On Friday night Randy Spriggs was eager to meet up with friends and was unwilling to wait for an Uber. He says he hailed a taxi outside of Mount-Royal metro station.
When he arrived at his destination he says the cab driver became upset when he attempted to pay with a debit card.
“He kept on trying to persuade me to pay in other ways, saying ‘You’re wasting my time, you’re wasting my time,’” Spriggs recalled. “Finally I told him, this is why Uber exists and he told me ‘Next time, take a f—king Uber.’”
Spriggs says in the end the driver let him pay with his card after he told him the law was on his side.
“I was pretty shocked,” he said. “I thought with all the backlash and being in the media talking about how Uber is hurting them, they would try to improve their customer service.”
Spriggs says it wasn’t the first unpleasant interaction with a cab driver he’s had over methods of payment.
According to the Montreal Taxi Bureau if a credit or debit card is refused the customer still has to pay the bill. It might result in a trip to a bank or ATM. It says in that situation it's very important to file an official complaint as cards are supposed to be accepted at all time.
Taxi driver Steve Lambert says it used to be common practice for drivers to insist on cash payment.
He said since the law went into effect in 2015, it’s about a 50/50 split between cash and debit payments for most taxi drivers.
He said he’s not surprised some drivers try to insist on cash because each time they use the machine a cut is taken by the cab company.
“When people give a tip and they put in the amount, they’re going to take seven per cent so I'm going to lose seven per cent,” Lambert said.