As the lengendary U.S. radio broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say, "And now. . .for the rest of the story. . ."
Our recent southwest road trip got off to a bad start when we were 'taken for a ride' by a Vegas cabbie who used the freeway to get to The Strip instead of the more direct - cheaper - route to our hotel. Luckily for us, we'd knew of this scam and, coincidentally, had just read an article by Chris Erskine about a similar 'ride' in Vegas that appeared in the L.A. Times only days before our trip.
Between Erskine's article and our experience, I decided it was time to speak up. So, as Joel grudgingly paid the ransom I jotted down cab number, company's phone number and details of the driver. All of which, I provided the company's manager when I called immediately upon getting to our room.
He assured me an investigation would be undertaken and took our address to send a refund check, in the event my complaint checked out. Apparently it did because I received a full refund (including a tip and airport fee).
A letter of apology was enclosed that read in part:
"I am sorry that this incident occurred (per the phone conversation) and you should know that the refund that I am sending you has been paid by the driver and all appropriate disciplinary actions have already been taken."
At the end of the road trip, we returned Ol' Orange, our trusty rental car back to Strip parking garage, and caught a taxi back to the airport. Price? $11.30 as compared to the $25 we had been charged the night we arrived. We told the driver about the first night's ride and my complaint to the company.
His response: "Thank You! I wish more of you would do that because those people are giving us all a bad name."
I didn't name the company in this post because the problem isn't limited to one business or city. The lesson we learned is that if you think you've been taken for a ride, you may well be right, so let the company know.