Woman says she was told to use iPod to pay cab driver

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Blue Velvet, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #1

    So, would you hand over your iPod first?



     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Sonicjay

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    Jan 1, 2008
  3. macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    that is totally messed up. i didnt know that this form of 'bartering' would ever be acceptable.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    My first impressions were that it's a bit of an overreaction to call the police following a credit card rejection, followed by an equally silly decision to force the customer to hand over her iPod in compensation.

    However, having thought about it, the more interesting question for me is concerning its legality. The customer and taxi driver have entered a contract to take her from A to B in exchange for an agreed fee. When she is unable to pay the fee, how and who decides what can used in recompense? Wouldn't they have needed to agree upon a value for the iPod? What about a receipt and what would it say? Is she entitled to change? Do we have any lawyers, or people with experience/knowledge in contract law, that could explain/clarify?


    This is a family forum, so I couldn't possibly give my answer! ;)
     
  5. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    Taxi driver fail
    - Can buy headphones
    - Can sell it

    Passenger fail
    - Cash? Traveler's checks?
    - Different credit card?
    - ATM card?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #6
    I think instead of forcing the lady to hand over the iPod as compensation, the police should have made the lady hand over something close to $50 in value and use it as a guarantee of payment. The lady would get the money and pay the cab driver later and get her item back, or the cab driver will keep the item. Say after 3 months with no calls from the lady about the payment he gets to keep it and sell it.
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    Pandora, Home Tree
    #7
    Thing is, if she gets the money up, with a tip, she could get it back. No credit card? Trade a pod :D
     
  8. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
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    #8
    If you can't pay, then you should give the cab driver something that's at least as valuable as the amount owed. It can't be just anything, either. She shouldn't be able to give the guy her $60 purse, or $75 make-up kit, as that isn't worth anything to (most) men.

    I don't know what the right thing to do is in this situation, but giving up her iPod was probably the best thing to do at the time. To a taxi driver, cash is probably worth more to the driver than the iPod, so if you get to your destination and find that you really don't have any means of paying for the ride, the item she has to exchange in compensation for the $50 cab ride should be worth a lot more than $50 to make it worthwhile for the driver.


    Anyway, I think it's fair, but perhaps they should have traded phone numbers and emails so that they could make an exchange for cash later.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #9
    I think this is the first thing they should have done. With the police as their witnesses. Make sure the bill is settled within, say, 3 days, or charge her with whatever punishment/fine you get for stiffing a cab fare.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    #10
    Isn't calling 911 for a deadbeat cab fare a HUGE overreaction? Maybe NY is different, but in CA they have laws against unnecessary usage of the emergency line. If it's really egregious, they will charge you for their time. So where's the fine against the cab driver for wasting the time of the emergency dispatch folks?
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    teflon

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    #11
    It was airport officers, not emergency dispatch cops.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    #12
    That's who responded on the scene (which might explain the idiot reaction of the "police" in the situation).

    But when you call 911, you don't get the police, you get emergency dispatch. Their job is to route the call to the appropriate place, in this case the Port-a-cops. Wasting their time is significant, because it reduces the time they have to route real emergency situations to real first responders.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #13
    Sometimes cards won't swipe.

    Couldn't they have just entered the numbers manually?

    Weird story.
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    I think this gentleman would fit in in the iPhone forums just fine. :D We should give him a guest account.

    It sounds like it was basically just used as collateral. I don't feel particularly sorry for her, and I'm not impressed by her crying job trying to get out of paying her cab fare. If you're going on a major trip / using a cab for such a long distance, you ought to at least have multiple forms of payment with you -- like another ATM card or something that can act as a credit card, or, god forbid, cash. Or be willing to be taken to an ATM machine by the driver to get the cash (and pay for the additional cab fare involved).

    She should get her iPod back unharrassed, but she should pay her cab fare first.

    (To Sushi's point, yeah, you would think so, so I'm guessing the card was actually declined, and didn't just fail to read.)
     
  15. thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    According to The New York Post, this wasn't the only iPod she owned. Now we can really unload on her. ;)
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #16
    Let she among us who owns only one iPod be the first to cast a stone. ;)
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #17
    Okay, if it was declined, then it makes sense that she needed to provide some collateral of some sort.

    Your other points are spot on.

    Amateur travelers.

    Snort. Ouch that hurt. :)
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #18
    Don't worry, I'm sure Sesshi will come in soon. :eek: ;)
     
  19. macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #19
    Since when does "the po-po" have the authority to threaten someone with arrest for failing to pay a just debt? If anything, the police should have taken a field interview card, then allow the cabdriver and the woman to settle their differences in court or negotiating "a promise to pay" or IOU. Thank God the officer didn't have a taser or a canister of pepper spray. I wonder what the policy is on "use of force" in this situation? :eek:
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #20
    You seriously think that some woman who was forced to provide collateral when she was unable to pay her taxi fare is the next Abner Louima or BART shooting? I think the police need to be held to high standards, but this hardly seems like an example of criminal police misconduct or excessive force. No one's safety or civil liberties was violated here.
     
  21. macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #21
    Certainly, this is not in the same context of the Rodney King beating or the BART Shooting on New Year's Day; since police abuse of authority doesn't always demand that violence or brutality be a prerequisite. Clearly, the police officer has the discretion to arrest LENHART for "failure to pay for services" (probably a class-B misdemeanor; at least here in California), but to force an individual to give up personal property in lieu of the fare, along with the threat of arrest; the officer is participating in a misappropriation of personal property under the color of law. The seizing of personal property on behalf of the cab driver, is a violation of LENHART'S civil rights. A police officer with a gun and a badge tells LENHART to turn over the $140 iPod or be arrested; I'm thinking, "do everything the police officer with the gun tells me to do!" IMHO :eek:
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #22
    How do you even know the cop forced the iPod trade? He may have threatened arrest unless some bartering took place and she may have picked the iPod as the only portable valuable that the cab driver would agree that has value at least equal to the fare. If that is the case, I see no problem.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #23
    Sure beats the twin cities where the cabbie will just run you over after non-payment.

    Ok so it has not happened in a year or two, but for a while man, ditching a cab meant at least a few stitches.
     
  24. macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #24
    She was told to give driver compensation. Not at gun point. Not "give the driver the ipod at gun point" that some backseat lawyer wannabe are speculating.

    She could have gave the correct amount in cash but didn't. The woman turned over the iPod.

    Settle it in court instead of taking collateral? It typically takes $40 to file something with court, before the cost of lawyers.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    #25
    I don't know, giving up an ipod before a flight is a really big thing. I might have just given him one of my kidney's instead.

    But seriously, there should have been some sort of IOU situation. She should have some sort of verifiable ID with her that the police could have checked to make sure she was who she said she was and then continue on with their days. I'm sure the cab driver could have made up that amount of money in fares rather than going through all this trouble, and then received the 50 bucks from her three days later or something.
     

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