Code of conduct | Chauffeur or tour guide, driver and taxi driver

Introduction

As a chauffeur or a tour guide, you provide a vital tailored transport service to the public including the tourist. The way you drive, dress, talk and act, affects the way passengers feel about each trip they take with you. To encourage passengers to keep using your services, you must provide excellent customer service and conduct yourself in a way that makes them comfortable and at ease. If you and all other chauffeurs registered on Sri Lanka Driver Guides, act by the Code of Conduct (the Code), the result will be wonderful customer satisfaction and increased confidence.

The https://srilankadriverguides.com/  code of conduct are developed to clearly describe:

Procedures for handling a booking

Behaviour that customers and  Sri Lanka Driver Guides expect from the chauffeur and the tour guides.

Driver rights

https://srilankadriverguides.com/  requires that all chauffeurs, drivers and tour guides to follow the Code. Chauffeurs, drivers and tour guides who behave in an “unacceptable” manner, will receive correctional warnings or have their contracts terminated and will be removed from the listings of the site of https://srilankadriverguides.com/. Correctional warnings can either be: caution, fines, prosecution, retraining or removal from any service related to the company. It is important that you read this document very carefully and understand what it means for you as a chauffeurs, drivers and tour guides. If you are unsure about any part of the Code and would like someone to explain it to you in detail, contact us at anytime.

Chauffeurs, drivers,  and tour guides’ “Ten Commandments”

  1. Always strive to get a 5 star rating from the customer: The system will offer you more trips & the customer is happy.
  2. Clean car, minivan, coach or bus: Always keep your taxi or any vehicle you use for the guest clean and free of rubbish.
  3. Suit & tie or proper clothing: it is understandable in Sri Lanka its not practical to have full suit and a tie, however  always look neat and well groomed, and wear something pleasant and comfortable, and wear your shoes always.
  4. Open the door: Always meet the passenger(s) outside the Vehicle and open the door for him/her.
  5. Be polite and courteous: Make all passengers feel welcome in your vehicle by being polite and friendly.
  6. Smooth riding: Drive the car in a safe, smooth and controlled manner. NO aggressive breaking or accelerations, and within speed limits at all times. Any fines associated by the law of Sri Lanka, should be your own responsibility.
  7. Customer is king and Queen: Comply with all reasonable passenger requests regarding Air-Conditioning, radio, amount of conversation, preferred route etc.
  8. Low sounds: Radio or music should only be played with a volume that allows a natural conversation between passengers and does not represent threat to passengers’ security
  9. No smoking: Smoking is not allowed under any circumstances inside the vehicle.
  10. Customer’s Choice: Ask the Client which route they’d prefer during bad weather/traffic (shortest distance or time) before starting the journey.

How to handle a booking:

Accepting bookings: Accept all bookings offered to you within a reasonable time frame. If you accept a booking although already being occupied by another customer, this will delay your arrival to the new customer, and essentially get you bad ratings from the customers. A customer will rate you after every ended trip.

At arrival or approach: If you have arrived at the pick-up address and been waiting for a couple of minutes or you are approaching the location and are uncertain you can find the customer, then call the customer. Upon the confirmation of a trip we will give the client your number and you the number of the client or emails addresses.

At pick up address: Wait for the customer for 15 minutes. If the customer has not showed up, give him/her a call and state your status. If the customer doesn’t pick up, wait a couple of minutes more and call him/her again. You should wait on an airport for longer period and check with the flight status of the arrivals, then calculate the timing in such a way so you have given the customer at least 02 hours in total. For hotel picks up, check with the receptions, and for these pick up wait at least an hour.

Payments

When you have welcomed the customer, you must produce the invoice and collect the payment from the customer. If the clients refuse to or say they will pay later, it is your sole responsibility to handle this movement . Sri Lanka Driver Guides is NOT responsible of any payments agreements between you and the travellers.

Tipping

Tipping drivers is an accepted practice in Sri Lanka, and it is welcomed on long tours where drivers may be away from home for considerable number of days. However, drivers and Guides must under no circumstances request or expect a tip for the work. Some cultures tip very generously while others feel rather strange and uncomfortable deciding on how much to tip and would prefer a service to be all inclusive.

SHOPPING | Purchases and commissions from tourist shops:

Drivers and Guides are not allowed to push people to shop whatsoever. However as good old practice for very long time, there is always shopping done in various tourist routes, If the traveller is interested though, Sri Lanka has wonderful Gem, jewellery, hand-looms, books and handicrafts and we find that most people like to do a bit of shopping along the way and take something home.

If the traveller only requests should the driver or guide stop in such places and if the traveller does not know such places, then the driver or Guide are allowed to inform or recommend of such places of shopping, but never to push or by force drag them to any shops, and if taken the traveller has the full right to refuse and advise the guide or driver to continue on the trip, and the supplier agrees to follow this rule. Driver or Guide should never give the impression or say that Sri Lanka Driver Guides recommends such shops as we simply do not take promote or take any responsibility whatsoever for any shopping or purchases. Travellers agree when they buy such items they buy at their own risks. Sri Lanka Driver Guides is only a platform to connect travellers with drivers and guides.

General Guidelines

DEMONSTRATING PROFESSIONALISM AND PROVIDING GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE

  1. Always be courteous to all other road users.
  2. Communicate clearly with your passengers.
  3. Listen carefully to passengers, in order to find out their needs.
  4. Accept all passengers, regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, disability, distance of journey, or any other factor.
  5. Always transport guide dogs that accompany visually impaired passengers.
  6. Offer assistance to passengers according to their needs (for example, getting in and out of the taxi, loading and unloading luggage, shopping, wheelchairs/ walking aids and prams) whether or not you are requested to do so.
  7. Know your job. Keep up to date with changes in the industry, for example, geography, software updates, new policies and procedures.

ACTING ETHICALLY AND INCREASING CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE

  1. Take the most economical route;
  2. Apply the correct tariff and charge the correct fare. You should not ask for anything more than the invoice, unless the passenger has exceeded the agreed Km, in which you are allowed to collect the excess mileage on daily basis or if you and customer have agreed then on the journey ending day or hour. Customers are NOT allowed to pay later after leaving you on the completion of the trip. So it is your responsibility to collect such balances and funds and we will not be responsible for any short payments or No payments.
  3. Be identifiable to your passengers. Always display your taxi driver identification card in a prominent position (if you have any authorisation), so that your passengers can read it from the front or back seats.
  4. Treat all passengers in a non-discriminatory manner and make allowances for your passengers’ social and cultural differences.
  5. Always be in an alert state when you drive your taxi, free from the influence of fatigue, alcohol or drugs that affect your driving ability.
  6. Advise passengers to wear seat belts.
  7. Ensure luggage, shopping, wheelchairs and walking aids are properly secured in the taxi.
  8. Remind all passengers not to leave any belongings in the taxi. Assist in the return of passengers’ property that has been left in the taxi, by handing it in at your nearest police station as soon as possible. Any information regarding pick up and drop off points will help police find the owner.
  9. Contribute to your passengers’ safety by suggesting they exit the taxi at a safe location.

Behaviour that is always unacceptable from drivers listing on Sri Lanka Driver Guides’ Website

1. ACTING IN AN UNPROFESSIONAL MANNER
  • Refusing a hire, terminating a hire or ejecting passengers from the taxi unless permitted.
  • Refusing to transport a guide dog that is accompanying a blind or vision impaired passenger.
  • Ignoring passengers’ calls for attention or not complying with any reasonable request from the passenger, unless their requests breach your rights as a driver.
  • Refusing to display your identification card to customers.
  • Not wearing your approved uniform or proper clothing.
2. THREATENING BEHAVIOUR
  • Dealing with passengers in a discriminatory or intimidating manner.
  • Verbal abuse of passengers.
  • Using rude, aggressive or offensive language or gestures towards passengers.
  • Physical abuse/assault of passengers.
 3. INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
  • Touching passengers in an inappropriate manner.
  • Initiating discussions of a sexual nature with passengers.
  • Initiating discussions that may be sensitive or offensive to the passenger.
  • Making sexual advances towards passengers or sexually propositioning passengers for reasons of desire, payment of the fare, or any other reason.
4. UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR

Overcharging passengers, incorrect use of the taxi-meter or applying tariffs incorrectly. 

5. INCREASING RISK TO PASSENGERS
  • Driving in an illegal, dangerous or reckless manner
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that impair your driving ability.
  • Terminating the journey and telling the passenger to leave the taxi at an unsafe location, unless you believe your personal safety is threatened.
6. SMOKING IN THE WORKPLACE

Smoking in a taxi is not allowed at any time.

If any of the above behaviours is reported, we reserve the right to terminate your listing and immediately delete your profile from our platform.


DRIVERS’ AND GUIDES’ RIGHTS

Your passengers expect to be treated in the appropriate manner, and drivers also have certain rights. As a driver, you have the right to:

  1. A safe journey.
  2. Be treated in a respectful manner by passengers.
  3. Ask passengers not to drink or smoke in the taxi, and have your request complied with.
  4. Receive payment in full for the service provided, according to the fare schedule (including payments for waiting times and cleaning the taxi) or pre-agreed “contract fare”.
  5. Request and receive prepayment of the estimated fare – and refuse passengers who will not pay in advance.
  6. Refuse a hiring, if the passenger:
  • Is in such an unclean condition that he/she will spoil or ruin the taxi or transfer vehicle, or if in the taxi or vehicle, begins to get untidy and dirty.
  • Is abusive, or becomes abusive during the journey.
  • Is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to such an extent that he/she is likely to become abusive or ruin the taxi.
  • Has evaded or attempted to evade the payment of a fare
  • Has been asked to prepay and does not.
  • Has a record of violent incidents or dangerous behaviour or non-payment of fares relating to them or their address.

If you are in a situation where your rights are not respected, your safety is threatened or your passenger becomes unconscious, you are entitled to take appropriate action.

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Passengers who refuse to leave the taxi or pay the fare – call for police.
  • Passengers who become abusive or hostile: Call the emergency number or tourist Police to alert the taxi dispatch service and operate the security camera if you have one, or drive straight to the police with the customer in the vehicle.
  • Passengers who become unconscious – try to wake them and if there is no response, lay the person in the coma position, call the emergency numbers of the Hospital service and inform base of the situation.
  • If a disagreement or misunderstanding occurs between you and the passenger that you feel may result in an unfair complaint against you, inform your taxi or vehicle dispatch service of the incident as soon as practicable.