yellow cab co. / taxi driver's fraud
Last New Year's Night (1/1/15), I called the dispatch number as I've done many times in the past to request a taxi. It arrived within 10 minutes and I racked up $37 in travel distance and waiting time charges during several brief stops at various nearby destinations. I promptly paid that full amount via credit card and got a phone call shortly after that necessitated two more stops that in turn logged an addition $14.75 on the meter by the time I arrived back home. However, my credit card issuer declined two attempted charges for that small amount, which I knew had to be an error. After calling the bank and learning to my horror that only $7 was available on my credit card, I offered to pay that amount equal to nearly half the second $14.75 fare and provide the driver with my ID until I could access cash to pay the rest on the next day when local banks reopened. He rudely replied that he couldn't process a partial fare payment via credit card and threatened to call police and press charges if I didn't pay in full on the spot. I knew there had to be some mistake on part of the card issuing bank, so I asked for a few minutes to try and straighten out the mess with its Cust. Svc. Dept. However, the Yellow Cab driver began increasingly belligerent and demanded one of several brand new power tool that were in my possession at the time. After practically snatching one of the bags that held a $250 cordless drill set still inside its box, he shoved his card into my hand and sped away.
Less than two hours later after I'd resolved the error with my card issuing bank, I texted him to request that he return my item in exchange for full payment plus a nice bonus for the inconvenience and time of having to make a 2nd trip to my home.
Well, to make a long story short, he stalled and told one lie after another for the next several days to avoid returning my expensive property. After finally dropping it off at the taxi dispatch office 14.2 miles away for 2 or 3 days, during which time I was unable to arrange a cost-efficient ride. You see, I don't own a car due to very poor eyesight, which is why I rely on cabs a lot, which led to this problem in the first place! Besides that, the taxi dispatch office closes very early at 3pm, which further complicates matters because most family and friends with cars don't get off work until long after that time anyway. After 2 or 3 days, I finally arranged a ride to the dispatch office and called first to ensure that someone would be there. The manager who answered the phone advised that the cabbie had retrieved my item shortly before while stating that "one week was long enough." It didn't stay in the office for a full week and I can easily prove that. Moreover, the sole reason the fare wasn't paid timely when the driver dropped me off at home was due to a documented bank error.
Now, nobody at the local taxi dispatch office or corporate headquarters in the next state over will intervene further or even answer my calls. Their collective attitude seems to be that the driver's an independent contractor and they have no responsibility to facilitate a fair resolution. DEAD WRONG! What they fail to comprehend (despite being advised by me several times) is that: 1) I happen to be a lawyer who's trained in legal matters; and, 2) Taxicab companies indeed have "vicarious liability" for independent contractor-lessee's misconduct under at least 4 different legal theories. (For more details, see: http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/liability-of-taxicab-company-for-drivers-negligence.html).
So far, I've filed a formal complaint with the local County Motor Vehicle for Hire Commission and will not stop until I get justice. This is mainly because I've since heard that Yellow Cab Co. is notorious for abusive business practices, reportedly due to smug arrogance as a 'global corporation.' ***AVOID CALLING YELLOW CAB AT ALL COSTS ***!!! The time, money and energy you save will definitely be mostly your own!
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