Beware Rude, Violent Drivers
Something has GOT to be done about the attitudes of many of this city's taxi drivers when it comes to customers paying by credit card. This has become a crisis situation and it's starting to get dangerous.
Last night around midnight we have to go through it again. We hail a Crescent cab at Spring Garden and and tell the driver we need to go straight up Spring Garden to 18th street. We hop in, and as he does a U-turn he asks if we plan to pay with cash or credit card. I say, ""Credit card.""
""Aw man, if I'd known that...You need to pay me with cash.""
""We're paying with credit card. If that's a problem just pull over now and we'll get a different cab.""
He mutters a bunch of stuff under his breath but keeps on driving. ""If you want to make a cabbie's day you'll always pay by cash.""
""If you want to make a customer's day you won't advertise that you take credit cards and then refuse to accept them.""
""What's that?"" he said menacingly, raising his voice now and trying to elevate this thing, pretending he didn't hear me.
""I said you need to stop abusing your customers! Did you hear me that time! This is the second time tonight we've had to have a fight with a cabbie because you pretend your machine's broken and all kinds of other bs. We told you when we got in that we're paying with credit card, you didn't have to take us. You've got a credit card machine in the back of the cab here and then you're gonna try to strongarm people into not using it?
""I didn't put it there,"" he said.
""Well, we didn't either. Welcome to the 21st century, people pay with credits sometimes, and cash sometimes, it's the same as anywhere else.""
""It's not the same thing."" he said.
""It's exactly the same thing--""
He then CRANKED UP the car stereo defeaningly loud to drown us out. This was just as we stopped at a red light around 8th Street and Spring Garden. My wife and I looked at each other, I opened the door and we got out. ""We're done,"" I said over the music, and slammed the door.
Magically he turned down the stereo but it was just so he could yell at us. ""Hey, f- you man! I already started the meter!""
""No, f- you! You think we're gonna pay you a dime now after putting up with this abuse and then pay to put up with 10 more blocks of your bs?""
We walked to the curb. When the light turned green the driver was pulling away with BOTH HANDS OFF THE STEERING WHEEL so he could flip us the double bird. We returned the complement. We didn't get his medallion number but I can tell you it was a Crescent cab and that the driver was a fat white guy with a scruffy beard and long, brown hair pulled back in a pony tail.
W immediately hopped into another cab that had just arrived. The driver had no idea about our altercation just seconds before.
We told the new driver our destination and that we'd be paying with credit card. ""No problem,"" he said to our surprise. We had a pleasant ride home and he got a 20% tip. At least 1 out of 3 of your drivers is a professional. That doesn't say much about the other 2/3s that we deal with over and over again, day in, day out, regardless of the company. Crescent, PHL, Liberty, you name it.
Is there anything more at all that can be done to get it through Philadelphia cab drivers' heads that credit cards are here to stay, and that if they have problems with it they need to take it UP with the Parking Authority, the Taxi Workers Alliance and their political representatives, instead of taking it OUT on their customers?
This has become a crisis situation and it's starting to get dangerous.