Kiwa was cast in a negative light last year by a report by the National Ombudsman. The cause was the poor handling of reports about broken driver cards. The agency has now introduced a new policy whereby taxi drivers are treated more leniently.
Kiwa provides taxi drivers with the driver’s pass that is required to perform taxi work. This costs 30 euros. If the pass breaks, a new one must be requested. The costs of this are always advanced by the driver. If it turns out that the pass has broken within a year of delivery due to a production error, the driver will be refunded. In that case, a leniency scheme applies.
The Ombudsman received many complaints about the latter from taxi drivers. Many driver cards would have broken shortly after receipt and through no fault of their own, but no leniency was applied. The reason for this was that taxi rides were registered on the passes. This indicates that the pass was working at the time of delivery and that it was not manufactured incorrectly. That is why, according to Kiwa, the leniency scheme did not apply.
New driver’s pass, but complaints were treated the same Kiwa itself also noted that driver cards broke more often than usual and with the same message, namely ‘the card cannot be written on ‘. For this reason, a technical investigation has been started in 30. At that time, the leniency scheme was applied more widely. The driver paid temporarily 30 euros for a replacement pass. Ultimately, the investigation revealed that some of the passes had a memory problem that caused the error message in the taxi on-board computer.
A new version of the pass had to provide a solution. However, this did not change the way Kiwa handled complaints about broken driver cards. Even with a new card that breaks, the costs of a replacement copy would only be reimbursed if it turned out that the error message was the result of a production error. The operation at the time of delivery would therefore still be examined. The Ombudsman criticized this course of action.
Always investigate the cause The The Ombudsman stated that in the event of problems with the pass, the cause should always be investigated, because it may also turn out at a later date that the pass was not produced properly. Kiwa has now complied with this with a new policy. If a driver submits a request for an old or new pass that has failed, an investigation will be carried out – irrespective of whether the pass was working or not at the time of delivery – as to what caused the card to break.
If it turns out that the pass no longer functions through no fault of the driver, the money will be refunded. “If it’s not a driver’s fault, we don’t think it’s right that they should bear the costs,” says Kiwa. “We supply cards that meet all the specifications set by legislation. However, sometimes something goes wrong, so that the pass gives an error message and can no longer be used. We believe that in that case we should be lenient during investigation and give the driver the benefit of the doubt.”
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