Sorry for taxi 'nightmare'

Bill Overton
Bill Overton
What should have been one of the best nights of the year turned into a "nightmare" for Dunedin firm United Taxis at the weekend, director Bill Overton said.

He felt compelled to contact the Otago Daily Times yesterday, seeking a way to apologise to the "hundreds" of customers affected when the company's "whole system failed" on Saturday night.

St Patrick's Day celebrations meant one of the busiest nights of the year but turned out to be a "nightmare" when the company's radio and GPS system failed about 7pm and was not fully back online until 2.45am yesterday, Mr Overton said.

"It's just hopeless and I just really want to apologise to my customers for the inconvenience.

"I've had a lot of abuse in my time, but I went home pretty depressed, I can tell you. I'm one who likes to provide a good service."

The company had 19 drivers working at the time and each had to either phone in or visit the office to have jobs relayed.

Customers experienced delays of up to one and a-half hours and things "got worse as the night went on", Mr Overton said.

Murray Paterson, director of Central Radio Services, which operates United Taxis' radio and GPS system, said a hardware failure caused the fault.

Further investigation would be carried out today to pinpoint the exact cause.



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