Monday, September 19, 2016

Update: Taxis Combined nightmare

Well, while Taxis Combined clearly isn't even trying to provide a decent service, they do at least respond to feedback. This is their reply, sent via a series of Twitter messages:

Thanks, Frank. We will pass this on to our Driver Services Team who will address with the Driver in accordance with our codes of conduct. While we are not permitted to discuss exactly what occurs with the Driver during this process, we can advise that action taken will depend on the Driver's past feedback & driving history. Action can include counselling, additional training & cancellation of the Driver's affiliation w/ Taxis Combined. This incident will also be recorded on their permanent record. Please accept our apologies for your experience. It by no means meets the standards we expect from affiliated Drivers. If you could DM your preferred postal address, we would like to send you a Cabcharge voucher to both apologise & thank you for providing this feedback. - Cass

For the record, they have in the meantime mailed that Cabcharge voucher (AUD 20) referred to in the above response.

The rest of it, namely the part about "possible action" to be taken against the driver does come across as fluffy and meaningless; or to put it more bluntly, outright bullshit. The fact that this driver was on the road at all clearly indicates that Taxis Combined tolerate that kind of performance. I have no doubt there must have been previous complaints about this guy (people very rarely turn from decent human being into nausea-inducing pig overnight), yet Taxis Combined obviously didn't see a problem with keeping him driving for them.

Adding to that the fact that while this was by far the worst experience with this taxi company, every single previous ride with them was, awful (all of their cabs I've been in were filthy, and every single one of their drivers was either rude, lazy (no help with luggage), incompetent with directions, downright dangerous in their driving (n most cases a combination of several of these); I can say with certainty that my resolve to never use Taxis combined again has not changed.

Avoiding them is of course easiest when booking a cab; just call someone else … anyone else.

But also keep in mind that at taxi ranks, you are under no obligation to take the first cab in line; and at places like airports etc, you don't have to take the cab the hi-vis-wearing wrangler directs you to.

For the record; yes I do have a preferred taxi operator in Sydney; and no I won't name them; I don't want this whole episode to be perceived as an endorsement or promo-stunt for any one particular provider. I also am not affiliated in any way with any commercial, private, or public transport providers of any kind.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Taxis Combined – another trip from hell

I'm the first to admit my own mistakes, and just accepting whatever cab the taxi wrangler at Sydney airport directs me to definitely qualifies.

On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, just before 8pm, the next available cab in the queue at the international terminal of Sydney airport happened to be Taxis Combined taxi # 2203. I had bad trips with these guys in the past, but this one beat them all.

The actual driving brought no surprises; quite a few heart-stopping lane changes, a nearly missed turn; nothing you wouldn't expect from any taxi in Sydney.

The driver, however, was another story. Constantly sneezing and coughing, he soon explained that he had, in his words, "a cold, or maybe the flu". For the entire trip, he continued to rub his nose and wipe his face. And just in case that wasn't gross enough, he not only constantly chewed on his chewing gum in an extremely vomit – inducing manner, but also used those same hands that would later handle my luggage (again) and potentially touch my credit card to extensively play with said chewing gum.

We can only hope guys like this, and indeed companies like Taxis Combined who manage to provide consistently appalling service, will be put out of business by competition like Uber sooner than later.