Taxi to the Dark Side

Monday, February 16, 2009

I house sat this weekend in the suburbs for a nice Jewish fam with a miniature poodle & a long-haired cat. Today, I planned to cab it back to the Cleve so that I could visit Bravo's Chef Spike Mendohlson's Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, which I've been waiting forever to go to.

Short on cash, I phoned Regency Cab 20 minutes before I actually wanted to put in a call, just to check that they took credit cards; I was assured they did. I called 20 minutes later to get a cab, no problem, & a friendly operator told me it'd be 10-15 minutes.

That's where the friendly ended.

A mere 25 minutes later (please note my immediate sarcasm), my cabbie shows up, & when I got in, he lazily says, "So where we goin'?" as if I hadn't, you know, called in with my origin & destination. And then he says, "And how do I get there?" Right, because I know how to navigate the 'burbs of Bethesda. YOU'RE A CABBIE; Connecticut Avenue isn't exactly an unknown back road. Annoyed at my ack of directional information, he puts my location into his GPS & we set off for home. A couple blocks before my apartment, just for good measure, I ask, "I can pay with a credit card, right?" & he says no. Ina bored tone, he "explains" that his credit card machine worked earlier but now "it don't have it," whatever that means. When I tell him I only chose Regency because I was assured I could pay with a credit card, he says, "I can drop you at an ATM."

Clearly pissed, I get out of his car at the ATM two blocks from my place, where I take out a $20. When I get back to the car, I discover my driver has run the effing meter while I was getting money out! At my wits' (& patience's) end, I tell him, "I'm not giving you $19.50. It was $18 when I got out. I'm not paying you for having a broken machine."

Oh, & did I mention that he dropped me off two blocks from my destination? Didn't even take me all the way? Just left me at the ATM, luggage & all? What a gem of a driver.

Me being me, I called to complain, of course, & in all fairness, the dispatcher was VERY nice & apologetic & took all of his/my information. But me being me, I'm still a little bitter about it, & I hope this guy gets fired or at least reprimanded, if not for his crap credit card machine that goes against company policy then at least for being a huge jerk about it.


  1. wow you would at least think that he could have written down your credit card info and charged it later- i hope you only paid the $18

  2. Ridiculous. I'm sort of thankful I don't live in a city that basically mandates either taxi use, walking, or subbing. I like being able to drive where I need to go.

    It's so funny because I rarely ever carry cash anymore. I haven't run into many places that don't take credit card. Craaaaazy.

  3. Wow... yea I'm not a big fan of DC drivers. That happened to me before about them not knowing where to go. It's ridiculous! I'm glad you called to complain.

  4. WOW that really sucks. I definitely would not have tipped the guy. In fact I would have refused to stop at an ATM because you specifically mentioned using a CC. If they send the wrong cab let them get your information later. Why you should be put out?

    I am sure after a weekend away you just wanted to get home and relax, sorry it was so stressful

  5. If you remember the cab number, you could put in a complaint with DC's Taxi and Limousine Commission, or whatever they call it in DC.

  6. I'm beginning to think there are no requirements for being a cab driver in this city. Certainly no sense of direction/location needed.

  7. That is so #(&$#(*&$ rude! I am totally irritated for you! lol

  8. What is it with DC cab drivers?!?

    I had a similarly horrific experience btw:

  9. that's pretty messed up. the meters are easier than the zones were, at least. but you have to be careful to see which "extras" they punch in.

  10. oh hell no. i'm of the party that firmly believes dc cabbies are out to cheat us. I would have taken his number down and reported his ass. That kind of behavior is just rude!


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