Customers upset after being double charged by taxi app
Published Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:00AM PST Last Updated Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:53PM PST
Vancouver's taxi industry is getting ready to go head to head with Uber by providing an app to customers to order and pay for cabs. But beware, if you’re not careful you could end up being double charged.
The app is called eCab and it will put a call out for you to the Vancouver Taxi Company, Yellow Cab, MacClure's, Bonny’s and Blacktop & Checker Cabs. Once you’ve taken your taxi ride, the app will then charge your credit card, or you can pay cash.
But when Saleema Noon recently used the app she got charged twice.
“I pulled out cash because I didn’t want it charged to my credit card,” she said. She thought the driver would cancel the pending credit card charge after taking her money. But when she checked her statement she saw a $15.60 charge from eCab. She had paid both double for the lift.
“It’s not fair. It’s not good customer service and the thing that’s frustrating is we have no other options when it comes to transportation by cab,” Noon said.
And it’s not uncommon.
“We receive about five complaints a month maybe six a month of people that have paid cash to the driver and have been charged on their credit cards,” explained Carolyn Bauer, Yellow Cab GM. MacClure’s told CTV News they’ve had complaints about the same thing.
Ross McLaughlin decided to test the app by taking a taxi ride with Noon. They ordered a cab and when they got the destination, Noon said she’d like to pay by cash.
The Vancouver Taxi driver overrided the eCab charge.
“If I give you cash then you press a button?” asked Noon.
“Just make sure your driver doesn’t put any amount over there,” the taxi driver explained, while pointing at the payment screen. The screen showed zero for an amount.
So what happened with the Yellow Cab driver that double charged Noon?
"The driver said he got very confused with it and didn't know and he'd been driving with us for about three weeks," said Bauer.
You have two options to hail a taxi on eCab.There’s a slider at the bottom of the app and if you move it to the left to eCab, it will just hail the taxi. However, if you slide it to the right to eCab+, it will charge your credit card unless you ensure the driver overrides that if you pay by cash.
Noon had used eCab+ to hail her cab.
Vancouver Taxi, Blacktop & Checker, and MacClure's can override the charge but Yellow Cab drivers cannot and have to call in to dispatch to cancel it. Bonny’s only use eCab to hail a taxi.
Noon tried to contact eCab to reverse the double charge, but even after a week she had heard nothing back.
The Paris-based company didn’t respond to McLaughlin either.
Yellow Cab offered to refund Noon’s money if she didn’t hear back from eCab, and eventually after much prodding eCab did refund her money.
“I’m a little bit concerned with the way eCab is reacting to the complaints going over to them so we have to look at this as a Vancouver taxi organization and see what we can do about this," said Bauer.
The taxi industry is now looking for a B.C. based app solution and has asked the province to approve an app that all companies can use, because if Uber is ever let into the province they want to be competitive and ready.