A ROW has developed after a holidaymaker complained the taxi he booked could not bring his family home from Manchester Airport.
Shaun Pimblett, from Poolstock, had to pay more than £80 for a taxi back to Wigan after returning from a holiday in the Spanish resort of Salou with his wife Dawn Taylor and 13-year-old son Aaron.
Mr Pimblett claims he booked a private hire car with Blue Star Taxis, but had to wait more than half an hour for the driver to arrive and find them.
When the car turned up the family’s luggage could not fit in the boot and the driver then left the airport, leaving them stranded.
However, the company has launched a vigorous defence of the driver, refuting the allegations concerning his conduct and saying the family were given the option to place the spare case on the front seat, which was refused.
Mr Pimblett, 40, said: “When we got out of the airport there was no sign of the taxi. We were sent a text message saying it had set off and another when it arrived, but it took a while for the driver to find us.
“We tried removing the parcel shelf from the boot but the case still wouldn’t go. We said we will have to phone head office and he got a ticket and left us, which left my wife and son both very upset.
“It cost me £87 for a taxi but I just had to get my family home. We had been up early to check out of our room then spent most of the day hanging around waiting to come back.
“I’ve never had any problems with taxi firms before but I was really annoyed and feel what happened was totally unacceptable.”
However, Blue Star has disputed Mr Pimblett’s version of events, saying the family had booked a saloon car rather than a slightly more expensive estate, which would have comfortably taken all their luggage.
The firm also strongly refuted Mr Pimblett’s allegations about the driver’s conduct towards them, and advised any customers who felt issues could not be resolved to speak to Taxi Licensing and Trading Standards.
Company director Peter Bailey said: “The driver has been with us for several years and we’ve never had any complaints about his driving, attitude or manner towards customers. As far as I am aware he explained the situation to the customer before he left the airport.
“The customer had booked a saloon car and when we sent it he couldn’t find all the cases in. The driver said he could put one on the front seat and the customer refused, which meant there was nothing the driver could do and he had to come away.
“We would have sent an estate car if he had booked one. I believe he rang and spoke to us, but we weren’t able to come to a conclusion.
“I have spoken to the office staff and the driver as we take all complaints extremely seriously, and I am quite happy they acted in a professional way.”
Mr Pimblett said he has now made a complaint to the taxi licensing department at Wigan Town Hall.