Several readers of La Presse report having been the target of violent remarks, attempted fraud or simply having received bad service due to the explosion in the number of “illegal” taxis observed in recent months at the Montreal- Trudeau, as we reported on Thursday.
In 2016, I came back tired from a flight. I took a taxi without looking too much and the driver was charming, attentive. I even felt very good with him, after this interminable day. When I get home, he asks me to pay with my credit card so he can get a receipt. It sounded reasonable to me, and my senses weren’t heightened. Anyway, two days later, Desjardins called me to report a fraud, $200 cash withdrawal. I went to the Taxi Office twice: once to tell my story in detail, once to try to identify the driver from a series of photos. I had no follow up.
— Anne-Marie Sylvestre
Returning from a trip to the South last December, a supposed taxi driver asked me when I was leaving as I was heading towards the taxi zone. He asked me to follow him because his vehicle was parked nearby. A few minutes after departure, my spouse pointed out to me that he had not started his meter. We were on the 520 East towards Rosemont. And when I told him his meter wasn’t on, he said the ride would cost $85. Normally it costs around $45-$50. Last Sunday, still in the evening, I saw the same scheme.
— Jocelyn Leblanc
We had a very unpleasant experience a few years ago when we arrived at the airport. As our car was parked at a hotel near the airport, we took a taxi to make the trip. The driver was angry that he had to race too close. He was really incredibly rude, his car was dirty, the seats smelled bad, in short, a real dump. Arrived at destination, the driver did not want to give us our suitcases because we did not want to pay him cash. My husband came into the hotel for backup and after a heated argument we managed to get our luggage and pay for it by credit card. I have written to ADM to inform them of this situation.
— D. Veillette
On December 14, we arrived from Varadero around 1:00 a.m. A clandestine driver quickly took my husband’s two pieces of luggage and once outside, an ADM employee shouted at the driver to leave, but our suitcases were in his car and we got inside. The driver barely spoke French, he took a bad road east to get to Laval. He was driving badly and almost crashed into a cement wall off Highway 15 when we told him to take 13. We got scared and this trip cost us $20 more than the one on the go from our place to Sainte-Rose.
— Madeleine Sarrazin
I am an Air Canada employee and I work directly at the airport. I myself was approached several times at the end of my shift by individuals offering me a taxi service. They are harassing, almost intimidating and when I point out to them that they have no business at the airport, the aggression rises even more. I pass for an ordinary passenger, because I take off my work uniform before leaving. My only defense is to show them my airport employee card to scare them off!
— Benoit Labonte
In September, we were looking to head to where the Montreal taxis are. A man entered through the revolving doors and accosted me and my partner. “Are you looking for a taxi?” Come. I answer yes, but I’m surprised, because usually there is no solicitation. Approaching his vehicle, I ask him, “Are you a taxi?” I suspected an Uber driver or a scam. To reassure me, he pulled out a case that taxis put on their roofs. But I didn’t have time to look. I look for his taxi license, but I don’t see it. Anyway, it’s too late and we’re on our way. I tell him to slow down. The race went well and we arrived at our destination. But I always felt a little in danger. After thinking, I asked myself: what if a serious accident had happened?
— Ginette Beaudoin
On February 18, I had my luggage stolen from a taxi. There were four of us taking the same taxi. When we arrived at my vehicle, the driver gave me the luggage. In the turmoil of doing this quickly, because we were still dressed as vacationers and it was still winter here, I only realized at home that I was missing a piece of luggage. I tried several times to find my luggage, calling Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and filing a written complaint at the airport. All this without success. I even tried, with the help of the SPVM, to locate my cell phone, which was part of the flight, and to bring out videos from cameras at the airport. I was finally told that they only do this when a person’s life is in danger.
— Sylvain Labonte
Illegal drivers are really aggressive at Trudeau airport. My worst experiences are on flights that arrive in the evening. They start harassing you at the exit of the baggage carousels and will follow you to the taxi line. In my experience, they are mostly more harassing during times when Ubers are unavailable or overpriced. I reported their presence on a few occasions to the security guards and to the staff who assign taxis to passengers. Each time, their response has been the same: we know about it, and we don’t have staff, so there’s nothing we can do.
— Maxime Rouleau