Nearly two years ago, the City of Montreal imposed new rules on taxi drivers: you need to accept debit and credit cards as a form of payment.
As almost any Montrealer knows, taxi drivers in the city can be pretty reluctant to accept debit or credit. The new laws enforcing the acceptance of debit/credit were supposed to change all that.
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Apparently, though, some taxi drivers still didn’t get the memo, or are choosing to completely ignore the somewhat-new bylaw.
That’s what happened to Randy Spriggs, a Montreal man who took a taxi from Mount Royal metro last Friday, only for the whole experience to go sour once it came time to pay for the ride.
According to Spriggs, speaking to CJAD, his taxi driver instantly became irritable when he tried to pay with his debit.
Not only that, the driver kept trying to get Spriggs to pay with cash, completely ignoring Spriggs’ request for a debit machine.
Then things got a little heated. The two kept going back and forth about the method of payment, and Spriggs eventually shot back at the driver, saying that “this is Uber exists.”
According to Spriggs, the taxi driver then angrily responded back “next time, take a f*cking Uber.”
Obviously Uber is still a really sore subject for Montreal taxi drivers.
Fortunately, Spriggs knows that it’s the law for taxi drivers to accept debit cards, and once he brought that up, the driver handed him the machine to pay.
The whole experience wasn’t exactly a model of good customer service and now Spriggs is denouncing all taxi drivers, vowing never to take a taxi in Montreal ever again.
To Spriggs, it would be better to just walk. Or maybe take an Uber, though Spriggs wasn’t quoted saying that.
We’ve probably all had similar experiences with taxi drivers in the city at least before the October 2015 bylaw-change, when cabs weren’t obliged to accept debit or credit. Things have gotten better, but taxi drivers are still reluctant to have their customers pay with card.
And to be honest, the reason why is understandable. Anytime a rider pays with their debit or credit card, the taxi company a driver works for takes a 7% cut on the fare, says CJAD.
Essentially, taxi drivers lose money when people don’t pay with cash.
Not that it’s really a customer's duty to always have cash on-hand. Using a debit or credit card is simply easier in most cases. If anything, it looks like that 7% cut the taxi companies are taking on debit/credit transactions is the real problem.