Hailing a cab can lead to many undesired consequences, discovered many passengers, who’ve complained of being blatantly bullied by irate drivers for a service they were paying for.
Many are shocked at the cabbies’ rude behaviour.Debanjana is infrequent on the taxi trail but the few times she has taken the cab has left her thoroughly exasperated.
“I was in the cab a few days back, when the driver got a call from, who he later explained was, his ‘regular customer’. I wasn’t paying any attention until I noticed he had pulled over at the Marina Mall and was frantically looking for another cab… for me,” she narrated.The driver was trying to get her another cab so that he could pick-up his ‘regular customer’.
“When I insisted that he drop me off at the point I asked him to, and not find me another cab, he appeared uneasy and stressed, and kept calling back his ‘customer’ to confirm if he was OK.” And, when Debanjana threatened to inform the RTA about his behaviour, he retorted with, “You just want to get people in trouble, don’t you?”
This, however, isn’t her first taxi horror story. She recalled another incident, when a cabbie started yelling at her because she suggested an alternate route. Debanjana was accompanied by her friends’ kids, who started crying after seeing the cabbie angry.
Rimi John, however, had it far worse, when her cabbie suddenly decided to stop-over at a petrol station, en route to her destination in Dubai Marina. “I was getting late for my appointment and asked him why he didn’t tell me about not having enough petrol earlier. At this point, he started shouting at me. I was completely taken aback by his reaction and decided to stay quiet and then file a complaint.”But as soon as she reached her destination and stepped out of the cab, “he got out and started abusing me, again. I was so terrified that I just rushed into the building and informed the security guard. But, by the time, the guard stepped out, the taxi was gone.”
A complaint was filed at the RTA, and the driver was given a warning.Nisha faced similar taunts from a cabbie, when she asked him to take a shorter route. “He was furious when I asked him to take the other route and started yelling at me and asking me if I was stupid. And, when I insisted on being dropped off right there, he drove further, parked under a bridge, and ensured it was impossible for me to get out.”
However she wasn’t willing to let it go just yet, and called the RTA from the backseat. “I was told to take a receipt and then file a complaint, which I did. And, within 24 hours, I was informed that the driver was questioned and let go with a warning.”She claimed that some drivers even objected to short distances, from her office to the metro station, alleging it didn’t profit them to cater to such customers.
A five-month-pregger Ashwathy was forced to take another cab, just seconds after sitting in one, because the driver ordered she couldn’t eat in his cab. “I told him I had to for health reasons, but he wouldn’t listen. I even offered to clean up, if I messed up, but he wouldn’t budge. I was so fed-up and tired that I decided to get out and find another taxi,” she recalled.
Bindi Mehta, who hailed a cab at 10.30pm from Bur Dubai to Deira, was left uncomfortable when the cabbie started asking her personal questions. “He wanted to know why I wanted to go home so early and why I wasn’t married,” she recapped, adding that when she sternly asked him to mind his own business, he replied, rather glumly about how no one ever wanted to talk to him.She also filed a complaint with the RTA, and was informed that action was taken against the driver. “They told me that he was fined and it incurred him black points and a trip to the driving centre.”
And, if you thought that such incidents were targeted only at women, then think again. A marketing official remembered how his taxi ride turned into a nightmare, when an argument broke out between him and the driver. “And, when I could take it no more, I asked him to stop. When I stepped out and stretched out to pay him, he grabbed my hand and bit it. And before I could comprehend what was going on, he got of the cab and ran away.”
Emirates 24|7 e-mailed RTA asking them about the process of punishment for such drivers, but no response has yet been received. And when we tweeted our query to (@RTA_Dubai), they replied stating, “Every complaint is handled invidually. For a more comprehensive answer please contact RTA Sr. official spokes people.”
Our e-mail to the RTA still remains unanswered. Have you had a similar experience? Write to us.