Firm goes the extra mile – or two – to help devastated holidaymaker

Kevin Gregg, from EastCoast Taxis, and Hazel Lindley with the windmill.
Kevin Gregg, from EastCoast Taxis, and Hazel Lindley with the windmill.

A taxi firm went the extra mile to help a customer after a mishap with a present.

Holidaymaker Hazel Lindley, from Felton, was returning from a short break in Amsterdam when her taxi driver packed the car and inadvertently placed a heavy item onto a bag containing a wooden souvenir windmill.

The windmill was damaged beyond repair leaving Hazel upset and the taxi driver embarrassed and apologetic.

When Tyneside-based EastCoast Taxis’ managing director Paul Irwin heard about the accidental damage caused he decided to put things right.

“With more than 200 taxis on the road carrying 70,000 passengers every week, we do expect the odd mishap, but at EastCoast we like to look after our customers,” he said.

“We know that the souvenir windmill wasn’t expensive but the fact is that Hazel couldn’t get a replacement anywhere other than Amsterdam and that was the challenge.”

Paul sent the taxi driver, Kevin Gregg, on a 48-hour mercy mission across the North Sea to locate a replacement wooden windmill from the famous Bloemenmarkt – flower market – in the heart of Amsterdam.

“I was delighted to find the windmill stall and bring a replacement back to the customer,” said Kevin.

“I was devastated about the original and when Paul asked me to go to Amsterdam to find a replacement I didn’t hesitate.

“It’s the most unusual taxi request I’ve ever had.”

The new windmill was presented to Hazel after being carefully wrapped up in protective bubble wrap for the long journey home.

“EastCoast has really made my day,” she said.

“I couldn’t believe the level of customer service they have shown. I think other firms might have simply apologised and left it at that.”