Investing

A Case of Cabs

Several weeks back I needed to leave my car at Meineke for part of the day. Nothing major, just shocks, struts, and a front bearing assembly. Parts house was going to take a while to get the assembly to them and I didn’t feel like waiting around. Called Yellow cab and in under 10 minutes a cab was there to take me back to the hotel. Not just a cab, but a cab with a driver who natively spoke English. What a treat!

When it came time to pick up my ride I used the card I got from the driver to call Yellow cab. The dispatcher was honest and said they didn’t have a cab in the area but should in half an hour. I told them I would meet the cab out front at the parking lot entrance since it could be difficult to find a unit. An hour later I called back. They still didn’t have a cab in my area. They transferred me to some other cab company where I was on hold for over 3 minutes before hanging up.

Back in my room I looked up area cab companies and found the number for Radio cab. I opted to call this number because I had seen 3 different Radio cab cars in the parking lot that afternoon. Obviously they served the area. Spoke with a guy running dispatch and was told they would have a cab there in about 10 minutes. I told them I would be outside waiting and they said fine.

Keep in mind this is December in Oregon. While it is not the massive winter they are currently having in the midwest and out east, it is a damp kind of cold that just goes to your bones. Doesn’t seem to matter what you wear, the dampness just seems to penetrate.

After waiting 20 minutes outside I called back and was told it would be a few more minutes. Another 20 minutes and I called back. This time I got the same dispatcher I spoke with the first time. It is now after 5pm and Meineke closes at 6. After some back and forth I told him to have the cab call me because I was going to start walking. He got indignant and said they couldn’t dispatch a cab to a moving target. I told him I had been waiting an hour out in the cold. He responded “we didn’t tell you to wait outside.” I countered “I told you I was going to wait outside so the driver could find me and you said fine.” Only stuttering and sputtering on the other end.

Of course when I told him I was going to walk I had already started. The conversation continued well past the first light on the way to my second light before we got to the “you’ve done nothing but lie to me” stage of the conversation.

I had thought of complaining to the BBB, but life has taught me those complaints would do more good if they were written on Charmin. Something would at least be done with them. Instead, I posted here. More people read this blog than will ever see or hear about BBB complaints.

A few weeks later when it was time for O2 sensor and a new CAT I didn’t bother with a cab in Oregon. I dropped my car off the night before and called Enterprise. They’ll pick you up. Instead of $20 for a cab ride I spent $30 and rented a car for a day.

This is not a fault of the drivers. This is a bad business practice which seems to be prevalent in today’s society. Tell them anything to keep them in the queue. I’m sure cab drivers everywhere have to deal with surly passengers. They need to know why though. It is because dispatch lies to the customer to keep them in the queue. People will wait 10 minutes for a cab, but they won’t wait an hour.

As a result of all this Enterprise has become my new cab company. I can rent a car there for roughly what a cab ride will cost. I suggest others take this route as well so they can avoid a case of cabs.