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Woman swears off Toronto taxis after $100 ride in wrong direction

Last Updated Aug 12, 2017 at 8:43 pm EDT

What was supposed to be a safe ride home turned into an hour long ordeal in the opposite direction for a young woman trying to get home to North York from downtown Toronto.

20-year-old Catherine Caetano-Macdonell chose to take a Beck taxi home after work around midnight on August 1 – a ride that would normally take around 25 minutes at that late hour.

Instead of driving to her destination in North York, the driver could not find the location and reportedly drove all the way to Markham Road in Scarborough, apparently lost.

“We started driving and I thought he had put the GPS on but that didn’t really happen,” Catherine told CityNews.

“He seemed like he didn’t know what was going on, he seemed very frustrated. He mentioned at one point how he felt bad and how it was his last ride of the night and he should have been done already.”

Assuring her that he would get her home, the driver eventually handed his phone to Catherine and asked her to input the address into Google Maps.

Catherine says she began to dictate the directions to him from the coordinates on the phone, however, the driver became more and more frustrated after encountering several exits which were closed due to construction. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that the windows in the cab were open as they drove on the highway which created noise and made it hard for her to converse with the driver.

“He was just getting frustrated and I think he just didn’t know the area,” she said.

All the while, Catherine says she noticed the total on the meter was going up beyond what she thought it would cost to get her home that night, but she says she didn’t say anything out of fear that she might be abandoned “in the middle of nowhere at night.”

“I thought it would cost somewhere around $45. I’ve mostly taken Uber before but I had looked up what the fare estimate would be on a cab website. It’s more than Uber but its not insane.”

When they finally reached the correct address over an hour later, she was handed a bill for $125. However, he said he would cut the fare down to $100 because of all the trouble it took to get her home. Being anxious to get out the cab, Catherine paid the fare and ran into her home.

After explaining the situation to her worried parents, they attempted to contact Beck Taxi immediately that night and then two more times, but received no response till over a week later.

The┬áBeck representative offered them a refund of $50 and an apology for the driver’s behaviour. She did admit that various things went wrong but could not provide details about how the matter was handled, simply stating it had been “dealt with”.

“They apologized and said they were very sorry and they would talk to the driver about sensitivity training,” said Catherine.

CityNews reached out to Beck Taxi for an explanation but they have yet to provide a response.

Catherine says the ordeal has left her shaken and she’ll now think twice about calling a taxi the next time.

“Unless I’m desperate and under a 15 minute ride, I’m never taking a taxi again in Toronto.”