I’m going to get right to the point on this one. I have experienced over the summer some weird business practices by Beck taxi. I went to a couple of concerts in Toronto and when leaving the venue (Budweiser forum) I noticed people going up to cabs that had their light on but seemed they were not taking passengers. I first assumed these cabs were already picking up a called in trip. I quickly learned this wasn’t the case. The drivers were yelling out fees they wanted to take people to their destinations. $50!! $100!! The drivers were yelling out the window.
Hundreds of people standing along the street hoping to get the next cab in line but the drivers refused most customers unless the driver and the customer agreed on a flat rate. Of course, people were not interested in the high fee the cabby wanted to charge.
I was with my best buddy when it happened to us the first time. We ended up not being accepted as a customer when I said I wanted the meter running. The drivers refused. At least half a dozen taxis left us standing to hail cabs that refused to take us to our hotel. We ended up walking from Budweiser Stadium to the Royal York which, if you aren’t familiar, is right across from Toronto Union Station.
Now I’m on my second concert with my Dad and the same thing happened again. Drivers were refusing hundreds of people while being rude, dismissive, and money hungry, refusing again to turn on the meter. I witnessed men and women surely pushing 80 years old people left on the curb. Walkers and all!! They were not welcome.
It was mayhem. It took my Dad and I over an hour to get a cab. Not because they weren’t there but because the cabby’s refused service to dozens of patrons including my Dad and I. When I finally argued my way into a cab. The driver was eager to tell me as I complained about what I had just gone through. The driver didn’t hesitate to explain the drivers wait for the highest bid and then take the customer.
After I finally arrived at my destination, I decided to call Beck to speak to a supervisor. I wasn’t able to speak to one due to it being too busy so I left word and hoped for a return call that never came. The next day I called again and got the same result.
Is this just a “me” problem, or is there something definitely shady how the drivers are treating their jobs and clients? I gave the mayor’s office a call but never got a response from them either. So, what’s the deal with these drivers price gouging paying customers, and going so far as to be rude and at times downright insulting? I’ll tell you one thing, people were being finally taken because there was no other way to get around. Not counting the TTC which wasn’t an option for us.
I’ll continue to investigate this serious problem. It’s a matter of safety, trust, and good business practice. It’s no wonder Y Ride’s are becoming the better way to travel in the city but what do I know I’m just another sucker trying to get around in Toronto.
(Since writing this blog I have come to understand that there are many drivers who are not driving for Beck but use the logos on their cars.)
Author Bruce Christopher
Editor Martan Rye
Hair by Polo Blends.