you book . I've been told waiting times of anything up to an hour on weekends, and for this reason I took to pre-booking a taxi if I knew there was going to be a wait.

      The drivers are always very friendly and helpful, in my experience. They're always willing to help carry by shopping down the few steps in front of my house for me, to wait for a few minutes while I nip into a shop on the way home, or to do multiple drops and pickups .

      The fares are reasonable, in line with most companies in Nottingham they start at £2.50 and go up in increments of 10p . However, on bank holidays and such, they go up to fare and a half, especially around Christmas .

      What lets the company down somewhat has been a particularly bad customer service experience. Now, being fair, most of the time I've had no problem with booking a taxi and having it arrive on time, and on most occasions the staff on the phone have been lovely, with one gentleman in particular on the phone remembering my routes! However, it takes one bad experience to sour the whole thing, and this happened on Christmas day . Knowing that I was going to be coming back from my parents house laden with presents, and knowing already that a couple of these were going to be bulky and heavy, I pre-booked a taxi for 6.30pm, and was assured it would be there . I did this in the morning, as I wanted to be sure that I could get home in time to put my daughter to bed, and I didn't want to wait ages for a taxi.

      It had been snowing in the last couple of days, and we had a lovely Christmas day playing with the snow in the front garden . The roads were not particularly bad, so we weren't anticipating any trouble with getting home - and certainly the condition of the roads hadn't been mentioned as a potential issue at the time of booking .

      So, when it came to 6.45 pm and my taxi still wasn't there, I phoned up to ask where it was, and the woman assured me it was on it's way and would be there shortly. However, at 7pm there was still no sign, so I made another call . Again, we were assured that it was nearby and would not be long.

      About 5 minutes later, I got a call on my mobile from a number I didn't recognise. I picked up, thinking perhaps a friend had a new mobile and was calling to update her number, and was surprised to find it was my taxi driver. He said that he couldn't get his car up the road because of the snow, and asked if we could walk down to meet the taxi . However, this wasn't really possible because of the several very large items we had to carry, so we asked if he could walk up to the house to help carry the presents . He refused. This was the first time I'd ever had a driver refuse to help carry items for me, and I was mildly frustrated. We ended up passing up the taxi, as we didn't want to leave without our gifts, and booked another with a different company, who had no issue getting up the hill at all.

      As I thought about the ways the first taxi had gone wrong, I decided to phone and leave a comment with the company . I said I was disappointed that the snow had not been mentioned at a potential issue at the time we had booked, as if we'd known it would have been a problem, we would have arranged another way to get home. I was also annoyed that the taxi had been late, and that we'd had to chase it up , and that my private phone number had been given to a driver without my permission.

      The woman on the phone was very aggressive and said 'You should have used common sense when booking the taxi, you knew the roads were slippy', to which I explained that as a non-driver, I don't really know at what point the roads become too dangerous . I also pointed out that a car from the same company had taken me up the same road in the morning, and that while I appreciated that every driver and every car is different, none of this explained why my taxi was already 35 minutes late before I was even made aware of the snow being an issue. I explained that I had pre booked in the morning in order to ensure I made it home in plenty of time for my daughters bedtime, to which the woman replied that just because they'd taken a booking, there was no guarantee of being there on time .

      I found myself getting frustrated. The womans tone was rude and aggressive, and while I appreciate she was probably tired and that nobody likes to work on christmas day, I did not feel it was justified to pass personal bad attitude onto the customer. On top of this she constantly interrupted as I was trying to explain, which led to me getting frustrated and having to repeat myself. I told her I thought she was being rude, at which point she actually called me a stupid cow, and hung up .

      I spent the rest of my Christmas evening fuming at the womans attitude , and I've never used the company since . Although to give them credit this was the first bad experience I'd had with them, it was so appalling that I simply will not use them again . Whatever kind of bad day that woman was having, there was no need to pass it on to customers, and especially stupid to pass it on to a regular customer who used the service 5 or 6 times a week.

      I wrote to the company complaining about the womans attitude, and also the fact that my phone number was passed out without my permission . Its now April, and I have yet to receive a reply, despite sending the letter a second time, this time recorded delivery.

      Whilst I normally hate writing terrible reviews of companies, I felt they had every oppurtunity to communicate with me and attempt to resolve this issue, which they have elected not to do. I did actually let the company know in the letter that I'd be writing a review of my experience if they didn't respond, and so here it is.

      In conclusion, although the company has on many occasions met my needs, have generally been reliable and helpful, and usually have a pleasant and friendly attitude towards customers, this particular incident has undone all the good work, and the lack of communication from the company means that at the top level, they just don't care about customer satisfaction. I will not be recommending this company at all . 1 star.

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