Obi-chan (monkeyfruit) wrote in bad_service,
Obi-chan
monkeyfruit
bad_service

Glasgow Taxis made me scream for my taxi.

This post reminded me of some stupid experiences with Glasgow Taxis.

I lived on my university campus in Glasgow City Central from 2002-2004. The campus boundaries were quite clearly defined from the surrounding city, but the streets inside were clearly marked by city standards.

The first time I called Glasgow Taxis, I was served by a bitchy female operator who had apparently never heard of customer service.


Understandably she needed a house number to go with the street name, but as the campus streets didn't actually directly lead up to any buildings, this was not only useless but also impossible. I politely explained this to her, also adding that the streets were all very short, so if say you were to agree to meet someone on a street, you'd easily see them arriving. The best I could provide was the name of the group of dorms on that street (the campus had several different classes of accommodation, but there were several buildings to each, with names ending in -Court... and not clearly marked either).

The operator refused to listen however, and kept shouting: "BUT I NEED A NUMBER! NO I DON'T CARE I NEED A NUMBER!!!"

I guessed that their system required a building number to be entered, but I explained again that the taxi driver would actually have to leave his car somewhere (no parking) and walk for at least 3 minutes before he found the building number... _if_ he picked the right one out of 20 the first time. And of course, I wouldn't be there because I would be on the sidewalk with my luggage, with no sign of the cab.

Unbelievably she went on screaming: "I DON'T CARE IF THERE'S NO NUMBER! GIVE ME A NUMBER!!!!!", etc thereby making it impossible for me to get a word in, so finally I just yelled back: "JUST PUT ZERO THEN!!!"

Pause, more unintelligible screaming, then a grunt of agreement. I found my taxi with no problems, but I fervently hoped she'd died from all the screaming.



This time I was leaving Glasgow for good, and I needed a cab for the airport at about 6am.

I'd moved out of the previous student accommodation and into another on the other side of the campus. This particular court was much nicer than my first residence, but it was even less accessible by car, ie. you had to walk on foot for ages to get from the streets to the flats.

As I had to get my luggage down altogether 5 (3 from flat, 2 down to street) flights of steps to reach my nearest street access, I'd planned to lock up my flat for the last time, haul my bags down to the student office to return the keys, and phone for a taxi while I was kicking my bags down the last two flights of steps, which opened directly on to the street.

I needed to be picked up on the dead-end part of a one-way street, along the entire length of which there were NO doors (except a small loading bay and a fire escape), so certainly NO fucking door numbers. I might have moved further down, only it was a very long street and it was uphill, but it was at least straight and wide, so a taxi driver would have easily found it/spotted me and I him. What I do not have in body mass, I absolutely made up for that day in long-haul baggage.

Everything went fine until I got to the phoning part. Guess what! Operator bitch was on duty again. We went through an uncanny reiteration of the screamy, temple-throbbing "BUT I NEED A NUMBER!!!! performance. This time she couldn't believe that a street existed in the whole of door-infested Glasgow with absolutely no doors on it.

I don't remember the full details, but suddenly it was over and she seemed to have come to terms with the situation. She promised a taxi in 10 minutes, and we hung up.

So 20 minutes passed: no taxi, no cars even passing the far end of the road, and I totally started shitting myself. I called Glasgow Taxis back, and a soft-spoken young man (he was like pink marshmallows compared to bitchy operator) answered.

The following ensued:

Him: We sent a taxi but you didn't show up.
Me: I've been here for the last 20 minutes! Are you sure you got the right street?
Him: That's ___ Street at the University of _____.
Me: The one that opens on to ____ (perpendicular, one-way) Street, yes?
Him: Aye.
Me: Well, I've been here since before I phoned this morning. No one's even passed the street to get into this street!
Him: You didn't pop off somewhere?
Me: No!
Him: Hmm. But it says our taxi driver went there and there was no one there.
Me: That can't be right. Could you please send another taxi?
Him: I'm afraid I can't.
Me: Why not?
Him: Because you stood the first one up, I'm afraid it's your problem.
Me: Listen, I've been waiting here with a huge pile of heavy bags, and I most certainly couldn't have 'popped off' anywhere! There must have been some mistake, because I haven't budged since I called the first time round, and no one has come by.
Him: I'm sorry, I can't help you. It's company policy.
Me: Okay fine. Can you recommend some other company please.
Him: No, I can't do that.
Me: Look, I don't know what's going on over there, but I've done my bit and you've left me in a right fix. Now I've handed over the keys to my flat, and there's no way I can access a phone book, and I need to get to the airport soon.
Him: No, sorry.

At this point, I totally lose it, ie. I go really psycho.

Me: LISTEN HERE. All I did was request a taxi at a specified spot, at an agreed time. I've been here for the last half hour and I KEPT MY PART OF THE AGREEMENT. IS IT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR TAXI DRIVER MADE AN ERROR. I NEED A TAXI AND YOU ARE WASTING MY TIME.
Him: Well, it says here that you weren't there.
Me: Can I please speak to a supervisor.
Him: No, sorry.
Me: Oh, is that company policy too? Please elaborate on your policy.
Him: I can't help you. It's company policy not to send another taxi if someone missed the first one.
Me: Oh I SEE. So how about I call back requesting a taxi on a different street then?
Him: No, sorry, company policy.
Me: No problem, I'll call back with a different voice.
Him: No, sorry, company policy.
Me: And I'll call back with a different name.
Him: No, sorry, company policy. It'll be from the same number.
Me: And I'll call from a different phone. No! In fact, I'll get someone else to call!
Him: No, sorry, company policy.
Me: Do you realise what you're saying??
Him: ...
Me: Look, I REALLY NEED THIS TAXI. I don't know what your taxi driver is up to, but I HAVE A FLIGHT TO CATCH. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF MISSING AN EXPENSIVE FLIGHT, LET ALONE THIS STUPID TAXI RIDE. I WAITED HERE AS AGREED AND NO ONE SHOWED UP AND THIS IS MAKING ME LATE. WHY THE HELL WOULD I MAKE MYSELF LATE FOR A FLIGHT????

Long pause.

Him: Okay. I'll send you another one. But this is the last time, okay? (*last time for what...?!)
Me: THANK YOU!


Conclusion: Most tiring argument ever + if Glasgow Taxis is still like this, be prepared to scream them into submission, or just have spare taxi companies to call in the first place D:
Tags: taxi/limo/rickshaw
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