Two Johnstone taxi firms have threatened to ban customers who waste their driver’s fuel and time by booking a taxi from different companies then taking whichever one turns up first.

T.O.A and Alpha, in a joint statement, have said it is only ‘courteous’ and ‘common decency’ to call the office of the other taxi company immediately and cancel your booking if you no longer require it.

The statement continued that “this type of behaviour will no longer be tolerated”.

Both companies have agreed to work with each other and have stated that if vehicles from both firms arrive at the same time for the same hire then both cars will leave the pick up point leaving the customer with no taxi.

T.O.A and Alpha may take further action and impose a ban on the address and phone number where there is clear evidence that a booking has been placed with multiple companies.

Both companies have struggled, the same as other sectors with staffing numbers.

As a result of COVID restrictions and with a national lockdown there have been significantly less bookings and this has caused drivers to leave to find work else where.

Now the level of bookings have increased, and even though driver numbers have also increased, they are not at the same level as before and because of this, waiting times for all taxi firms in Renfrewshire has increased. It is believed this has caused customers to call more than one taxi company in Renfrewshire if waiting times are long, hoping that another firm has a taxi in the area.

In the statement the taxi offices said: “We have noticed over recent days that customers are increasingly calling both ourselves [TOA/ALPHA taxis] when actually booking a taxi with both companies and then taking whichever one turns up first.

“We appreciate that customers are having to wait significantly longer than usual at certain times of the day but this type of action by customers is actually adding to the issue.

“Not only are you wasting our drivers time when he/she arrives and witnesses another company picking you up, you are also wasting their fuel and most importantly you are causing a significant delay to other customers.”

It continued: “We appreciate customers are likely to do this at busy times. It is only courteous – common decency to call the office of the other taxi company immediately and cancel your booking if you no longer require it.

“This type of behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

“It has now been agreed between both companies that if both of our vehicles arrive at the same time for the same hire then both of our cars will pull off the job leaving you with no car, and where we have clear evidence that a booking has been placed with multiple companies, we are likely to impose a ban on your address and phone number and notify other local companies of the action which has been taken so they can do the same.”