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Is it too easy to hail a taxi in Colorado? Do you pay too little? Should the government stifle competition and protect big business? We don't think so either. Email us at MileHighCab@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yeah, Uh, We've Decided Not to Pick You Up

Wow, and you thought you had a reservation? Ha!

BadTaxi! is an occasional series from Mile High Cab. While a Colorado Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge says the five-county metro area is already adequately served by existing Taxi companies, the PUC’s own files show things could be better. Much better.

The following complaint is a real example written by a real taxi customer. Every file in this series is taken directly from the Files of the PUC.

On Monday, Dec. 28th, 2009, A customer tells the PUC that he made a reservation for his mother to be picked up by SuperShuttle at the Radisson Hotel in Longmont at 7 a.m. so she could be at Denver International Airport in time for her 10 a.m. flight. SuperShuttle is owned by the French conglomerate Veolia, a billion-dollar company that also owns Denver's Yellow Taxi.

"We were there waiting and waiting for their arrival," the man tells the PUC. "When the desk clerk informed us at 6:50 a.m. that they would not be making any pick ups. No reason, not that any reason would have been acceptable to leave my mother stranded without a way to get to the airport in time to catch her flight."

"This is totally unacceptable and deplorable service," the customer tells the PUC. "When you depend on transportation to the airport, you expect to be able to rely on a business ... A call to the 800# asking how they were going to get her to the airport resulted in 'Sorry, it's out of my hands,'" the customer complained.

"Any business that runs their operation in such an irresponsible way is incomprehensible and in my opinion, their license should be revoked. I will never trust them again and will spread the word to everyone I possibly can."

Mike Legette, general manager for SuperShuttle of Denver/Boulder told the PUC it was the driver's fault for not using the van appropriately."SuperShuttle dispatch also handled the situation poorly and there are things that should have been done," he wrote.

He agreed to issue a voucher for free SuperShuttle service in the future (but no guarantee the shuttle would actually show up!)

Oh, that 800 number the irate customer called for help. The operator isn't in Denver or Boulder or anywhere around the Front Range ... The call center is in Phoenix, Arizona. Yeah, that's going to help.

Yet the PUC's administrative law judge says there are plenty of cabs in the five-county Front Range area. And those cabs offer adequate service.

Wouldn't a locally-based company offer better service than a corporation based in France?  Wouldn't a dispatcher based, say, somewhere in Colorado be more of a help? Wouldn't drivers who actually owned the company tend to care more about their reputation for quality service? Wouldn't competition force Veolia (I mean, Yellow Taxi) to do better?

You don’t have to put up with bad service. Take a stand. If you’ve had a bad experience in a Denver cab, let the PUC know and demand an investigation. You can call investigators at (800) 456-0858 or email a complaint to the PUC Consumer.Complaints@dora.state.co.us

You can let the PUC know you want the lower fares and better service offered by the owner/operators of Mile High Cab. Ask the PUC to hear Mile High Cab’s case and let them compete in a Denver market that can only get better when drivers compete to earn your trust. Write to Director Doug Dean at Doug.Dean@dora.state.co.us and reference Mile High Cab, docket number 08A-407CP.

And if you'd like to share your experiences in public, feel free to leave a comment, or post a review on the public service review site Yelp


  1. French people are rude. We all know that.

  2. Customers should not put up with service like that..