Our business, while difficult some days, is also kind of fun! We are at our core a customer service provider. You call our office, and we do our best to honor whatever requests you can come up with; transportation related, of course. But we do occasionally get some more than interesting calls into our office.
People will call and want to give us their life story. We have become very familiar with some of our regulars. If they are grouchy, we know it. If they are having a good day, sometimes they share why; sometimes we wish they didn’t, other times we are happy right along with them. Sometimes those same customers call for a ride and just need an ear for a minute. I just reminded my operators today that I cannot pay them more to be telephone counselors for people. We’re sure there’s an app for that now.
Some of the most fun requests we have gotten were to actually drive a Bride and Groom from their church to their reception the day of their wedding. The colors of the wedding where black and yellow, so we fit right in there! We’ve taken expectant, in labor, mothers to the hospital, and we’ve even had one taxi birth. The driver cleaned the car after he dropped her off and was back in service a few hours later. (While it was pretty cool, we cringed too!) We’ve done a welcome home trip for a returning soldier on the Fourth of July. We were proud to be a part of that, it was one of our favorites.
We often get called for directions, phone numbers, and locations of other businesses. While we do our best to help, we are not Waze or the Yellow Pages. Close, but not really. Our lost and found calls, we could make a book out of. We have a collection of strollers that would rival any Babies R Us (R.I.P.). We have enough keys here to open just about any kind of door ever made. We also have more cell phones than your local Verizon store. That’s probably why people are calling us for counseling, they can’t download the app.
Then, there are the ones that leave us scratching our heads. We’ve had someone call and ask could we move a motorcycle in the trunk. We’ve transported someone’s deceased pet to be cremated. We are constantly going to McDonalds, Wendy’s, or whatever fast food chain there is, ordering food and delivering it. People have requested vans to use us and our driver as their own, personal moving service. We’ve followed spouses, not on own, one of the affected parties were always there with us, even when we didn’t want to be. We even once delivered an NC-17 cake for a bachelorette party because the baker didn’t want her teenaged delivery people taking a peek. We’ve done some stuff, seen and heard incredible things! Even on slow days, it can be interesting. But don’t worry, we’d never share any specifics.
Side hustle, temporary work, or a side gig; things that people are doing as a part-time, sometimes temporary work in order to bring in a little extra cash. People are signing up under apps to complete home repair, help people move, babysit, sell or rent clothes or even rent out your own house. You name it, and there’s probably an app for it. Many times you don’t have to have any special skills, be certified in anything, or have proper insurance to do the tasks people are looking for. You’re just connected with someone on an app who’s willing to do the work. Sometimes, often times, things work out great. People are paying less for the services they want, and getting results they are pleased with. But there is another side of side gigs that can be a little frightening.
So you want to move, you call a few movers in your area, get quotes, and discover quickly, moving isn’t cheap. So you go to one of the many apps available for movers. The price is right so you sign up. The movers arrive, as expected, your stuff is loaded and off they go. But what happens if there’s an accident? Will the damage to your belongings be covered by the person who got three friends together and rented a truck? Who’s responsible?
You decide you live in a nice area, near a big city, and you want to rent your house or a room out on one of the rental sites. You sign up, take pictures, and post your rental on a popular app where hundreds, maybe thousands of people see your home. You find a renter, pack your stuff, stow your valuables, and off you go, fully trusting that you’ve rented through the app to good people and everything will be fine. So what happens if there’s an accident? One of the people you’ve rented to falls while walking down your stairs. Who’s responsible?
Unfortunately, this is something that a few side gig users have had to face; trying to determine liability in the event that something goes wrong. Without the proper insurance, licenses, and credentials, many times either the person completing the work, or the person using the services are often left footing the bill. Your cheap mover has wrecked the truck and all your boxes and furniture are now on the side of the road. He has no insurance to cover this; he’s just a guy who rented a truck. Who do you go after, the app, or the individual. Your renters are now suing you for their medical bills. Your homeowners insurance is denying coverage because you are legally now an innkeeper, and therefore needed a commercial policy. Your rideshare driver had only a personal policy, and his insurance is refusing to pay because he was involved in commercial enterprise during the accident. Do you remember what you agreed to when you scrolled through the terms and conditions? In many cases the apps, developers and companies controlling them, have done their research, and have hired legal teams to completely wash their hands of any responsibility. Now you’re stuck.
This is why it is so important to be completely aware of what you may be getting yourself into. Terms and conditions are tricky ways that many of these companies exonerate themselves of all liability. A guy with a car can sign up and drive you around. You don’t know his background. You don’t know if he has insurance. You just know he showed up with a decal in his window and looked similar to the person in the picture, on your phone, of who your driver should be. It’s a system that easily has the capability to put you in harm’s way.
So what do you do to protect yourself? This is where taxicabs and other reputable companies fit into the gig economy. We’re still here! We have been doing the same business as these side giggers for years, decades, centuries, even! Many times our insurance is monitored by state agencies to make sure we’re complying with all laws. In fact, many counties, cities and states have laws designed especially for us to follow to protect you from harm. We are even still hiring! If you need a side gig that won’t ruin you financially, you need to come see us. Many cab companies will even supply you with a fully equipped and insured cab to drive so you aren’t destroying your own, personal vehicle. Movers are hiring as well, if you like lugging boxes, and lifting heavy stuff, it’s right up your alley. They also have their own trucks, so you don’t have to rent one! The side gig economy can be full of pitfalls, why open yourself liability?
So, I admit it, I made people cry with my last blog……sorry!! That wasn’t my intention. Today, I am hoping to make you laugh. Our business deals with people when they are their most miserable and most jolly. Your car breaks down, you call a tow truck then you call us! You had a little too much fun out on the town, you call us to get you home safe. We deal with people at their lowest, and their highest…..sometimes literally.
We often find people, in their highs and lows will leave the most random things in our back seats. Sometimes these things are harmless, other times they leave us slightly more afraid of the world our drivers are in.
From the weird files here at Yellow Cab, we present: “You Left What In a Cab??”
Canes, canes and more canes have been left in cabs more times than we can remember. But one cane was waaaaay more interesting than any we have ever had dropped off in our office. It looked a little different and it wasn’t until someone pulled on one side that we understood why. It was actually a dual purpose cane. It could help you walk, and also help you in a fight as it had a sword concealed in the leg. Also not our only weapon, as someone did leave a gun in the back of a taxi. Rest assured, it was quickly removed and was turned over to the proper authorities.
Believe it or not, we once had a passenger leave an artificial leg in the backseat. We had a hard time figuring out exactly how that was even possible. More shockingly, two sets of false teeth have been left in our cabs. Both sets of recovered teeth were returned to their proper owners, and we are going to leave it at that. Another time a customer called because she thought she had lost her teeth in the cab, but we were informed by the driver they were likely on the side of the road and she owed him $25 for the car wash he had to pay for after she was dropped off. EEEEWWWWWEEEE!
Medications are left in cabs often and we make every attempt to locate the owners and return them. We have returned them to pharmacies, nursing homes and rightful owners when they are able to be located and verified. Self medications are another topic. Yes, we have had illegal substances left in cabs. Those too go to the proper authorities ASAP! I don’t know what they do with them, but we definitely don’t want them here! Please don’t do drugs and mostly, please don’t leave them in our cabs!!
Probably the saddest thing ever, not to make you cry or anything, was a puppy! We had a tiny little puppy left in the backseat of a vehicle once. The driver brought it to the office and he got to stay with one of our operators overnight until the owner was found and they were reunited.
I hope if we have to come get you one day that if you’re at your lowest, we are able to pick you up . If we pick you up at your highest, we just want to get you where you are going safely. If ever you happen to leave something in the cab that you wouldn’t go to jail for, or something that is a danger to the general public, we are always more than happy to reunite you with your lost item.
We have an app! We have several to be exact. We have our Yellowcabpw app, we have the Mars app, and we also use GATA hub (all available in the google play store and in the apple store as well). You can text us for a cab if you need to. If you prefer to call and NOT talk to a real live person, you can book a cab through our automated service by selecting three. We are working as hard as we can to make sure we have the latest and greatest technology on a small business budget………some things are obviously easier than others when it comes to owning your own business.
One of the awesome things we do have here, for when you need them, are REAL, LIVE PEOPLE! People that are breathing and can talk, some even know a few languages! This is our advantage in the ever changing transportation industry. When you have a problem, (Yes, we know we should be perfect every time, but problems do happen less than occasionally) you can call us, a real person will answer the phone and help you, or put you in touch with the person who can, and we work to resolve your issue. Whether it’s a complaint, leaving something in a vehicle, a compliment (we like those) or anything, really, there is someone on the other end of the line here to help as best they can! The best part about all of this is that you will get someone who cares. Family owned and operated means our name is on the line. We are a part of the community. We want you to have good things to say about us and say hi when you see us out and about! We want to be more than an app and a stranger, we are part of your community, we are your neighbors!