The legislation does not include specific provisions on delays or defects in taxi services, which is why the general principles of contract and consumer law are applied when assessing defects in the service.
The company is responsible for a defect in a taxi service if
- the content, performance or results of the service do not correspond to what can be deemed to have been agreed. For example, the taxi arrives at a different time than what you agreed, it does not arrive at all, or its equipment deviates from what you agreed.
- the service was not provided professionally and with care, the passenger’s interests were not taken into account, including the needs of a passenger with restricted functional capacity, or the driver has chosen a route that is not appropriate for the passenger.
- the service does not meet the ordinary expectations of passengers concerning taxi services.
- the service does not match the information provided in connection with marketing and it can be expected that the information affected the consumer’s decision, or the company did not provide some information that the customer could justifiably have expected to receive.
- the service does not meet the requirements laid down in an act, decree or authority’ decision.
A taxi driver’s professional skills include requirements laid down in the Act on Transport Services:
- the driver must ensure that passengers can board and alight the taxi safely and offer them any assistance that they may need
- the driver must have sufficient interaction and language skills
- the driver must be able to take into consideration any special needs arising from a passenger’s restricted functional capacity
- the driver chooses the route that is the most inexpensive and appropriate for the passenger if the passenger leaves the choice to the driver and the fare is calculated on the basis of the length or duration of the journey, and the driver has the local knowledge required for this.
The driver must give the passenger the necessary information, for example about pricing, and meet the obligations laid down in the Act on Transport Services.
Information displayed to the passenger
The following must be visible to the passenger in a taxi
- Taxi roof lights must be yellow and black and display the text TAKSI or TAXI. The size of the roof light may vary and there can also be other text in it.
- The price of the journey or the grounds for determining the fare must be indicated in writing on the outside of the taxi. The passenger can also ask the driver to provide this information about fares verbally.
- Payment methods used. Passengers have the right to pay for their journey in cash and with the most common payment cards unless the entrepreneur has clearly identified a certain payment method that the passenger has accepted when ordering or booking the taxi.
- The name and contact information of the licence holder as well as the driver’s name. The driver must have a valid taxi licence or a copy of it.
Information on the primary operating area and service hours of the taxi, as well as any changes and cancellations of them, must be available to the passenger.
Information on the services and assistance available to persons with restricted functional capacity, accessibility of the vehicle, and equipment that can be used to board the vehicle and to interact with the driver must be offered to passengers.
Liability for defects
When you use taxi services, your contracting partner may be both the taxi operator providing the transport service and the dispatch centre passing on the booking. The main principle is that the taxi entrepreneur is responsible for providing the taxi service appropriately, and the dispatch centre is responsible for completing the booking task carefully.
According to the legal principles of brokering, the dispatch centre is responsible for not only managing its brokering activities appropriately but also the fulfilment of the transport contract under certain conditions.
However, the dispatch centre’s liability ends when it has informed the customer about the taxi that has accepted the order. After this, the taxi company is fully responsible for fulfilling the contract. This also applies to a taxi booked using a booking app: a transport contract with a taxi company has been concluded when the taxi in question has accepted the order.
For example, if the dispatch centre has written down your address incorrectly or got the time of an advance booking wrong, the dispatch centre may have a liability towards you. If the dispatch centre acts carelessly when passing on your booking and, for this reason, you do not receive the transport service you ordered, compensation for financial losses may be possible.
However, you should note that for example during busy times, even a carefully operating dispatch centre is not always able to get a taxi to the customer immediately.
Rectifying a defect
You can usually demand a price reduction if the taxi service is defective because such methods as rectifying the defect or re-performing the service may not be possible in the case of taxi services. The price reduction should correspond to the value of the defect.
If the defect is substantial and cannot be rectified by means of a price reduction, the ultimate remedy is cancelling the contract.
Cancelling the contract
Cancelling the contract is usually possible in case of a major defect or delay. The passenger may cancel the contract before or after the journey.
If there are weighty reasons to assume that there will be a substantial defect in the service, the customer may cancel the contract for those parts that have not yet been performed.
If there are weighty reasons to expect that the service will be delayed significantly, the contract can be cancelled immediately, and the passenger has no obligation to pay for the service.
The passenger may cancel the contract after the journey and have the price of the journey reimbursed if other consequences cannot be considered fair for the passenger.
Compensation for financial losses
You may demand compensation for financial losses if a defect or delay resulted in costs. You can demand compensation for direct and indirect losses. Direct losses include reasonable costs, such as telephone costs, that result from investigating the defect.
Indirect losses include the costs resulting from the company’s failure to deliver the service, including costs related to some other contractual obligation (such as the costs of missing a connection, including unused train tickets or flights), or compensation for loss of income. The precondition for receiving compensation for indirect losses is that the losses were caused by the company’s negligence.
You must have a receipt or other reliable information on the costs. No compensation will be provided for distress, mental suffering or loss of free time.
Filing a complaint about a taxi journey
File a complaint as soon as possible after detecting the defect, and try to negotiate on suitable compensation. You should always file your complaint in writing. You can use the Complaint Assistant to help you.
If you are a business traveller and someone else paid for your journey (an employer, company or similar), first contact the taxi company whose services you used.
Contractual relationships between companies, including a taxi journey paid for by a company or employer, must primarily be handled between the companies.
You should contact the taxi operator as soon as possible and specify what your complaint concerns and any claims for compensation you may have. If you cannot settle the dispute, you can take it to the competent court of law.
If the price of your taxi journey was reimbursed by Kela or your municipality, you can contact the service provider directly about any defects in the journey (for example, the dispatch centre through which you booked the journey or the taxi entrepreneur), the municipality organising the service, or Kela following separate instructions issued by it.
Please note that if you would like to complain about a reimbursement decision issued by Kela, for example, you should follow the instructions for requesting a review included in the decision.