Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), Roads Transport Authority (RTA) has recently launched ‘Vehicles with no lost items’ campaign to educate cabdrivers on the adverse impacts of failing to find passengers’ lost items on DTC’s services and reputation.
Yousef Al Ali, Director of DTC Fleet Operations said that the campaign, being the first of its kind at the DTC level, was hugely popular with 22 trips made during the three-day campaign. Only one driver was convicted for seizing a lost item, and his services were terminated for breach of trust. A number of customers were suspected of attempting to seize some belongings left behind during the following trip.
“This campaign is part of the initiatives of the operational plan for this year of Fleet Operations Dep’t, in collaboration with RTA Public Transport Agency in its capacity as supervisor of setting up policies & legislations, and monitoring the performance of all Franchise Companies operating taxis in Dubai. The roles were assigned to the participants in the campaign where the drivers targeted were those associated with frequent lost and not found item reports. The campaign was run during the working time (morning and evening shifts), and a mechanism to implement the campaign was set in place,” he added.
The Fleet Operations Director stated that several sections of DTC and Public Transport Agency participated in the campaign including the Transportation Systems Department, Franchising & Enforcement Department, Marketing and Media Section, Internal Control Office, Drivers’ Training & Qualification Center, Customer Service Helpdesk at the airport, and Airport Fleet.
“The participants followed a specific mechanism by posing as mystery riders taking taxi ride where the targeted driver is selected by the Booking & Despatch Section at Public Transport Agency. The mystery rider then leaves his personal belongings at the vehicle after the end of the trip. After a short time, a Customer Service employee makes a phone call to the mobile phone left onboard immediately after the mystery rider is dropped off. Shortly afterwards the cabdriver receives another phone call on his mobile from a Customer Service staff notifying him of a report about lost items.
Pursuant to the call details, inspectors are intimated to take necessary measures involving monitoring the movement of the vehicle and driver afterwards. In case the driver attempts to run away with the items or hide them, he will be dealt with as per the rules and regulations,” continued Al Ali.
“During 2011, DTC managed to reduce the number of missing items to 50%, compared to last year where it used to receive between 25 to 35 lost item phone calls per day. Upon receiving a lost item phone call through RTA’s toll-free number 8009090, the customer service employee enters the reported case in the Customer Relations Management System where it will be referred to the concerned authorities and immediately a text message bearing the number of the registered report will be sent for further follow-up.”
“Some customers go directly to Terminal 3 to open a lost item file, where the customer gives some information required to find the lost property number including side number of the taxi, fare, type of lost item, day, date, & time the property lost, color of the vehicle’s roof, and customer’s destination because there are several companies operating in the taxi sector in Dubai.
“In case DTC employees couldn’t locate the lost items, the report had to be referred to Investigation Section where it would be verified through the e-systems in place at the DTC and the client would be summoned to identify the driver.
“The employees of the Section can identify the taxicab boarded by the customer through the fleet display screen which shows the trips made by each cab and its whereabouts. Besides that there is also a Journey Planner in place and the DTC keeps track of all lost items and cabs.
Important lost items are divided into official documents, electronic devices, jewelry and cash; which are handed over by the driver to the nearest police station where the driver will be given Lost & Found receipt slip for submission to DTC Dubai Airport Terminal 3 Office. Ordinary lost items are placed in DTC Dubai Airport Office and the customer can retrieve them any time.
“DTC cares for its driver through several programs in place such as rewarding honest drivers on monthly basis under the theme: Honesty and Nothing but Honesty, in an effort to raise drivers satisfaction rating and deliver excellent services.
This monthly reward program is meant as recognition by the DTC of cabbies honesty & their keenness to represent the DTC and RTA in the best possible manner as it prompts them to hand over various items lost from customers such as official documents, passports, cash, valuable jewelry & gold, mobile phones and electronic devices among others. The program is intended to motivate cabbies to pursue this approach, and continuously promote their ethical & moral spirits through regular meetings, educative leaflets and monthly incentives to cabdrivers,” he added.
Al Ali called on the public and visitors to cooperate with DTC through keeping their belongings and personal luggage in the event of using the taxi service, and urged them to ask for the bill, which contains key information such as the side vehicle number, driver number, fare and day & time, before alighting from the taxi such that it can be referred to in case a lost report is made.