Taxi-ng my patience

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.


  1. You should take this to the local paper - name and shame!
    It's murder getting a taxi in my town, its always 'a bad time'. I get things like "can you ring later love, I'm eating my tea".
    There was one firm I used to ring just for the novelty of hearing the answer phone message. The owner was a chain smoker who struggled to finish a sentence in one breath.

  2. @LUCEWOMAN - I got my revenge, that driver wouldn't have enjoyed his dinner that night he he! There's too many taxis in Dublin now, so you'd think they'd all be very customer - friendly. Obviously not.

    Perhaps you'd like some of our extra taxi drivers? The nice ones obviously...

  3. we do use taxis when we have to, but have found (to our cost) which ones are good and which are rubbish. We have been conned (i'm sure) many times and downright seen thru transparent lies (like - they say they are charging you fare and a half, but it's nothing like what it should be)
    We seldom use private hire firms now - they are often bound up in gang ownership and i have now wish - even unwittingly - to be caught up in that. So it's the good old fashioned Hackney ones we use.

  4. And taximen wonder why we dislike them? I very, very rarely use taxis for similar reasons. That WAS a rip-off. You should have only been charged from the time the 15 minute point that you ordered him, I would have thought. I hope he didn't eat for a week after that!> I would have contacted the firm just one more time... to complain!

    Oh, here's a story...once, years ago a taxi man brought me home in the early hours. I was a little drunk which makes me really chatty and friendly to everyone! He stopped outside my house, turned around, started to light up a cigarette ready to continue chatting. I didn't hang around to see what else he may (or may not) have had in mind!

    xx Jazzy

  5. I'd call that a rip-off!

    I once had a take a cab from home (actually my daughter's home, I was squating there for a few months waiting for my own home to be ready)very early in the morning to go the airport, driven by the most obnoxious man: fat, heavy, sweaty (I know I shouldn't judge by appearance but wait a while...)continuously texting WHILE DRIVING (he eventually stopped after I threatened to ring his company to complain there and then), then he proceeded to ask hme where I was from, where I was flying to (I was flying a lot then for work and the company was using that taxi firm regularly)... when was I coming back... could he pick me up... Could he bring me to the airport next time I booked... And sure didn't he know where I lived!!!! I freaked, and reported him to his firm as soon as I got inside the airport.

    I moved from my daughter's house into my own only a few weeks later. Never saw him again. Phew!

    I hate taxis, I don't trust them, and I drive myself everywhere as a preference, even if it means not drinking on the night.... That's my story!

    Of course, they are not all like this...

  6. @Julie - I'd never heard about gang ownership, though everyone knows about taxi driver who allegedly has links to the criminal underground here in Dublin...scary stuff.

    @Jazzygal - I hope he couldn't eat too xx

  7. Just realised my comment may not have made sense because I forgot one important point of the story... The driver throughout his questioning kept suggesting we go out for a drink... As if! Hence my freaking out when he mentioned he knew where I lived... ;-)

  8. @Nan P. - That sounds really creepy, yuk, x

  9. That's disgusting. But not at all surprising. Taxi drivers are often a special breed - though of course there are some okay ones. That they would potentially endanger a small child's life that way though. Unforgivable...

    But yes. I had a very scary experience once. I was finishing work, sometime after midnight in my early twenties and got a taxi home, though I often walked. The route is pretty straight forward - pretty much 3 long roads, so I was kind of mystified when he deviated. I asked him which way he was going in a perfectly polite manner, but instead of replying as you'd expect he got really angry and started asking which way I though we were supposed to go. Sarcastic and voice raised. I told him and asked him not to shout at me, but he carried on, so much so that I wondered if he'd been drinking - though I couldn't smell anything. I shouted over him "JUST DRIVE!!!" and so he did. Very fast, doing about 50mph down a 30mph street. I was very scared and got him to drop me round the corner as I didn't want him knowing where I lived. I got out and actually thew the money at him before running off, then complained to the firm. I pretty much got fobbed off, as you can expect.

    Ooh, it's made me all shaky thinking about it again!!!!! x

  10. @Beadzoid - Oh no, that really does sound very worrying - when I lived in London I used to use a women-only taxi service when I was on my own and that made me feel safer x