Edmontonian Barry Werkman shared a complaint he had about his son’s experience with Co-Op Taxi, and it went viral real quick.
EDMONTON — Co-Op Taxi Line is getting a lot of backlash over a situation that occurred last Thursday, September 1st, 2016.
This isn’t the first time taxi in Edmonton has received negative attention, and we’re certain it won’t be the last.
Barry’s post ended up going viral, reaching that of over 700,000 people in just two short days. The posts had been shared over 13,600 times as of this writing. We say “posts” plural because there are two posts in question. One is Barry Werkman’s original post (shared over 4,400 times), the other is a screenshot of said post found on my anonymous community Shoutout Edmonton (shared over 9,200 times) with over 240 ‘angry’ reactions at the time of this article’s publishing.
The situation in question is best explained by Barry Werkman himself – the father of Aaron Voravong-Werkman, who is the one that endured the terrible behavior.
Barry Werkman writes:
It’s not often that I rant about anything but when it comes to my kids that’s where I draw the line. Last night my 18 yr old son went to Whyte Ave with his friends. As a responsible adult they took a cab from Whyte Ave to my place.Barry Werkman
Barry goes on to say:
This Co-Op driver refused to take the Co-Op Taxi coupons as payment and told Aaron that these were fake and he was calling the police to charge my son. Aaron and his friends found some cash and gave it to him as they felt intimidated and harassed by this driver with “no class”.Barry Werkman
As if that weren’t bad enough, Aaron endured a pretty terrible experience shortly thereafter.
Barry goes on to inform the public:
To add insult to injury this Co-Op driver speed off after running over my son’s foot. He is ok but this practice of these drivers making threats and intimidating passengers has to stop.Barry Werkman
Barry Werkman writes what he’s been told by his son Aaron. Aaron is known to be a law abiding citizen, and does not get into trouble with the law or otherwise.
Things worsen even further:
Believe it or not, things actually get even worse for Aaron and Barry with this regard.
I contacted Co-Op this morning and spoke with a dispatcher who was rude and condescending not wanting to assist a parent who had a concern about how their child, adult or not was treated. She told me it was none of my business and when I asked for a manager or a supervisor she informed me that none would speak to me and then hung up the phone.Barry Werkman
This is not the first time we’ve heard stories of local taxi company dispatchers showing little to no care towards its consumers, and we feel that it’s more than likely far from the last.
Barry urges his Facebook friends to share his post, and believe-me you, they did. Over 13,300 shares over the course of less than three days, reaching out to a similar population to that of which the entire city of Edmonton holds.
Barry shares his thoughts even further:
No wonder companies like Uber and Tapp Car are taking over.Barry Werkman
With so many stories being brought to light about how Edmonton’s taxi companies are treating their customers, it’s no wonder indeed, Barry. Your story is just one of hundreds that have been brought to the public’s attention over the years, and I’m sure there are many more to come.
Co-Op Taxi replies:
At 7:22PM on Saturday, September 3rd, Co-Op Taxi took to their Facebook page to write a public announcement in regard to Barry’s post, after it had gone viral.
Co-Op Taxi writes:
ANOTHER ARTICLE: Government of Canada Announces that they will Invest in Edmonton's Youth Through Skills Improvement Project
What really gets me though, is that they have yet to contact Barry in this regard. Absolutely unacceptable.
I’ve personally spoken with Barry about this situation on more than one occasion, and it was incredibly easy to get his attention.
More about the vouchers:
In an attempt to learn more about these Co-Op Taxi vouchers, we got in touch with someone that left a comment on the original Shoutout Edmonton post.
Lisa Fedirko explains where she got the ticket, and how it does not have an expiration date on them anywhere.
Lisa writes to us in a private message:
The back is blank. This is a coupon. I just won $150 of them at Father’s Day. You see everything I do. […] I don’t drive but I also don’t go out much. I’d hate to think I take a taxi and the coupons are no good because I’d legit not have any money on me!Lisa Fedirko
As you can see, the tickets were won off of a Facebook contest that was held by Co-Op Taxi Line themselves, and the contest winners were not informed of an expiration date, nor do any of the vouchers have one printed on them.
Edmontonians speak their minds:
With the popularity of this complaint, many have spoken their own minds on the matter. You will be quick to notice that more than 9 out of 10 of the comments left on the Shoutout Edmonton post are complaints about Co-Op, or Edmonton taxi companies in general, which is quite unfortunate. Please note that some of these comments contain coarse language.
Here are just some of those complaints:
Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to have outward and inward facing dash cams in all of Edmonton’s taxis. This way, we have the proof required to finalize cases such as this one.
Looking at Shoutout Edmonton’s search results for “taxi” and “cab”, you quickly realize how many complaints get put in for taxi companies in Edmonton. This is unacceptable. View those results here & here.
As to be expected, there are some that have had good experiences, and choose to back up the company.
Here are some of those in favor of taxi:
Please take our poll:
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If you experience some terrible behavior from any of Edmonton’s taxi companies – or an Uber or TappCar driver for that matter, please don’t keep quiet. Let your situation be known, so that things can get rectified, and so that the public is made aware of what’s happening.
All this has been said, and we haven’t even touched on the fact that the driver of the cab ran over Aaron’s foot…
FINAL WORDS — As the author of this article, I want to make one thing clear. Although negative experiences with local taxi always grab the attention of the public, and although the number of complaints lodged against local cab companies is rather high, it is important to remember that not all cab drivers, nor all dispatchers are to be seen under the same light. There are terrible cab drivers out there – this has become obvious – however there are many, many wonderful taxi drivers and dispatchers out there as well.
This article was brought to you by Jody Mitoma.