Durban - People using the online hail-a-cab service Taxify have been warned to be on high alert when using the service.
Passengers have also been urged to keep their belongings close and to ensure drivers are going in the direction of their destination.
The warning comes after a Newlands woman said her Taxify driver allegedly locked the doors and threatened to take her to KwaMashu soon after fetching her on Monday.
The woman’s mother posted her daughter’s ordeal on Facebook and it received over 800 shares. However, the woman has since deleted her post.
According to her, she ordered a Taxify cab at the weekend to take her to a relative’s house, a few kilometres away.
She said when she got into the cab, the man told her to put on her seatbelt.
According to the mother, the driver told her daughter that he was taking her to KwaMashu and she was not coming back.
She said her daughter managed to unlock the door and jumped out of the vehicle when the driver stopped in Newlands East due to traffic.
Taxify country manager Gareth Taylor confirmed the incident, saying the matter was being investigated by the police.
“As you can imagine, with both parties pointing the finger at each other, Taxify needs to remain focused on supporting the SAPS investigating officers to assist their investigation, with any and all information required, and allow the investigation to follow due process,” Taylor said.
He encouraged riders and drivers to report any incidents with the “Support” and the SOS button in the Taxify app.
Other incidents reported on Taxify’s social media page include riders’ phones being stolen by drivers, lack of response by Taxify customer care and tricks to overcharge riders.
A Cape Town woman Kyra Aaron said she requested a Taxify and the driver started the trip without her in the car.
“He is currently taking a joyride at my expense. I cannot cancel the trip on my side and the driver is cutting my call after a few rings,” she posted, with a picture of the driver’s details and his whereabouts.
Calie Tianna said she had two phones stolen in two months while using Taxify services.
Taylor said that a background check was conducted by Taxify on all drivers before they are accepted on to the platform. Additionally, if a driver is accused of any crime via the app, he or she is suspended from using the service while investigations are under way. If they are found guilty of any crime, they are removed from the platform.
“Taxify condemns criminal activity in any form and co-operates fully with the SAPS,” Taylor said.