There's a reason I asked if you know where I live!!!

And it’s not because it entertains me. It’s because you, Mr. Cab Dispatcher, were supposed to have someone pick me up at 6:00am. I called the day before to ask for a taxi. I asked if the driver would be able to find me, because I realize that the campus is confusing and that I live in a brand new area. I offered to give directions. You said, “No, the drivers know where that is, just go to the circle.”

So I went on with my plans for getting to the airport: take the bus to Hayward, BART to Oakland, shuttle to the airport. It would work perfectly. Public transportation is my friend. But I was nervous about taking a taxi.

The next morning I carried my stuff down three flights of stairs, walked down to the circle where buses come, and waited. And waited. And waited. Did anyone show up? No. I keep waiting, knowing that people are often late.

At 10 after 6 I give up, am forced to leave my stuff out in the rain (lovely touch for the morning) while I run up to my apartment to call and find out what the hell is going on. You get mad at me. You want to know why I wasn’t in my apartment when you called at 6:00 to get directions. Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t I be outside waiting for the cab when it was supposed to arrive?

You say the driver doesn’t know where I am. Well… Don’t tell me the drivers know and then send one who doesn’t!!! I would have been more than happy to walk down to the main road and meet him there. But you inisted that he could find me. It’s a bit late for getting directions now…

So you send another driver, he picks me up, but it’s too damn late. I’ve alredy missed the bus to Hayward, which I had already bought a ticket for. The next one comes at 12:30. My plane leaves Oakland at 11:50. The next bus to San Joes comes at 8:00. So, thanks to you, I now have to take YOUR taxi all the way to San Jose, and pay $60 more, or else miss my flight.

I am a college student. I can not afford this. My parents paid for me to fly home because it was cheap. Very cheap. You just more than DOUBLED the cost. And suppose I didn’t know how to get the bus from San Jose to the Fremont BART station? Most people I know don’t know this is. I could easily have missed a cross-country flight, thanks to your stupidity. :mad:

So I write a letter complaining. Your response? “All efforts were made on behalf of Yellow Cab Company to contact the customer to make sure they met their scheduled needs.” :rolleyes: No wonder I’m nervous about taxis! You are not helping yourself here! You better believe that when I made my flight plans for going home my first concern was to make sure that I could take the friendly Metro buses. :slight_smile:

‘Hello? Is this Incompent Taxi Services? …yes, can I get a taxi to go to Somethingorother Street. I’m at BigObvious train station, right by the exit, next to the phone box. Five minutes? Great.’

-15 minutes later

‘Hello? I called ten minutes ago to get a taxi from BigObvious station. Can you tell me when it’s likely to get here? No, it definitely hasn’t come past, I haven’t seen any Incompent Taxis at all. You’ll get someone over here? Ok’

  • 30 minutes later.

Stuff this for a laugh. I know it’s rude to ring for a taxi then jump in a passing one but I’ve been here three quarters of an hour, I’m not even going to bother ringing again. Oh, look theres a GiantMonolithic Taxi Service cab hanging around doing nothing.

'Hi, I’d like to go to Somethingorother Street please. What’s that? Why yes, I am the Aspidistra who called Incompent Taxi Services fifty minutes ago. Oh - they passed it onto you did they? And you’ve been looking for me since then? Well that’s interesting since I’ve been sitting RIGHT WHERE I SAID I WAS ever since then. And yes there have been about four taxis along in the meantime, one of which may well have been you, but funnily enough since you belong to a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT company to the one I called, I didn’t take much notice.
Oh, I see - I’m supposed to jump up, wave madly and dance the cancan every time I see a taxi just in case it’s the one I called for. Because rolling down your window and uttering the words “excuse me, are you Aspidistra wanting to go to Somethingorother Street” to the ONLY person here (did I mention, by the way, that I’m sitting RIGHT WHERE I SAID I WOULD BE?) is far, far too much trouble. I completely understand.

Excuse me while I drop my trousers. Right. That’s my bum. Those are your teeth. You know what to do.’

It probably won’t do a lot of good, beyond getting another opportunity to vent, but these guys have to pay various government agencies for licenses and the BBB accepts notes, as well. You might drop a sanitized version of your rant on the license bureau and the BBB. (I can’t remember whether these toads are divisions or franchises, but you might drop a letter on the highest authority in their little pyramid, as well. If it was Yellow Cab Coop, you’ve lost, since that is just a bunch of hacks that bought their own company.)

I feel your pain.

Longish story follows:

I hired a Town Car (“limo service”) in NYC a year and a half ago. I was flying into JFK, going to the Javitts Center for a trade show and flying out the same day. A friend of mine had used this company before and had good results with them.

They were only a little more expensive than cab fare would have been and I was guaranteed a ride instead of trying to catch a cab outside the center. There are either a swarm of cabs or no cabs, and I didn’t want to take the chance.

I called the company from Phoenix and made the arrangements. Pick me up at JFK tomorrow morning. Pick me up in front of the center at 4 tomorrow afternoon. He ran the credit card and I got a confirmation number and the whole bit.

The morning run went fine. I called after exiting the plane to let them know I was on time. The driver was waiting for me, everything was great. Then came the afternoon pickup.

At 4 I was in the pickup spot. At 4:25, I called back. Malek tells me my credit card was declined (I had more than 10k available on the company card; so I don’t think so, also it had cleared the day before when I made the reservations). I give him the confirmation again, he runs it again, apologizes and says it’ll be 5 minutes. Time is starting to get tight, but I still have a pretty good margin.

15 minutes later I call back since there’s no car yet. He tells me the computer said I cancelled my reservation. I said, “Malek, you know goddamn well that isn’t true. I talked to you 15 MINUTES AGO and you promised me a car in five minutes. Because of you I may well miss my flight. Now send me my goddamned car.!!!” He apologizes and says it’ll be five minutes.

Still through all of this, it’s a no cab day in front of the JC, or I’d have said fuck him and jumped into a cab.

Ten minutes later I call back. HE answers the phone again. I ask, “Excuse me, can you tell me where your company is located?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because this is FallenAngel and you’ve kept me waiting outside on the fucking 85 degree sidewalk for a goddamn car that I reserved and paid for in advance for more than a fucking hour, I’m going to miss my flight, and I’m going to come over to the garage and kick your fucking ass, you lying bastard.”

My car arrived four minutes later. I missed my flight, but was able to catch the same connection out of Las Vegas I would have had otherwise. It just ended up turning around which part of the trip had my layover, but still. It was the worst cab/shuttle experience of my life, made worse by the fact that it came during a 40 hour day.

All this makes me glad I live in London, England, home of the Black Cab, whose drivers are required to take a test (called ‘The Knowledge’) to demostrate that they have basically memorised the street layout of the city and can get between any two points in the easiest route!

I’m guessing you don’t live South of the River, where Black Cabs are largely mythological creatures. But yes, if you reserve a cab in advance, even if it’s a crappy little minicab company, they do tend to turn up on time.

Now, if you want to talk Pizza Hut delivery drivers, that’s a whole other story…

Evidently this London-based practice has failed to catch on in further-flung parts of the Empire, such as, well, Oxford. I’m not a confrontational person, but after my second experience with a local taxi firm, I was moved to phone them up and say “Hi, my name’s Steve Wright, I booked a cab with you yesterday to pick me up from [where I live], and the next time I feel like standing in the pouring rain for three-quarters of an hour waiting for a cab that doesn’t turn up, I’ll definitely think of using your service.” (Yes, I said “definitely” in italics. It’s a knack I have.)

Since I don’t need outside assistance when it comes to standing in the rain, I then picked up a handy biro and crossed out their advert in the Yellow Pages. It didn’t help me get to the bus station in time for my bus, but, by God, it felt good.

All of your complaints, while reasonable in their own ways, pale into the wispiest insignificance when compared to the catastrophe that is the Dublin taxi industry (or was* - up Bobby Molloy… er… maybe not**).

Typical example: Mrs. jjimm and I were enjoying dinner at micilin’s house in the city centre. Since we lived about 4 miles south, we decided upon a cab to bring us home.

11.30pm: after calling 3 different companies and either having the phone ring off the hook, or someone picking up the phone and hanging up immediately, one company answered. I was informed that they were “a bit busy” (should have taken this as a hint), but she’d see what she could do.
12.30am: I called and was told “there’s a cab in Howth” (about 10 miles north) who’d be with us “in half an hour”.
1.00am: I called again, and was told “oh, he decided take another job in Sutton” (right next to Howth).
2.00am: I called again - "sorry, we haven’t got any cars
3.00am: I called again - “I’ve found another car he’s heading into town now. About half an hour.”
3.30am: I called again -
controller: “He’s taken another job, so he’s not heading into town.”
jjimm: “Hold on a second, aren’t you the controller?”
controller: “Look, I can’t make the cabs take any particular job. If I tell a driver about a job, and he changes his mind, then I can’t do anything about it.”
jjimm: “So what you’re trying to tell me is that your drivers… are a BUNCH… OF… FUCKING ARSEHOLES?!?!?? :mad:”
I hung up. Then realised that that cab company had my name, cellphone number and address, so I had essentially kiboshed my chances of ever getting a cab from that company again.

  • The situation was that there were a finite number of cab licenses for the city. These were traded as a commodity, and were changing hands for anything up to IR£80,000 (~US$100,000). Speculators were hoarding licenses as investments, while some honest-joe-cabbie drivers had remortgaged their houses to buy licenses. A bad situation all round, and any hint at change was resisted strongly by the National Taxi Drivers’ Union - even a two-for-one deal that would have granted each license-holder an extra license for free - some of which was prompted by legitimate grievance, and some at the insistence of multiple-license-holding fat-cat investors. The cabbies eventually went on strike and, in retaliation, the government totally deregulated their licenses. This has had a marginally positive effect on the situation.
    ** the minister Bobby Molloy who was charged with deregulating the Irish taxi industry has recently had to resign due to his attempt to interfere with the judiciary in an incest/paedophile/rape case. :bleaugh:

derTintenfisch: I’m trying to gauge just how awful your situation was, but I’m unclear about where you needed to go. You were going to Hayward, then Oakland, then the airport. Instead, you took the cab all the way to San Jose. Was the airport in San Jose?

Not as bad as some of these, but irritating, just the same.

Newark, New Jersey. September 10th, 2001. After a five+ hour flight from Phoenix, in which I was one of the lucky denizens of the middle seat, I arrive. Eventually (45 minutes later), my luggage comes down the chute. Now, the Friday before, I had called the car service to make my reservation, told them which flight I would be on, and asked them where they’d pick me up. “Oh, America West? You’ll be in Terminal C - we’ll pick you up under the blue awning.” Once I got my luggage, I called again to say I was ready. “Five minutes.” (Why is that so common an utterance with these people?) “Okay, I’ll be waiting.” I go outside, where it’s raining. No car. Twenty minutes later. I’ve already received five phone calls from my coworkers, who are waiting for me to arrive in order to go and get dinner (this is about 5:30). Call the car service. “They couldn’t find you. Where are you?” “I don’t know - I’m at the airport, you said I was in Terminal B, but I don’t see a blue awning.” “Are you sure you’re at Terminal B?” “No, YOU said I was at Terminal B. I just said that I came in on America West.” “Oh! America West! Not American!” “That’s right.” “Oh, you’re at Terminal C.” Well, thanks a whole bunch. Like I know. Still took almost half an hour and two more calls for one to show up.

And the next day was 9/11.

I was headed to the Oakland airport - I had planned to take Greyhound to Hayward, and then get on BART (the Greyhound stop in Hayward is at the BART station) to get to Oakland (the Colisuem stop has a shuttle to the airport).

I ended up getting the cab to San Jose and then taking a VTA bus from the Caltrain station to the Fremont BART station, so I could take BART to Oakland.

I see. Thank you.