Mystery Passenger Project - Department of Transport · PDF fileMystery Passenger Project ......

Click here to load reader

  • date post

    25-Sep-2018
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    221
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Mystery Passenger Project - Department of Transport · PDF fileMystery Passenger Project ......

  • QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT

    Passenger Transport Development

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    FINAL REPORT

    Mystery Passenger Project

    July 2009

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • 2

    Index

    1. Executive summary 3

    2. Project scope, objectives and methodology 9

    3. Conclusion and summary of findings 15

    4. Detailed findings 22

    Journey details 23

    Service throughout journey 37

    Appearance and presentation of driver and taxi 81

    Taxi fares 118

    General comments 131

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    General comments 131

    Disclaimer: In accordance with our normal practice, we emphasise that the findings of this study and the main implications and implied recommendations contained in it are based on the

    sources indicated. As no independent verification is possible, neither the firm nor any employee of the firm takes responsibility for any errors which may occur, however caused. As the

    study involves comments and implied recommendations which can be influenced by a number of unforeseen events or by the management or board decisions affecting the project, no

    warranty can be given that any recommendations contained will achieve the desired outcome. Marketshare takes no responsibility for any action taken as a result of this report or the

    consequences of such action.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________Marketshare Pty Ltd

    Oxlade Drive NEW FARM 4005 Tel: +61 7 3305 0777 Fax: +61 7 3305 0707

    Website: www.marketshare.com.au

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • mind share

    QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT

    Passenger Transport DevelopmentMystery Passenger Project

    mind share

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    Executive summary

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • 4

    Executive summary

    Objectives and scope of the program

    It has come to the attention of the PTU that the taxi industry and the service it offers has come under criticism and scrutiny from the general public. Increasingly, the public are reporting incidents where taxi companies are charging and treating passengers outside guidelines set by their own industry and by government. Some examples include:

    Charging additional add ons - for example luggage, A/C, bogus tolls

    Taking the longer rather than the most direct route

    Not having good local knowledge of local road networks

    Poor English skills

    Not adhering to road and other safety rules

    Poor cleanliness of both taxi and driver

    Driver rudeness and poor attitude towards passengers

    To this end, the PTU commissioned a mystery passenger program whereby the taxi service was audited from a passenger perspective. The mystery passenger program was conducted as a mystery shopping audit. That is, a mystery shopper posed as a real passenger. The

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    The mystery passenger program was conducted as a mystery shopping audit. That is, a mystery shopper posed as a real passenger. The mystery passenger had a list of audit points they checked off as part of the experience and recorded and reported on the details of the journey.

    The main objective of the mystery passenger program is to ensure that the taxi industry is providing consistent, quality service to its passengers. The results will help the PTU ensure that the taxi industry is adhering to the rules set out by Government and will also provide a benchmark against which future performance can be measured.

    Approach/ Methodology

    A feedback sheet was developed whereby the attributes audited were constructed to be objective in nature rather than subjective value statements or judgements. Each attribute is scored as a yes or no. The feedback sheet was developed in close consultation with the PTU.

    The mystery shop process involved the shopper catching a taxi from different starting points and travelling to different destinations. A typical journey was carried out as follows:

    Work/home to Hotel

    Hotel to airport

    Airport to work/home

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • 5

    Executive summary

    Approach/ Methodology - Sampling

    A final sample of n=550 was used to ensure reporting could be disaggregated to a SEQ and regional level maintaining a statistically viable sample base for each region.

    The following shows how the sample was distributed across the State:

    Total Sample n=563

    South East Queensland n=254

    Brisbane n=105

    Gold Coast n=75

    Sunshine Coast n=74

    Regional n=309

    Toowoomba n=78

    Mackay n=81

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    Mackay n=81

    Townsville n=75

    Cairns n=75

    The program ran over two (2) weeks commencing on Friday 26/6/09 till Sunday 12/7/09.

    Mystery passengers were assigned days and times to complete the trips.

    Approach/ Methodology Briefing the mystery passenger

    Mystery passengers were asked to bring a piece of luggage with them to create the perception that they were from out of town and they were also told not to give the driver any directions if they were asked.

    They were also briefed to go to specific hotels and to use a specific taxi company (in cities where more than one taxi company operates Brisbane and Toowoomba).

    All fares were paid using Credit or Direct Debit cards. However in some instances cash had to be used.

    Mystery passengers filled in the feedback sheet whilst en route to their destination to ensure that they were able to remember and record all the necessary information. To this end they were also directed to sit in the back seat so they could observe what the events of the trip without being spotted.

    Once the trips were completed, mystery passengers sent their completed reports back together with a copy of the receipt for analysis and reporting.

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • 6

    Executive summary

    Conclusions and summary of findings

    Overall, the results from the mystery passenger program indicate that there are some issues that need to be addressed in terms of the service, conduct and presentation of drivers and taxis in general.

    Taxi fares and over charging

    One of the major concerns that face the taxi industry is the perception amongst the general public that taxi companies and some of their drivers charge for illegitimate extras such as air conditioning, placing luggage in the boot, non-existent tolls for bridges, incorrect tariff applications and other inexplicable things.

    The mystery passenger project set out to audit these allegations and to verify the extent of these practices.

    Overall a total of four (4) incidents of suspected incorrect charging and a further four (4) incidents of incorrect tariffs being applied were identified.

    Mystery passengers were also briefed to ask the driver if any extra charges had been applied throughout the trip (if the driver had not already done so unprompted).

    Interestingly, only 25% of drivers advised their passenger of any additional charges unprompted.

    It is also interesting to note that drivers did not mention all additional charges consistently. For example one driver may have mentioned the

    M A R K E T S H A R E

    It is also interesting to note that drivers did not mention all additional charges consistently. For example one driver may have mentioned the service fee charge but did not mention the airport tax. Conversely another driver may have mentioned the airport tax but not the service fee charge.

    Therefore the passenger is not, on every occasion given an accurate verbal account of the extra charges the trip included.

    The situation is made more confusing for passengers because the receipt given to the passenger does not detail the additional charges. The only charge that is consistently detailed on the receipt is the service fee for use of credit card or EFTPOS facilities.

    Therefore the passenger has no way of verifying or checking that the fare charged is correct. The amount shown on the meter rarely matches the amount on the receipt.

    Given this lack of transparency and the difficulty in knowing what charges actually apply to any given trip it is not surprising that there is a perception that taxi companies charge passengers unfairly.

    A more detailed receipt showing what tariff and charges have been applied to the trip may contribute to changing public perception.

    Service

    Another concern the taxi industry faces is the perception amongst the general public that many drivers are rude, difficult to understand and do not know their way around or deliberately take a longer route to the said destination.

    Again, the mystery passenger project set out to audit these allegations and to verify the extent of these practices.

    Overall driver behaviour scored positively with most drivers greeting their passenger at the beginning of the trip and demonstrating polite, friendly behaviour for the remainder of the journey.

    Department of Transport and Main Roads, Mystery Passenger Project, July 2009

  • 7

    Executive summary

    Service

    In terms of the driver appearing to know where they were going, 12% of mystery passengers felt that the driver did not know where they were going because of the questions they were asked by the driver, the fact they used GPS navigation to assist them or alternatively consulted with a street directory. In 19% of all trips