Monday, May 14, 2012

Modern Taxi Service

Friday night, my wife wanted to go to the Jack Rose Dining Saloon (in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, DC). Donna was wanting us to liberally avail ourselves of their rather complete whiskey menu, so she wanted to cab or Metro into the city. The closest Metro station to our destination was a five block walk from the restaurant, so we opted to take a cab, instead.

Normally, I call Red Top cab (out of Arlington). Unfortunately, their corporate policies preclude them from taking reservations between 20:00 and 03:00 on Fridays and Saturday nights. Worse, they could only promise us a cab in a forty minute window. Since Donna was not yet done prepping for a night on the town and we had reservations, I couldn't afford to risk using their service. So, I hit up Google Maps to see what other taxi options we might have.

I found a listing for Alexandria Yellow Cab and gave them a call. They were able to promise me a more reasonable service window and a cab that took credit cards (I don't frequently carry cash), so I set the reservation. Ten minutes before the cab was due to arrive, I received an SMS indicating the cab number, the time dispatched and an ETA. The cab arrived within five minutes of when the original call promised. We hopped in and were on our way.

As we got close to our destination, I slid my card in the back-seat credit card reader. The driver asked if I could pay cash, instead ("it's better for me," he said). I said that I preferred to pay with plastic as I was short on cash (not quite a lie: I was saving what cash I had for the cab back since cabs in the city, more often than not, don't take plastic at all - though DC is supposedly trying to change that - it's only 2012, after all). When we got to the drop-off point, the cabbie claimed that the credit card reader wasn't working. Odd, given that it had indicated that it had accepted my card.

I didn't feel like starting the evening out on the down note of arguing with the cabbie, so I dug through my pockets and scraped together exactly enough cash to pay the fare. Fucker was obviously dicking me over so I figured that turn-about was fair play. Need to call the cab company to find out whether or not the meter was actually broken or if the cabbie was trying to do something off the books (or whatever).

Oh well, at least it was a good night at the "saloon".

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