Lucky, I also hate taxis. With a passion.

Lucky just posted a rant about how awful taxis can be. I completely agree. I’ve had my fair share of awful taxi drivers all over the world, who try to scam me, or even hurt me. However, my worst and most dramatic experience happened in my own home town of Ottawa.

You see, I refuse to be scammed. In some places, it’s just the name of the game, but in Canada, I will actively fight it. I was taking a cab from downtown Ottawa to Little Italy. Here’s what the drive should have been, which is typically $15-20:

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.18.30 AM

When I got into the cab, I said “Carling at Little Italy.” He acknowledged. You see, I don’t drive, so I tend to give taxi drivers the benefit of the doubt. However, I noted we were going the wrong way when the meter hit $28 and I saw the Canadian Tire on Carling… a pretty significant distance past my destination:

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 10.20.15 AM

I told him we over drove, and to turn back. I said I would pay the fare that it should have been between downtown and Little Italy ($20). He said “no, you pay full-fare” (which with the return would have been around $35). I refused. He then refused. So I tossed a $20 bill at him and tried to get out of the car. He locked the door, so I unlocked it, and at a red light, left. He chased after me and grabbed me demanding I pay full fare. Again, I refused. He was yelling, grabbing, chasing, etc. So I called 911.

Normally, I would not have called 911 for this type of situation. That number is reserved for real emergencies. However, I didn’t know what to do, and clearly some sort of third-party management was needed to deescalate the situation.

First off, the 911 operator was an ass. I told him upfront that nobody was in crisis, and not to prioritize this situation above others. His response was: “So you can deprive the cabbie of more fares?” Seriously? I was being calm and trying to communicate the fact that he shouldn’t prioritize this call. Whatever. A cop came by within a couple minutes.

I explained the situation. The cabbie was frantic. The cop explained to the cabbie that if he had such an overdrive, he would also be pissed off (not the mention locking me in the cab, chasing after me, grabbing at me…). To settle the situation, I gave the cabbie $20 (the amount the ride should have been) and made alternative arrangements to get home.

From that day on, I will never take a taxi anywhere unless no Uber is available. What would you have done in this situation? 


  1. Dude, you are nuts. You basically put your life at risk for $15. Really? Yes, he scammed you, he robbed you, etc… but get into that type of argument where you have to call 911 for $15 is just stupid. I would be pissed but pay him and take note of his name, registration, license plate, whatever and later call the taxi company and make a complaint. I many times get taxi drivers to pick me up or drop me off at my home (when Uber is not available). Do you think I will get into any sort of argument with a guy that knows where I live? Sorry but my life and peace of mind is worth more than $15.

  2. Locking you in a car and grabbing you are both a crime. Calling 9-1-1 is the right move.

    If I was the police officer at the scene I would have written a report at a minimum so his behavior is documented.

    The driver will most likely do this again so another person.

  3. Probably a bit more screaming and idle threats would have done the trick. He may well have asked you to leave the cab, as they tend to hate OTT crazy behaviour. He let you ring 911 ?? He should have known when to quit.






    I have been driving Taxis since 1983 and the NSW Government has never considered to give me a FREE Taxi Plate.I will not complain if you do.

    UBER are out to make some fast BUCKS.

    They are trying to get 5,000 PLUS FREE TAXI PLATES.Maybe 10,000 FREE TAXI PLATES.

    They have a BILLION DOLLAR SLUSH FUND to grease the PALMS of people LUKE FOLEY.

    You will not have Professional Taxi Drivers.

    It will damage the Tourist Industry and impoverish all kinds of Taxi Drivers.

    Taxi Driving will be come a good Part-Time Student or Backpacker Job.I do not use a phone in the Taxi because a lot of my passengers are heavily inebriated and its nice to forget about them and start again the next day as if nothing has happened to say nothing of people with substance abuse.

    The minimum wage in England is Five Pounds an Hour but many Sydney Taxi Drivers work for less than this.Unsworth allowed investors to buy the Taxi Plates.I do not complain to my Passengers about Taxi Driving.
    Yes you can change and improve the Taxi and Hire Car Industry but UBER is JUST ORGANISED CRIME.

    Sydney is about the same size as Manchester but with a lot more Car Owners.Taxi Driving in England is a very Exclusive Job.There is a big Shortage of Taxis in England.They have a big Tourist Industry.There is room there for Mini-Cars.
    What UBER is doing is TOTALLY ILLEGAL but for some Economists this might appeal to them to turn me into a casual worker working for absolutely nothing.

    They are good Software App Developers and Possibly they have been recruited from some WAREZ Website but I would rather keep the Job Anonymous as a lot of things happen out there that is best to forget about.

    You can turn me into a Mini Car Driver but Sydney won the Olympics and you certainly did not think about Mini-Cars then.

    Making 5000 Taxis compete with 10000 Mini Cars is BARBARISM.

    Your Job is to make and enforce the LAW.

    You are not enforcing it.

    I make less than 5 Pounds an Hour

    America is the home of the MASSACRE


    UBER IS EXTREME BARBARISM in that in turns me into a Part Time or Unemployed worthless PersonS.

    It will be the end of Sydney Taxis

    They did Total Deregulation of Taxis in Ireland.Many Drivers with borrowed to the hilt and then just KILLED THEMSELVES the end of the CELTIC TIGER

    Bicycle Taxis are totally Deregulated in London but the Tourists like them but there is a Ring of Steel when you leave a Theatre in London.You have not Deregulated Bicycle Taxis in Australia.

    UBER stand to make BILLIONS OF DOLLARS with a deregulated Taxi System

    If there is a shortage of Taxis WHY DONT YOU release more Plates.

    Neville Wran said there was was BUCKETS of money around when he Quit Politics

    You wont have a tourist Industry if the Taxi and Hire Car Drivers are making nothing.We are entitled to Holiday Pay and Sick Pay but we dont get it.

    You can make the Taxi Drivers more Professional but the UBER Business is CRAP and Barbarism

    Sydney has 5000 Taxis and these Organised Crime People like STANDARD OIL say they are taking over.

    Why dont you give the Taxi Industry to COCOA COLA or Pepsi or James Packer.

    They say UBER has already 2000 Taxis working in Sydney.Its your job to enforce the LAW not TURN A BLIND EYE





    The same people who run Mini Car offices in London run Brothels.They are Territorial and you cant just go there and open a mini car office





  5. @ Bill Smith (what an original ‘name’!)~ get off this site you moron! There’s plenty of other loopy sites for you to spew your rubbish; go there!

  6. The scam is bogus, it’s almost like you have to say you’re a resident first. But who knows if that would even work.

    I find lots of cabbies now don’t even really know where they are or where they’re going. They’re either totally reliant on GPS or they’ll ask me…MFer if I knew how to get there, I would’ve told you.

    But the thing that bothers me more, is a 9 minute cab ride shouldn’t cost $15-20. I know you say it casually, but the reality is, that’s a lot of money. Do that 5 times in 3 days as a tourist and you’re at $100 already…let alone adding the tip which I hate giving, you drove me from point A to point B. Congrats, you did your job. Tim Hortons doesn’t get tips, Starbucks does. Pizza delivery gets tips, buying pizza in the store doesn’t…honestly at this point, F tips. Until you can tell me why I should give one out that’s not just cuz it’s custom, then don’t expect one. I digress.

    Cabs are not a viable option in this country or the US for me. It’s outrageous. I can take a cab clear across the city of Medellin, it’s less than $15 and they don’t expect tips. 45-60 minutes from the airport to my apartment, 60,000-70,000 pesos, I allow that scam, it’s supposed to be 65,000 as far as I know, but sometimes they up it a bit…so be it. That’s about $35. From YVR to my apartment, it’s 25 mins with light traffic…$60. I cab from YVR just over the Arthur Laing (if you know Vancouver we’re talking <10 mins) because I park free on the street, screw airport parking, It's like $16, plus a tip $20. Then the guy has the gaul to say to me "buddy I waited in line 3 hours to get this fare and you're only going over the bridge, what a waste of my time". I said "pal, I'm not gonna get you to drive me to where I don't need to go, it's a gamble waiting in that ridiculous airport line. You could get someone wanting to go to Whistler, or someone that lives in Richmond, you have no idea so don't whine to me, that's a risk you all take by waiting there, don't tell me you didn't take a nap either, so I'm not crying for you.

    We don't have Uber yet in Vancouver, I'm kinda excited to try it in LA next week, I'm still not 100% sure what the service is, but it's gotta be better than cabs. They're willing to rip you off, they provide an easy (albeit essential) service, and gouge the hell out of you for it. Can't wait until cars are fully electric and the price still won't drop.

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