Picture the scene.
It's a Saturday night. You're meeting friends to see a show. Escaping special needs for a few hours. And as usual you have a plan. You know what has to be done, and how long it will take to get ready. The babysitter is booked for 7.30 and you need to be ready to go.
But special needs doesn't work like that. At 7.25 I was still scrubbing the bathroom. All thought of getting the bus or even driving into town was gone. At 7.29 I rang a local taxi service and asked them to send a cab to the house in 15 minutes.
|These are not the taxis mentioned in this post|
But it arrives almost immediately. Meantime I'm letting in the babysitter, hoisting Smiley into her bed, throwing on a bit of make-up and the only dress that was ironed and into the taxi before 7.50. To be shocked to find that the meter was already almost at €10.
"Surely you don't expect me to pay that," I said, but just got a non-committal reply.
I nearly got sick when I saw the final amount for the 2km journey. Once again I queried it and he said he was waiting 25 minutes (not true). I was stunned.
So I told him in graphic detail exactly why I had to call a taxi, and told him that I would never ever contact his firm again. I left the fare and left the cab. It was not a good start to the evening.
Was the taxi deliberately sent early? Did they gamble that it was an urgent situation and I would ask the taxi to wait, rather than order another one and risk being late.
Is this a scam? Was I had? Or just a normal commercial transaction - with the usual 'buyer beware' caveat.
Worse, I later realised that I had once ordered another urgent cab from the same firm to take aspie boy to hospital with suspected meningitis** when he was small. When I complained about its failure to arrive, I was told:
"That's Dublin taxis for you, love."
After that incident I didn't order - or even use - a taxi for many years: I even walked to hospital for procedures after fasting rather than hail a cab.
But back to my night out. I did not let the stupid taxi rip-off spoil my evening. I had a great time, but had to leave a little early as aspie boy would not go to bed for the babysitter. So with great trepidation I jumped into a taxi once again. I needn't have worried. This time the journey was completely different and less than half the price of the earlier fare....
What about you? Do you have any taxi tales?
**I added in this link as I was contacted by chance while I was drafting this post and asked to help promote Meningitis Awareness Week.