By John Igbinosun
It’s about 5:30am on a Monday morning and I pick up my sleepy self out of bed to start the morning rituals so I could beat the usual Lagos Monday traffic.
It’s one of those days that I would rather not go to the bus stop and hitch a ride, rather, I say to myself, just request a taxi; already seeing how fly I was looking (wide grin). Well, based on several matrices I decided to go for Taxify. #sighs
The app showed that the driver was quite a while away, but I stared at my wrist watch and it read 5:59AM (there was time) and with honorable poise I stepped out of my estate to save him the stress of having to drive in and all those shenanigans.
6:05AM. I have now called the driver who sounded quite unbothered, making me fear the worst. Have you ever spoken to a service provider and the tone of their voice was already a turn off for you? It’s so funny how people pay such little attention to such huge detail as the first impression is everything in sealing a deal!!! How can’t people just know that? Argggghhhhh!
6:15AM. I can vouch that some of you have been in that place where you don’t know if you should be angry, cry, or laugh all at the same time. The emotions now raging in my head were such a mix that I didn’t notice when he eventually drove up to me.
6:22AM. I slammed the door shut and held myself from starting with the necessary ire vent compatible with what I was feeling. If he had not said a word, maybe and just maybe I may have contained my wrath, but he spoke. Oh driver, why did you have to go do that now?
He turns to me and starts telling me about how the application had been giving issues and as a result we would need to manually calculate the fare. Some major balderdash about having to top up the fare if there was any deficit. I have never heard such rubbish in my life coming out of the mouth of a supposed professional in his field of work. Imagine that! Well, by the time I was done with all I had to say, it was a very silent and long trip to my office. He spoke not another word! (laughs)
Now we have heard a lot of stories coming from our Taxi providers in recent times, ranging from physical molestation to ending trips mid-way and all sorts. Though I have never experienced such extremities, we cannot disrepute them all.
But, can riders protect themselves against some of these mishaps and service failures? Absolutely!!
Take for instance you were charged for cancellation of a ride when the driver took a while, or the drivers keep cancelling for whatever reasons. Each app allows for a robust reporting system for submitting your feedback and complaints. By selecting the Menu option and the “my trips” option, you would then see details of all the trips taken and you can raise a dispute with any charge that may have been debited from your account.
Another key step to take when making a request is to enter the destination and confirm the price estimate before initiating the request, this way, if there is an outrageous charge at the end, you can confidently dispute same with needed backing and proof. This will also defeat any plan for a driver to be tempted to end the trip mid-way and ask for payment.
Other great things to note is that you must ensure that you pay attention to all details, from plate number, to driver’s face etc. Don’t take anything for granted, because if the chips go down and you were in a wrong vehicle or didn’t do something right, there is little the company support can give to you.
So you may be wondering what happened to that driver after the trip right? Well, it turned out to be a great Monday that day and I just let that one slide, which is unlike me, but wait oh, on second thoughts…. #picksupphoneopenstaxifyapp….
Facebook & IG: @iamjohnnienglish
Email: Johnigbinosun@gmail.com, johnigbinosunspeaks.wordpress.com