Astrianna the Sleepy Warlord (sleepywarlord) wrote in bad_service,
Astrianna the Sleepy Warlord

Snarky dispatcher + cab drivers who don't know their own town, or that a building has FOUR sides.

I have a few health problems that make taking the bus in a timely manner somewhat difficult (especially due to the fact that I'm in a small town, the buses run once every 45 minutes maybe? and I have to transfer halfway through or spend an hour going everywhere before going to the university--- the city is literally 15 minutes wide by driving, it that). So I opted for signing up with a cab company -- a card that offers no discounts, but I prepay and thus don't have to worry about it. (This ended up causing a lot of stress as I never knew what my balance was. That and the person who set it up explained it was a prepay card, not something on credit-- so much to my surprise when I got a bill saying I owed them money one time, but whatever. After that scare I ended up just foregoing the card altogether). This letter is to address a completely different issue but I wanted to give as much background information as I could. Also, renting a car > taking the cab the distance I need to go 1x a day (I can manage taking the bus after class because I can take my time).

Also, another thing drivers do, that I'm not mentioning but it is irksome… is that they often ask if i take the cab regularly? And how expensive that must be, har har har, but I just smile and nod. I figure it's just something for them to talk about and they're trying to make nice, and probably don't realize how inappropriate it is for someone to be talking to me about my finances (I feel uncomfortable, but it happens once in a blue moon).

And there's only 2 malls, fyi. and the washroom I mention is right by the entrance. and I wanted feedback on the letter I'm going to submit. I changed the info on the university door names and the cab company until I submit it.


Dear __________,

I have been using your services since September 2010 and have for the most part appreciated the quality and friendliness I have encountered. Of course, there has been issues where drivers do arrive late because of traffic, weather conditions, or just a high volume of calls -- I understand that -- I am writing you today because of an issue I have experienced frequently although sporadic since September, and I feel it needs to be formally addressed.

More than once I have called for a cab, and the driver has just never shown. When I called back to the dispatch, they informed me the driver couldn't find me but they would send another. Annoyed as I was, I often let this slide without complaint as the dispatcher was pleasant enough and often apologized for this mix up. I don't quite understand how a driver cannot find me when I am standing outside, and there are only four small sides to the building -- but to counteract this dilemma and to save time I have begun asking dispatch to inform the driver I am "in the back". Again, this didn't happen every time, but often enough I would arrive late for class and this would cause a problem with my professors.

This has even happened once when I used a phone located in the mall, designated specifically to reach your company. I quoted the sign that was located on the plaque (with your company's name on it) beside the phone for the location I am at. The driver never showed, in fact I believe I waited over an hour as cab after cab was sent, and I had to explain in detail where I was. I was under the assumption your company had ordered and displayed the signs, so I was under impression that your drivers would know what the "Food Court exit" meant. Later, I made sure I was at the front, beside Wal*Mart in future calls to prevent this.

This has also happened when I have called for a cab late at night to pick me up from the university. Again, I have only been here this year, but it seemed to be general consensus that there were two familiar doors students could stand at. Either the XYZ doors, or the ABC doors. They're right beside each other, and one can see the entire drive by standing in front of either, but I make sure to specify the ABC doors to avoid confusion. More than once drivers have not shown, and I've had to call the dispatch again and request that the cab be sent. Regularly the dispatch has been polite and kind about it, not understanding where the confusion was. Tonight was different.

Tonight I called for a cab around 8:20pm. I walked from my class to the front doors (5 minutes) and waited. I waited outside, even though it was a bit chilly, and even though my knee was extremely painful to stand on -- because I did not want to miss the cab. After about 20 minutes of waiting, I went inside to use the washroom (5 minutes), and came back out. I waited and eventually came inside the ABC doors to sit down as I was getting cold. As you may know, the ABC doors and the wall on either side of them are made of glass so I have a clear view of a great portion of the drive in front of these doors. I then decided to call the dispatcher back to find out what the problem was. The person who answered was rude, and had zero patience. She informed me that the driver had been waiting for me right outside the ABC doors for the past 30 minutes and had now left. She would send another cab and then promptly hung up. I was a bit shocked at her terseness but went outside immediately only to see a cab turning around in the drive. I went as fast as I could manage with a swollen knee and waved my hands feverently to catch the driver's attention. He stopped, and I opened the doors and asked if he was in fact my cab driver. He said yes. I then asked if he had been parked down the way the entire time? He said no, he was the second cab driver to come, the previous one had already left. Confused I explained to him what happened, and we shrugged it off as neither of us could understand what happened. He was absolutely pleasant and polite and completely what I have learned to expect from ______ company.

The reason I am writing this today is because of the utter rudeness of the dispatch woman tonight, and her assertion that I was one hundred percent in the wrong, and she was doing me a favour of sending a second cab to pick me up. I think her attitude, despite whatever the situation might be at the office, was completely uncalled for. As a customer I do not appreciate it being insinuated that I was fabricating excuses and making drivers wait for no reason. As I mentioned before I have been nothing but patient when these incidents occurred in the past, but if this is the attitude I will receive when there was clearly either a miscommunication or a misunderstanding on someone's part then I will be sure to call a different cab company in the future.

Also-- I believe that everyone should be brought up to speed as to where exactly XYZ doors are, as well as ABC doors, and any other areas or locations that might have plaques with specific names to prevent this from occurring in the future-- as it must cause much duress to all parties involved. Also, perhaps a information session for drivers to drive around the building entirely once (where possible) before taking off abruptly would prevent future customers from waiting 20 minutes or more in the snow while the cab driver sits, warmly, on the other side of the building-- then takes off.

Thank you for your time,

Follow Up: A friend who came out of the washroom when I was going in said she saw the cab, and was going to tell him I just went to the washroom - but figured I'd only be a couple of minutes so it'd be fine. Apparently those 5 minutes I went to the washroom = 30 minutes of waiting in cab time (wtf?)... and he wasn't waiting there prior because I made SURE to pass the washroom FIRST and check to see if he was there before I went. This makes me so upset :(
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