7am was foggy in Austin. I noticed when I poked my head out the door to look for the cab that, of course, wasn’t there. I waited the requisite 20 minutes and then put in my phone call.
“We’re very busy,” said the dispatcher. “And we don’t guarantee our arrival time.”
“That’s bullshit,” I replied. “I want to speak to your manager.”
“We don’t guarantee our arrival time,” said the manager. “Plus, it’s foggy outside.”
“My cab yesterday NEVER came! I mean, I just really want to know, is a cab coming, or not?”
“Wait 20 more minutes,” she advised. “Call us back then.”
I think not. I woke up my friend, who woke up her husband, who, kindly, drove me downtown.
Two hours later, I still hadn’t received a call from the cab company, which led me to believe there were still no available cabs. But lo! Across the street! During my cigarette-and-coffee break, I certainly did spy four empties waiting for a fare. And I got SO mad. Once more, I dialed the number for Yellow Cab Austin. After listening to three rounds of their hold message, I was in no mood to dally around with the dispatcher – I got put right to the top. And by “right to the top” I mean “to the owner’s voicemail”.
Voicemail? VOICEMAIL??!! You could have popped me with a pin, I was so puffed up. So I did the only think I could do – I threatened legal action. He called me right back, sure he did, and he was VERY apologetic. “This is entirely our fault,” he admitted, and went on to tell me how they’d had some kind of electrical surge in their system that totally fried their dispatch center.
I put on my best business voice. “Well sir, I appreciate your position and I certainly thank you for calling me back. But I would suggest to you that you simply be transparent with your customers, instead of promising them cabs that won’t ever arrive.”
I mean, I almost felt bad for the guy. One more post, and you’ll see what happens.