Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Taxi! Ettiquette

The other night, I was taking a cab home from Logan Airport, and, just as the cab exited I-93 onto Storrow Drive, the driver's cell phone rang. He proceeded to answer it, while merging into traffic on Storrow, and have an animated six minute personal phone conversation in a language I didn't know. He finally ended the call as we were driving out of Kenmore on Comm Ave.

Sitting in the back seat, I was convinced that we were going to get into an accident, and I was going to die. Storrow was pretty busy, and my driver wasn't paying complete attention to the road. Driving on Storrow can be challenging in the best conditions, and, that night, it was dark, it was busy, and he was on his cell phone.

Now, I don't take cabs in town very often. A friend asked me this fall how much a cab from my house to Back Bay cost, and I was at a loss. I either drive myself or take the T. So I am not up to speed on the current dos and don'ts of cabbing around Boston. I know there isn't a law preventing drivers from talking on their phones(yet), but, in case this happens again, I would love to be prepared with a polite way of telling the driver that I am uncomfortable with him driving me while on the phone and would like him to stop. One person suggested asking the driver if he would please pull over until he ended the call (with the meter off, naturally.) Someone else suggested telling the driver to pull over and getting out of the cab. Neither of these would have really worked for me on Storrow because there is no where really to pull over, get out, and get another taxi.

In the end, I gave the driver a crappy tip and got out of the car without giving him my reasoning for the crappy tip because I didn't want to get into an unprepared confrontation about it. I was tired from traveling all day, and I just didn't know how to address it. As a service provider, I should have made him aware that, by being on his phone, he was providing less than perfect customer service. I would love any suggestions for a professional, firm, but polite way of saying that I expect someone I am paying to drive me around town to be doing so with his/her undivided attention.

Otherwise, I think that I am going to look into hiring a car to take me to and from the airport. Paying the extra money for that is worth it when you and the drivers are mutually agreed on the what the outcome of the trip should be.

(Best cab ride ever: London. Not that anyone reading here would be surprised. Although the drivers don't seem to want to help with luggage; is that against the rules?)

1 comment:

  1. Not sure what I would say, BUT I had a similar experience in Boston except the driver was SCREAMING and FIGHTING with someone on the other end, also in a language that I did not know. It was scary. Sorry you had to go through that.



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