Open Mike: Taxi Service?
27 Mar, 2014
By Loop Reader
To the Editor:
Early this year ( I think), Chatsworth Taxi quietly took over Larchmont Depot Taxi. As far as I know, this means there is now pretty much a monopoly
in town for local taxi service, at least based at / near the station.
Sometimes when companies do this thing, they send out a message to clients to the effect “we’re merging to bring you better service.”
This does not seem to be the case here. Service quality pretty much plummeted right away.
Over the years, I’ve used Depot Taxi regularly to go to/from area airports. A key part of the convenience was that you could have an account with them and they would just bill you later after the actual trip. Now, they’ve just ended that, without even bothering to communicate to longtime customers that they were doing that.
It may not sound like a huge deal, but usually on the way to the airport I am tight on time …and coming back I am usually tired and just want to get into my home.
Now, I have to factor in the extra time to swipe the card, sign the receipt etc. Plus for this lesser convenience, I have to accept a $1.25 “processing fee” on the spot.
But even worse : on 2 of 3 recent occasions when I’ve used these guys, the card reader did not work properly. One driver said he needed to drive me nearer to the station so the reader could get contact. Why should this kind of thing be the customer’s problem?
The former Depot taxi used to also be willing to arrange to swoop by and grab me on the departure level at LaGuardia when I came home in the evening from various places …. the new guys don’t seem willing to do that, and that means waiting in packed pickup areas and hoping they actually see me and can get to me. At JFK earlier this week, I had to run through 3 lanes of traffic to hop into their car because the driver seemed to have no intention to actually pull over to where I had told the dispatcher I was standing.
I used Depot Taxi for years car to/from airports because I’ve enjoyed the convenience of not having to deal with payment paperwork on the rides, and because they were willing to pick me up where it is most convenient for me at airports, and because in most cases I didn’t need to explain where my home is, coming back from the airport. Two of the last two drivers I had in recent weeks also could not quite figure out that last part. If the dispatcher won’t tell them where the customer’s home is, why can’t they at least use Mapquest on their phones or something to figure it out ?
I am ready to switch ASAP … I just wish there were another provider. Monopolies are bad.
CB / Larchmont