If you live in, or visit, Eugene, Oregon, and have an occasion to take a taxi, DO NOT take Budget Taxi.
We called to have a cab pick up my mother-in-law from the hospital where she had gone, having broken her arm. The driver who showed up was drunk. I mean Foster Brooks, ashen-faced, bum-beard, eyes-at-half-mast drunk.
We called Budget back, figuring they would want to know, firstly, to protect the lives of their passengers; then to protect the lives of other drivers and pedestrians, not to mention the life and health of their driver. We also figured they would want to act quickly for the sake of their reputation. Taxi companies with drunk drivers don’t inspire confidence or repeat customers.
We could not have been more wrong. The dispatcher, instead of apologizing, argued with my wife, telling her she didn’t know what she was talking about. And off went Drinky Drinkerson, weaving out into the foggy night.
So, again, unless you are suicidal, do not call Budget Taxi. They do not care at all about the lives and safety of their passengers.
UPDATE: (November 29) Here’s a note I got from Denise. (The formatting problems and slap-dash nature are preserved from the original email.)
you are misinformed
1. The person your mother talked to was not a Budget Taxi driver. He was with another company.
2. The driver we sent over does not drink and did not talk to your mother. He could not find anyone wanting a ride.
3. Yes the dispatcher was confused when you called yelling and screaming about a drunk driver.
4. We do not appreciate your slanderous unfounded uninformed unconfirmed criticism.
We have been serving the Eugene area for 20 years. We have never had a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We have a drug testing policy. All of our drivers have been here many years. We service many seniors and people that need extra help.
We would be glad to provide that service for your mother if she should call, however hot heads such as yourself can call another company.
Yes, the person I spoke to was a Budget driver. He got out of a Budget Taxi. If he told you he never found anyone, he was lying to you.
The fact that you respond telling me I’m a fool is further proof that the imcompetence and drunkenness of your driver is countenanced and encouraged by the owners.
The charge of slander of course requires, among many other things, that I be wrong. I am demonstrably not. There were witnesses. At any rate, let’s find out what our readers think.
Of course, as I said, it was my mother-in-law, not my mother, and my wife called, not me. Doesn’t seem that Denise reads any more carefully than her employees listen. And the essential point is that Budget Taxi exists in a world where dissatified customers are to be shouted down and insulted, not paid attention to. The difference is that the rest of us live in a world where you can let thousands of people know about your experience, instead of two or three.
To reiterate my original point: If you live in Eugene or are visiting and find you need a taxi, do what Denise says, “Call another company.”