Elderly people have been left stranded by Ballarat taxis since booking operations were moved to Melbourne.
Caroline Allen said her 90-year-old father relied on the service but had been let down since the Doveton Street call centre workers were let go.
“From (our) point of view it’s been a disaster,” she said.
“There are a lot of old people on their own, relying on them, and the taxis aren’t arriving.”
Ms Allen said her father was less confident about getting around now after two no-shows since the June 19 call centre changeover.
“He worries now; will a taxi come?”
The Courier has heard other reports of taxis being late, sent to the wrong addresses and the Melbourne call centre number going unanswered.
Ballarat City Senior Citizens Club president Geoff Pitt said taxis took much longer to arrive since the change.
“You call up and it takes half an hour to an hour. It also costs another couple of phone calls. It’s very slow,” he said.
Mr Pitt said that was the norm but sometimes they were lucky to even have late taxis.
“Every time you make a phone call you’ve got to keep your fingers crossed that it turns up,” he said.
Mr Pitt and Ms Allen both said the specially assigned call centre workers in Melbourne needed more training to make the service better.
Mr Pitt said you had to spell out the address every time, time-consuming when ordering multiple taxis for the members.
“They don‘t know the Ballarat suburbs,” he said.
“They say ‘Sebas, where’s that?’ That’s one big problem I’ve struck.”
Ballarat Taxis Co-operative chairman Stephen Armstrong said once the call centre had built its database of customers older clients would find it much easier.
“For most of the elderly generation (these issues) will be fixed once they’re into the system, onto the database,” he said.
Mr Armstrong recommended customers call earlier than usual for the next few weeks. He also underlined the training the workers had received at the switchover.
“We had our guys down there training them for the first three days,” he said.
Ms Allen said whatever the reasons she had been left looking elsewhere and jumped at the news Uber was looking for Ballarat drivers, even though the company denied it had expansion plans.
“I’ll be looking for alternatives, with this service, there’s an open door for Uber,” she said.
She said she felt sorry for the drivers, who were “copping all the flak”.