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Author Topic: What's the problem with cab drivers and credit cards?
Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Just returned from Universal Orlando and had a great time!

Just one frustration:

Why are some cab drivers so reluctant to take credit cards?

Driver #1: got all worked up at the start of the ride when I mentioned the credit card; asked me if I could pay in cash (I answered that I had very little); said that credit cards cause trouble: "the company" gets the money and that "we" (the drivers) don't see it for a few days.

Driver #2: ran my credit card at the very end of the ride, twice, and said it wouldn't go through. I was forced to pay out a lot of my cash, and after getting out told the hotel attendant I did *not* want that driver for my ride back.

At this point the hotel attendant said that sometimes they pull something like this:

Driver: "We don't take credit cards."
Passenger: "Okay, I'll just take another cab."
Driver: "Wait a minute . . . " (radios to home, asking if he can take a credit card) "Okay, I'll make an exception, and take your card!"

Driver #3: excellent service, took the card without complaining; I asked specially for him for my return trip, and he didn't even want to take a tip for the return trip (I insisted).

You'd think that businesses that take credit cards would want to make it as pleasant and convenient for the customers as possible, cab drivers as well as restaurant servers. Sure, there's a credit card fee the businesses pay, but it seems that if you keep the people happy you get a bigger tip.

(needed to rant)

Thanks.

Bill

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I think that the reason some give a hassle over CC's is due to tip. Granted, when the card is run back at the shop, they run it including the tip to the price and the driver should get the tip at the end of the day, but I think your driver's problem was that it is harder to not claim a tip on a CC as opposed to cash.

Yep, he didn't want to take the CC because if you put a tip on it, he'd have to claim it for taxes. Cash--makes it very easy to finagle the total in tips.

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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Goombah
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I'd agree with LMS and add the fact that cash is just simply faster and easier. Time is money for these drivers and a minute spent dealing with your CC is money you are taking from their pockets. Cards are intended to be convenient for the customer, NOT for the business operator. The fact that the cab driver's boss forces him to use them costs the driver time and money. I don't blame them for being disgruntled over it.

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Ok guys, try to remember this time. It's pillage first, then burn.

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Before cabs started taking credit cards, I've asked drivers to take me to the ATM machine so I can withdraw cash. They didn't seem to mind the extra time wasted while I was on the ATM machine, and they didn't charge extra for it.

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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ds_40
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Bill:
Driver #2: ran my credit card at the very end of the ride, twice, and said it wouldn't go through. I was forced to pay out a lot of my cash, and after getting out told the hotel attendant I did *not* want that driver for my ride back.

You dislike him that much because your credit card didn't go through? He may have been telling the truth and there was a problem from the bank at that time and the only information he'd see on a machine is "decline" no reason why.
Small companies hate credit cards because of how much they are charged for accepting the card. Obviously that doesn't matter to the consumer, but that 5% (or whatever it is) can make a big difference to the person who is not getting the money. And the taxi company probably doesn't give the driver any money until they actually get the money (good for the business - not so good for the driver), at which point they lose the 5%, and the company probably also keeps whatever tips were put on the card.

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àðé ãåã äîìê

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keokuk
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Jay:
Before cabs started taking credit cards, I've asked drivers to take me to the ATM machine so I can withdraw cash. They didn't seem to mind the extra time wasted while I was on the ATM machine, and they didn't charge extra for it.

I think the distinction might be that if you need to go to an ATM, the assumption is that you don't have the money to pay him on hand, whereas people will often choose to pay with credit even though they have cash with them.
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Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Thanks for the replies, everyone.

quote:
Originally posted by ds_40:
quote:
Originally posted by Bill:
Driver #2: ran my credit card at the very end of the ride, twice, and said it wouldn't go through. I was forced to pay out a lot of my cash, and after getting out told the hotel attendant I did *not* want that driver for my ride back.

You dislike him that much because your credit card didn't go through? He may have been telling the truth and there was a problem from the bank at that time and the only information he'd see on a machine is "decline" no reason why.
Small companies hate credit cards because of how much they are charged for accepting the card. Obviously that doesn't matter to the consumer, but that 5% (or whatever it is) can make a big difference to the person who is not getting the money. And the taxi company probably doesn't give the driver any money until they actually get the money (good for the business - not so good for the driver), at which point they lose the 5%, and the company probably also keeps whatever tips were put on the card.

Yes, I do.

It certainly is not my fault that the card did not go through. He shouldn't have taken me all the way to the hotel before he found out the card wouldn't work. It took a big part of the cash that I had on me in order to pay him (and if I had had exact change he would have gotten a *zero tip* instead of the dollar or so he got).

Any kind of a business person would have taken appropriate precautions. At the start of the trip he could have told me the fare (about $33) and run the credit card so there'd be no question about payment. If the credit card "didn't go through" (and I think there is a chance he either was lying or didn't know how to operate the machine), then I could have gotten another cab.

And on the second part of that (the cost of credit cards to small companies), in the case of tipped service personnel (cab drivers, restaurant servers), the employees/firms just have to deal with it. I reiterate what I said in the earlier post. Make it a pleasant experience for the customer, you lose the credit card fee but you get a nice tip. Throw obstacles at somebody ("sorry your card won't go through" at the end of the ride), and don't expect a tip.

Thanks.

Bill

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I don't know about other countries, but in Sweden the answer is simple: tax evasion. Cash leaves much less paper trails for the tax man to follow, and it's very difficult to actually make an honest profit by driving a cab.

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/Troberg

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Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Bill, I am not familiar with cabs in Florida, so indulge me. Are the fares charged by zone, like in Washington D.C. or are they charged by distance & time like other large cities? If it's not by zone, I can't figure out how he could have charged you before you took the ride. [Confused]

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"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

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Bill
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Roadie:
Bill, I am not familiar with cabs in Florida, so indulge me. Are the fares charged by zone, like in Washington D.C. or are they charged by distance & time like other large cities? If it's not by zone, I can't figure out how he could have charged you before you took the ride. [Confused]

I don't believe it's a zone system, but the driver I took for my return trip quoted me a fare in advance, and I believe that's common for long trips (as it has been in my experience back home). The driver who gave me the problem used a meter, but the total turned out to be about the same.

Also, as a couple of you mentioned, there may be a question of underreporting tips, actually *tax evasion*, and if this is so I have zero tolerance, as someone who pays taxes on his full income and who paid income tax and Social Security tax on his small income when he was young and poor. So if someone wants to put the tips in his pocket so he won't have to pay taxes on them, or thinks that he's justified in doing it because "it's hard to make a living driving a cab," he'll get zero sympathy from me.

Thanks.

Bill

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Wild.Otaku
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Bill, I've got one concern. The 2nd driver who scanned your card twice: I'd really make sure that it was declined and not skimmed.

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Tom, we're flying a giant robot into space! "Safe" isn't the first word that springs to mind! - Colleen, Last Hope, Vol.2

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ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Troberg:
I don't know about other countries, but in Sweden the answer is simple: tax evasion. Cash leaves much less paper trails for the tax man to follow, and it's very difficult to actually make an honest profit by driving a cab.

I'm under the impression that cab fares and the cab system in general are quite regulated here. Each city seems to have an iron-clad system for cab fares. I think other than the tip it would be hard for a cabby to under-report the fare, just as it's hard for them to overcharge.

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Officially Heartless

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Niner
Deck the Malls


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I took a cab the other day with my friends and brother, and the driver gave us a different explanation of why he hates credit cards (during the ride). He said that the company that does the credit card processing for him skims about 20% off the top, and that they then only pay about 1-2% of that to the CC company. Therefore, paying with credit reduces the amount of money a driver can bring in.

The kicker? My brother, who was in charge of paying for the cab ride, didn't have cash. We tipped decently though - because the driver deserved it, not because of the CC thing.

Henry

ETA: less pronouns

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smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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I tend not to carry much cash at all, so I use my credit card/debit card quite a bit. But I do try to give tips in cash, because a friend of mine who delivered pizzas for a large chain told me that they sometimes don't get charged tips for a few days. However, when I mentioned this to a driver for a small mom & pop shop, he said he gets his tip as soon as he goes back to the store. I think it depends on the business.

With so many people either using debit or credit cards instead of cash, businesses need to make it easy for that to happen. Aren't we supposed to be moving towards a cash-free society? I won't patronize a business that makes it difficult to use a credit card for larger purchases.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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Towknie
We Three Blings


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Ummm. I too tend to carry very little if any cash with me. However, when I know I'm going somewhere that I'll need to take cabs, I always take a couple hundred bucks out before going on the trip. No fuss, no muss. I don't really get the trial and tribulation of all this.

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

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MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Towknie:
Ummm. I too tend to carry very little if any cash with me. However, when I know I'm going somewhere that I'll need to take cabs, I always take a couple hundred bucks out before going on the trip. No fuss, no muss. I don't really get the trial and tribulation of all this.

I have to second that. To be honest, I've never known any cabs to take credit cards. (And I frequent cabs a lot, as I have no driver's licensce.)

Yes, it's true that we can use credit/debit cards so many places now, but I do always try to keep a decent amount of cash for places that don't, or make it hard.

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~I'mNotDedalus

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smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Towknie:
Ummm. I too tend to carry very little if any cash with me. However, when I know I'm going somewhere that I'll need to take cabs, I always take a couple hundred bucks out before going on the trip. No fuss, no muss. I don't really get the trial and tribulation of all this.

Ummm. Some people simply don't like to carry large amounts of cash, especially like the OP, when you're on vacation. I won't use my debit/credit card for less than $15. But a $35 dollar cab ride should be able to be paid for by a credit card, especially in a place that is a vacation resort.

Miss E, I'm with you on the cab thing. I don't know if cabs here take credit cards; I don't take enough of them. But when we were in Florida (not Orlando) a few years ago, I did see signs that said cabs took credit cards.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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