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Free Now introduces a new €1 “technology fee” for taxi customers

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Free Now will introduce a new €1 booking fee for taxi customers.

Customers received an email notification from the company today that the new “technology fee” will be effective early next month, August 1st.

The company said its updated terms and conditions include the following changes: “To allow for the launch of new mobility services such as eBikes and eScooters provided by our mobility partners through the Free Now app.

“A technology fee of 1 euro is charged for all taxi rides booked and successfully completed via the Free Now app.”

The company added, “These updates will allow us to continue investing in improving Free Now’s technology and app quality.”

In 2019, Mytaxi officially rebranded itself to Free Now and introduced a number of new features, however, it also resulted in a €5 cancellation fee for passengers but not drivers.

The company’s website states: “In order to improve the efficiency of our service, we have introduced a €5 cancellation fee for passengers. You can cancel your trip at any time, but please note that you may be charged a fee in accordance with the conditions set out below: You may be charged a cancellation fee if your driver drove to you for more than two minutes or you did not appeared and your driver waited more than five minutes.”

In a statement to Independent.ie A spokesman for the National Transport Authority (NTA) said booking service providers could charge people for using their platform.

“The driver must not charge more than what is calculated on the taximeter. However, the booking service provider can charge its contract customers as much as they like for using its technological platform to book a ride,” said the spokesman.

“The customer decides whether they want to use the FreeNow app to book an SPSV with the €1 surcharge compared to other booking service providers who do not charge this technology fee. It is up to the customer to switch to another booking service provider, the fare remains as the maximum fare as calculated on the taximeter.”

The NTA announced that taxi fares will increase by 12 percent from September 1, while drivers must also offer customers cashless payment options.

Passengers across the country have expressed frustration at the lack of taxis available at peak times since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted earlier this year.

In June, Free Now Ireland general manager Niall Carson said the tariff increase would help drivers with rising costs and increase the national fleet.

“The proposed 12 percent increase in fares will help taxi drivers cope with rising operating costs and earn a more decent living while continuing to provide essential public transport across the country,” he said.

“An overwhelming majority of our driver partners surveyed last month said their ability to continue working as a taxi driver would be impacted had the NTA fare increase not gone into effect.

“We hope that the new tariffs will not only help existing taxi drivers to maintain their careers in the industry, but will also help aspiring drivers to consider joining the licensed taxi driver fleet.

“As our national taxi fleet has shrunk by 30 percent over the past 10 years and has continued to be depleted since the pandemic, it is critical that we retain the great drivers we already have on our roads while also exploring opportunities to bring in new drivers to bring on board.”

https://www.independent.ie/news/free-now-introduces-new-1-technology-fee-for-taxi-customers-41848852.html Free Now introduces a new €1 “technology fee” for taxi customers

Fry Electronics Team

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