Woman Says NY Cabbie Punched Her In The Face Because She Wanted Pay With A Credit Card

Tamara Perez caught a cab to her Manhattan home Tuesday, when she noticed that she didn’t have enough cash. The cab had a credit card machine, so she decided to pay with credit.

According to Ms. Perez this decision caused the cabbie to punch her in the face.

“The guy said, ‘I don’t know how to use [the credit card machine],'” said Perez, who said the dispute began in front of her home near E. Third St. and Avenue C. “I said, ‘I’m going to use this credit card machine.'”

Eying the gadget, Perez noticed it appeared operable and “not very difficult at all,” she said. “I said, ‘This is your responsibility to know how to use this machine. This is your cab. If you don’t know how to use it, then I’m not paying you.'”

That’s when things got physical, she said. She got out of the car and the driver, whose identity was not known, stepped in front of Perez and pushed her back into the cab. “I give you a punch in the face!” he told her, Perez said. “And he punched me in the face.”

Ms. Perez wrote down the license plate and called the police. She then filed a complaint with the Taxi & Limousine Commission. The TLC says they’re investigating and “If proven true … the TLC will take the necessary steps to revoke [the driver’s] license.”

Woman says enraged cabbie hit her after credit card fiasco [Daily News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Whitey Fisk says:

    “The TLC announced last week it was cracking down on Passenger’s Bill of Rights violations…”

    Yeah, I think punching customers in the face falls in that category.

  2. alhypo says:

    Good for him. He formulated a plan of attack and then executed it perfectly.

    (I am kidding, of course, so don’t get all angry at me.)

  3. frankadelic says:

    I’m not defending the cabbie because he was obviously wrong for not accepting a CC payment and forcing a physical conflict but she could have made a better choice than simply say “I’m not paying you” and getting out of the cab. She’s totally correct in saying that the cabbie should know how to use the CC device (maybe he tries to strong arm people into giving him cash so he can skim some off the top) but she should have asked him to contact someone who knew how to use the machine rather than assuming that she didn’t owe him anything.

  4. rickspeaks says:

    I am beginning to think that no matter how much a consumer was wronged in a story, there will always be somebody like Frank who always blames the consumer.

    FRANKly, I am getting sick of it…

    As for Tamara, at least her New York greeting did not come with the usual robbery…

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    Welcome to New York! Now go home! ;)

  6. Framling says:

    That cabbie really shouldn’t telegraph his punches like that.

  7. Saboth says:


    So she is supposed to wait there all day while another guy shows up to accept her payment?

  8. inelegy says:

    I think this cabbie is onto something.

    The Discovery Channel’s “Cash Cab” gameshow would be a much better show if host Ben Bailey punched the contestants in the face for answering incorrectly.

  9. freshyill says:

    @frankadelic: You can’t really skim off the top when it’s all in the meter, but the credit card fees cut into their tips. I think punching your customer in the face cuts into tips as well, probably more.

  10. bohemian says:

    New York sounds like such a friendly place! Punched by cabbies, assaults by random gangs of teenage thugs in the subway. People where I live in BFA are rude, inconsiderate and nasty but the seldom resort to violence.

  11. hypnotik_jello says:

    @frankadelic: Why does she have to wait around why he calls someone to figure out how to use the machine? He didn’t know how to use the machine when he should have. That’s his problem. He forfeits the fare and learns how to use the machine (if he really didn’t – smacks of cheap excuse to me) so next time he won’t be in the same situation.

  12. Daryl26 says:

    Seems you read Frank’s comment wrong, he’s not defending the cabbie. I think a lot of us, at east I should think, agree that she did not handle the situation in the best way. Yes punching someone is wrong, but simply refusing to pay and leaving the cab isn’t right. A customer should consider all available options to pay for a service they receive(like ask the cabbie to call someone or ask him to drive you to an ATM), just like a company should make it’s goal to give the best service they can.

  13. Daryl26 says:

    least* not east

  14. hypnotik_jello says:

    @Daryl26: But why should she be driven to an ATM? The cabbies are required by the TLC to accept credit cards.

  15. ClayS says:

    If he’s violent, that cabbie needs to be in jail or deported. The woman has a right to pay for a cab with a credit card without being assaulted.

  16. smitty1123 says:

    “I give you a punch in the face!” he told her, Perez said. “And he punched me in the face.”

    Ok… I cannot help it. That line is making me giggle uncontrollably.

  17. ancientsociety says:

    @hypnotik_jello: Damn, beat me to it.

    It’s the same way in Chicago. If their CC machine “doesn’t work” (which is an excuse to get you to pay cash 99% of the time), you are obliged to run around town looking for another way to pay the fare. The cabbie is SOL.

  18. ancientsociety says:

    @ancientsociety: that should be “aren’t obligated…”.

  19. ClayS says:


    Sounds like a Seinfeld episode…Baboo, you just can’t go around hitting people like that!

  20. SVreader says:

    @rickspeaks: And there will always be people who think that any mention of something the consumer could have done differently equals “blaming” them for all that happened.

  21. covaro says:

    @frankadelic: I’d say it’s perfectly reasonable for her to say “I’m not paying you”. You claim that you will accept X as a form of payment, then you darn well better accept it when I give it to you. Don’t look at me after entering into something where you state I can use it to pay and then when I go to use it tell me I can’t. You do that, I’d tell you that you aren’t getting paid then myself.

  22. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, it is New York City. Good gods, it’s New York City cab-drivers. B*tch is lucky she wasn’t shanked. Then eaten. Then taken the loooong way around Central Park. Twice.

  23. ex_ea_slave says:

    Her behavior was completely acceptable for NYC cabbies. They get extremely irate if you want to pay with a credit card because they have to pay a fee to process the card. Too bad she didn’t go Bernie Goetz on the driver after the punch.

  24. nealb says:

    Clearly assault on the part of the cabbie was wrong, and Perez in no way deserved it (even if she was more of an ass than she described). I agree, though, she probably handled the situation poorly. She admitted she had “not enough” cash. Assuming “not enough” doesn’t equal zero, saying something like “all I’ve got’s 5 bucks, sorry buddy. if you want anything more you better figure out your cc machine.” would probably have ended the situation peacefully. She probably gave him a smartass, “tough luck” sort of remark and hopped out.

  25. ClayS says:


    They better get un-irate fast because they are required by law to accept credit cards.

  26. ancientsociety says:

    @nealb: They’re required by law to accept CCs. If the driver won’t accept it, then she (or anyone else) shouldn’t have to “appease” the driver with whatever they have on them.

  27. forgottenpassword says:

    lol what other choice did she have? The cabbie didnt know how to operate the credit card device (or was just lying in order to get her to pay cash). He operates the vehicle…. so he SHOULD know how it works…. its part of his job! Dont want to accept legal payment & she doesnt have any cash…. well then…. you dont get paid.

    What is she supposed to do? run around to her neighbors & beg for cash so she can pay a cabbie who doesnt know how to use the credit card device?

    Man, they must allow any guy off the boat to operate a cab these days!

    Completely the cabbies fault in this situation, for not knowing how to take a credit card payment (or lying about it) & then punching a customer.

    “I give you a punch in the face!” …. LOL!

  28. shadow735 says:

    WTF? The cab driver didnt know how to use the CC machine, what a freakin load of crap where he get trained, two assult charges I see here one for pushing her back in the cab and another in the face.
    I would say press charges. I hope she had pictures taken, what a dumb ass. Obviously the guy didnt knw how to use the machine because he doesnt have any functioning brain cells judging by his plan of action.

  29. Adam Hyland says:

    @nealb: they have to take CC payments, and I don’t see your reasoning even if they didn’t.

    If they didn’t need to, and she had 5 dollars for a fare of 20, then you suggest she should have paid him 5 dollars to mollify him?


    If I enter into an agreement (getting into a cab) with someone and they decline to accept a form of payment which has been previously agreed upon, that’s tough shit. the cabbie isn’t a business partner. He isn’t a friend. I don’t have any reasonable motivation to give him some money to make it better, because presumably I’m still liable for the full fare.

  30. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Everyone who is proposing all of these civil ways around the confrontation have obviously never been to new york. From what I’ve seen, the new york way is to take the path of most resistance and try to push the hardest.

  31. Kounji says:

    She was obligated to pay him due to services rendered. Nuff said. No one was absolutely right in this case

  32. Phineas Poe says:

    Well, give that cabbie some credit for his restraint. At least he didn’t say: “I grope you.”

  33. exkon says:

    She probably shouldn’t have resorted to “I’m not going to pay you.”

    Tell me, if you performed a service and someone told you “I’m not going to pay you”. WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO PUNCH THEM IN THE FACE?

    This is the kind of situation that shouldn’t have resorted to physical violence, but this was in New York.

  34. ClayS says:


    No, if the credit card machine was inoperable, the cabbie should have told her as soon as she stepped into his cab.

  35. UpsetPanda says:

    She shouldn’t have to placate him by offering the $5 she did have for a $20 fare. She was trying to pay the full amount, through the CC machine. But he chose instead to assault her. That’s just plain wrong.

  36. Zimorodok says:

    This story reminds me of the Chris Rock Show sketch where a guy roamed around the city, “violently slapping people upside the head.”

  37. Galls says:


    Wow, you are an idiot. The cabbie was entirely at fault. If he refuses to accept a mandatory form of payment he is entirely at fault.

    Remember the cabbies do not own the medallion, they are hired by the people who do. The only reason cabbies are refusing cards is because it means they get less tip.

  38. FrankTheTank says:

    @covaro: This isn’t either/or. Clearly the cabbie shouldn’t have hit this woman, no one is arguing that. And yeah, he probably should have known how to use the machine in his cab. But saying “I’m not paying you” and leaving the cab is not the right thing for a CONSUMER to do either. I mean, what would this woman have done if she had gotten into one of the 95% of cabs that DON’T have a card reader?

    It’s not that hard:
    Check to see that you have enough money to pay.
    If you don’t, walk or get out of the cab, after paying what you do have of course. (I’ve had to do that before)
    If it’s some kind of emergency, work out something with the driver. I have also given a driver my business card (he checked that it matched my ID, clever) and told him I would get him cash or check later.

    Seriously, some of you need to spend some time in a service profession dealing with entitled-feeling consumers like yourselves, who cost real dollars from a very small pay check. Yes, bad cab driver, but let’s not excuse BAD CONSUMER, too.

  39. CuriousO says:

    I don’t care if she owed him $1000 for the fare. A grown man should never hit a Woman. What a freak, I hope he gets fired, looses his license and serve a couple of days in jail next to big Bubba.

  40. Buran says:

    @ex_ea_slave: So, in NYC it’s legal to commit assault?

  41. teqsun.com says:

    @rickspeaks: That’s the problem with you people… you refuse to accept any responsibility for your own actions. Maybe if she hadnt refused, she wouldnt have got punched in the face.

  42. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @Buran: No, but it’s less surprising there than just about anywhere else in america.

  43. Tzepish says:

    She attempted to pay him, and he effectively refused payment. Not much more she can do but walk away.

  44. Skiffer says:

    “If proven true … the TLC will take the necessary steps to revoke [the driver’s] license.”

    Yes…but are they taking it seriously?!?

  45. DMDDallas says:

    @teqsun.com: She offered to pay with a credit card, a method of payment the cabbie is legally required to handle. When the cabbie refused, what other option was there? Be held hostage indefinitely?

    If the cabbie refuses to accept payment, then that is his problem, not her’s.

    Somebody go kick the cabbie in the balls for me.

  46. Anonymous says:

    If cash, then cash.

    If no cash, then credit card.

    If credit card machine doesn’t work, then free fare.

    If cabbie is responsible for credit card machine not working, then free fare.

    If cabbie is violent, then assault charges.

    If assault charges are upheld in court, then jail.

    If jail, then cabbie learns what lonely and violent criminals do to people in the bathroom.

    I also think that one of the reasons for this was because she was a woman by herself. A cabbie wouldn’t be stupid enough to do this to a 250lb solidly built male. So… double douchebag points for cabbie dearest in picking on someone smaller than him.

  47. goodywitch says:

    Um, she was dropped off at home? Why couldn’t she just grab some money from her apt? Probably a safety issue. (Just wondering.) In general, it’s always a good idea to have mugging money on you. Also, outside a boxing ring or self defense, it’s not ok to hit people.

  48. Islandkiwi says:

    I’ve stolen cabs many times and driven around collecting fares for extra cash. If they pay with credit card, I get nothing.

    This guys mistake was not in punching her in the face, it was leaving her purse behind when he sped off.

    Rookie. (=

  49. UpsetPanda says:

    @goodywitch: If I were dealing with an escalating situation I wouldn’t say “hold on, I’m going to go to my apartment, right there on the third floor, why don’t you memorize the addrress while I go get you money.” Also, she might not have had cash at home. I don’t leave random dollar bills around.

  50. UpsetPanda says:

    Frick! *address.

  51. saphyrre says:


    Let me punch you in the face and see if you still think the same way..

    I hope you got the idea.

  52. QuiteSpunky says:

    The mitigating circumstance is that New York cabbies ROUTINELY give you an excuse for trying to pay with a credit card or delivering you anywhere outside Manhattan, both of which they are required by law to do. Unless you learn to become a consumer bully and stand up for your rights you will never get to Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx in a cab. Even if you do you will probably still never get to the Bronx!

  53. fhic says:


    but she should have asked him to contact someone who knew how to use the machine rather than assuming that she didn’t owe him anything.

    It seems apparent that you have never met a NYC cabbie.

  54. warf0x0r says:

    @rickspeaks: I think that that she shouldn’t just be cleared of the bill, BUT if the cabbie isn’t smart enough to say hey, one second I’m going to have someone over the radio explain it, to me then to bad for the cabbie.

    @fhic: I kind of figured they wouldn’t be the most cool headed, not like Jamie Foxx in that movie with Tom Cruise

    On a side note, if the cabbie is forced to use the thing or get stuck with this scenario where he’s probably responsible for the loss I’d want to know it worked…

    Although I’d probably hate the thing for destroying my tips…

    Wow, the life of a Cabbie is complex.

  55. friendlynerd says:

    They pull this shit in Philadelphia too, but they just tell you it’s broken, not that they don’t know how to use it. I try to use cash in a cab, but hey…the option is there to be used. So if you’re trying to lie to me and tell me it doesn’t work, you’re not getting paid…

  56. Kos says:


    Credit card machines just got installed in NYC Cabs. 5% of it goes to “processing”, so cab drivers are naturally pissed at this as well as the fact that people no longer have to round up. Plus, cab drivers had to pay to get the credit card machines installed.

    See this article: [www.villagevoice.com] for some of the real nuances to this issue. The cab driver obviously was wrong, but when cabbies work 12 hour shifts and are continually marginalized, some of them will got off the deep end. The cab driver should have told her that the credit card reader wasn’t working when she got in and avoided the problem.

    Mind you, about 60% of the cab machines I’ve seen also have a malfunctioning credit card reader.

  57. friendlynerd says:


    Am I the only one who thinks he was lying out his ass, either about “not knowing how to use it” or it not working?

    Yes, circumstances may suck for cabbies with the CC stuff. But they need to get used to it. Ask any other small business that’s been getting hosed with CC fees for decades in order to compete.

    Evolve, or get out of the game.

  58. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I’m not defending Frankadelic here, but while we are again amused by his “I’m not defending [insert bad guy] here” post which then goes on to defend the bad guy, the consumer does in fact share some portion of the blame. To quote Mr. Spock, “A minuscule….a very small piece.”

  59. Egakino says:

    @FrankTheTank: ……please know the situation before talking about it. 100% of the cabs in New York HAVE to have CC machines by law. You have NO obligation to pay by cash at any point.

  60. shor0814 says:

    The cab had a card reader, and in NYC they are obligated to accept a credit card. No excuse. She doesn’t have to check to make sure she had enough cash, she had appropriate payment available, in the form of an accepted form of payment, a credit card.

    No need to walk.
    No sense of entitlement.
    No need to make other arrangements.

    Driver is 100% at fault for not knowing how to operate a legally mandated device. He shouldn’t be qualified to drive if he can’t operate the CC machine.

    So, given that she made an offer to pay, in a form that is required to be accepted, what do you propose she do instead? She really can’t return the ride.

  61. ClayS says:

    What is the issue with credit cards and tips? Doesn’t the credit card slip have a tip line, like in a restaurant?

  62. bluewyvern says:

    And can someone explain how the credit card fees come out of the tips? Shouldn’t they come out of the fare? If it discourages rounding up, that’s one thing, but it can’t actually deduct a percentage of the tip, can it?

    And if it does, is that a fluke of the system, or some kind of draconian policy? If it’s policy, it should be changed right quick, since it just makes cabbies unduly hostile to CC customers…

  63. SOhp101 says:

    2 counts of Assault/Battery. Only problem is if anyone else saw, because then it will be hard to prove.

  64. digitalgimpus says:

    First I’ve heard of physical violence. But it’s a well known fact in NYC that cabbies don’t take credit cards under any circumstances.

    Reminds me of a trick many people use when buying gas. They never ask for a full tank. Always a $ amount. Sometimes gas attendants will fill the tank anyway. Call the cops, pay what you asked for. Attendants hope that your like most and just pay regardless. Some will call the cops, file complaints and take it as far as they can.

    Regardless consumers still loose. They aren’t likely to take the cabbies license away. If they did, there would be a revolt over their “right” to insist on cash. It’s been a sensitive topic for years. Nobody wants to start trouble.

  65. Falconfire says:

    @digitalgimpus: Problem is, BY LAW now they have to. And if they dont the TLC has stated they will fine or remove the cabbies license to operate in NYC.

    They have even started planting TLC operatives in cabs with credit cards to make sure the cabbies taken them. Any not are being removed immediately from the street that minute with a week suspension.

  66. frankadelic says:

    @doctor_cos: @rickspeaks: It’s possible to think both people in a conflict are wrong. I’m not defending the bad guy. Punching someone in the face is poor customer service and he should be punished for assaulting this woman. He’s a tool for not offering to find out how to use the CC machine. What I’m saying is that she didn’t handle the situation well either. Refusing to pay for a service you’ve been provided is poor consumerism.

    @fhic: I was born and raised on Queens so I’ve met plenty of NYC cabbies. What’s your point?

    @Saboth: Many cabs have these new inventions called CB radios and most cabbies carry magical devices called cell phones. They can use either of these quickly get in touch with someone who can tell them how to use the CC machine.

  67. Zwoda says:

    Clays: When you swipe your card, options come up on the touchscreen for what percentage you want to tip. So you don’t even have to deal with the hassle of writing the tip on the receipt.

  68. superborty says:

    I’ll bet the cab driver’s air conditioning never seems to be working during the summer either. Give me a f’n break. She did the right thing. He has to accept either form of payment. If he’s acting like this and just came to the country, throw his ass out.

  69. Ecoaster says:

    The last thing I ever want to do is give one of these drivers my credit card info…. If I’m gonna hop in a yellow cab I make sure I have cash.

  70. SecureLocation says:

    These clowns are always trying to give me a hard time about using credit cards. I tell them it’s tough shit.

  71. DMDDallas says:

    @frankadelic: She didn’t refuse to pay! The ^%#@ing cab driver refused to be paid! Why is this hard to grasp?

  72. superborty says:

    Decent point out of ECOASTER. In a completely unrelated post, check out gawker.com and the Sarah Silverman song. She annoys me a fair amount but the video is classic. Only advertising another site as I know it’s a sister site to consumerist……

  73. frankadelic says:

    @DMDDallas: I’ll quote her directly from the article: “I’m not paying you.” After saying this she tried to jet from the cab. That sounds like a refusal to pay to me.

  74. XTC46 says:

    @ClayS: there is but then the tips are taxed by the gov. Most people who get tips only claim like 1/4 of what they receive, if that, but you can’t lie if its on a CC. Tips get taxed a higher rate than standard pay also if im not mistaken so you can lose somewhere between a third and 40% of your tips to taxes.

  75. mikelotus says:

    In NYC, if they can not give you change for the fare up to a $20, then the ride is free. I have gotten free rides because of this.

  76. BOOMAHRET2008 says:

    So, who makes the money? The Gov’t and the banks, (taxes and fees). Here’s an idea; pay the cabbie in cash, he gets a little bit more, you pay a little bit less for not having the interst charge on your statement, and the gov’t and the banks get nothing from the transaction. They’re already getting taxes for the gas, registration, licensing etc. This way,
    you get home without bruises and ‘Bubba’ ramains lonely in jail without a new partner. Besides, cash is king!

  77. joebloe says:

    Do you have to tip the taxi driver? I thought it’s only for good service such as opening the door or getting my luggage from the trunk.

  78. KJones says:

    @ClayS: If he’s violent, that cabbie needs to be in jail or deported.

    How nice.

    A racist assumption that all cab drivers are foreigners working illegally.

  79. Shadowman615 says:

    @frankadelic: Now why would you only quote half of that sentence? The full sentence was, “If you don’t know how to use it, then I’m not paying you.”

    And I think that was a pretty reasonable way to deal with it. She shouldn’t have to kiss the guy’s ass — if he can’t get his shit together, then she’s got every right to make a statement like that. Perhaps it’s a bit rude, but some situations call for that.

  80. clankboomsteam says:

    Typical cabbie scam, the “I don’t know how to use the credit machine” thing. Cab drivers love to do whatever they can to cheat the customer (or their cab company), and he was most likely trying to get her to hand him cash so he could pocket a portion of it.

    I once had a cabbie tell me he couldn’t break a $20 bill for a $10 cab ride. The 20 was all I had, so I explained to him that I wasn’t paying him double for the ride. He got belligerent at this point, but I just told him either he needed to come up with the change or I wouldn’t pay. He groused dramatically for a minute, until I was sick of hearing it and got out of the cab.

    Luckily no punch in the face for me.

  81. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    So did the cabbie get his fare or not? I keed I keed!

  82. Szin says:

    Haha, man I love my city.

    And no, the woman handled it exactly the way I would’ve. You don’t know how to operate it? Tough shit. She’s got places to be. She doesn’t have time to sit in a cab, waiting for him to find out because he doesn’t know how to work the thing. That’s NOT her problem. That’s his job to know, and looking how the dumb ass handled it, it won’t be his job for much longer.

  83. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    At least it was’nt a “johnnycab” or the damn taxi would’ve exploded if she walked off without paying.

  84. sly100100 says:

    It seems to me that this story isn’t exactly verbatim, and the person who wrote was trying to get the basics of the situation in there. With that said, there probably was a lot more to that than “I’m not paying you”. I am sure there must have been a lot more said than cutting right to “I’m not paying you”
    The guy should be arrested and fired. No excuses. Assaulting anyone for any reason is never the answer. I know that if it were me I would have been shocked that the person driving had no idea how to use a machine that they were by law supposed to be able to have available.
    I can see how she got upset and after trying to explain she had no other alternative but to use her card. I know I would have said something like that.
    And judging from the statement he made it sounds like he is foreign and probably doesn’t communicate that well with everyone.
    There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone who doesn’t understand you, especially when it becomes frustrating. (like calling CSR, and talking to someone from India about your computer trouble)

  85. jamar0303 says:

    The subway exists for a reason. Use it.

  86. DeltaPurser says:

    Rough crowd!

  87. ClayS says:


    No, I’m only assuming that this particular cab driver is a foreigner and he may be here on a work visa. The problem is, violence is not well-accepted here, especially against women. This guy needs to get with the program, or he should not be allowed to be out on the streets; behave yourself or leave. And when it comes to racism, many cabbies in NYC seem to have a problem picking up black fares. That too, the TLC isn’t going to tolerate.

  88. A lot of commenters on here (presumably, not NYers) actually think this guy didn’t know how to use his credit card machine. He knew how to use it. He was using that as an excuse to avoid delaying his tip. It was a flat-out lie, much like the cabbies that put the “out of order” sign on the credit card reader every night.

    Then, the worst of the worst – the ones that I and several of my friends have been victims of – are the cabbies who let passengers use the machine, claim the credit card transaction “didn’t go through,” force the passenger to go to an ATM to pay cash, and then get paid twice when the charge shows up on the passenger’s credit card bill weeks later.

    These cabbies need to get a life and realize that rules are rules. If they don’t follow the rules, they should lose their jobs. It’s as simple as that.

    Luckily, I think this guy will be losing his job.

  89. akalish says:

    Cabbies in NYC often refuse credit cards since they make less money on them (b/c of the fees). I’ve heard every story in the book. To avoid the harrassment and run-around I make sure I carry cash.

  90. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @frankadelic: Well said rebuttal, I will give you that one.
    And at least cabbies are several evolutionary rungs above lawyers :)

  91. shufflemoomin says:

    @Framling: Fantastic. Just fantastic comment. :)

  92. bdgbill says:

    On my first ever trip to Manhattan, the very first thing I saw when I stepped out of my hotel was a cabbie repeatedly punching his passenger in the face in the middle of Broadway.

    I decided to use the subway for the duration of my stay.

  93. shor0814 says:

    Didn’t the cabbies get a fare increase recently in order to cover the fees? Cash customers pay the fare increase as well, so their higher cost, non-fee fares + higher cost, credit card fee fares should cover the cost of the fees?

  94. CPC24 says:

    At least she didn’t get run over like one guy in Nashville. He got into an argument with a Somali cabbie who drove over his leg and nearly killed him. Fortunately, the cabbie is in prison now.

  95. discounteggroll says:

    is the US dollar so weak that it’s got the same exchange rate as a punch to the face?

    mexico is looking more prospective by the day

  96. yetiwisdom says:

    I travel a fair amount and cabbies (in the US at least) are universally uncooperative when it comes to accepting credit cards. I’ve had many cabbies tell me that thir card machines don’t work in cities where there are local ordinances that REQUIRE cabs to be able to accept CC payment.

    I’ve found you’re better off hiring a car service when you can (obviously not possible for spontaneous cab rides) – it’s often cheaper than taxi fares and you pay a pre-agreed to amount. You can tip in cash depending on your driver’s performance. Car services also rarely send crapped up filthy cars like the cabs you’ll often find on the street.

    The other thing to do is ask upon entry “do you accept credit cards?” That way if they say no, get out and get another taxi. If yes, they can’t bitch when you pay with yours.

  97. neithernor says:

    @BOOMAHRET2008: You’re missing the point. Cabbies are REQUIRED to accept credit cards if they have the credit-card set-up in the cab. Why should I enable them in breaking the law?

    That’s why I always punch first.

  98. latemodel says:

    Complain to the credit card merchant services. If you have a machine and the signage and you refuse a card, they hit you a ton with fees and fines and increases in processing rate.

  99. covaro says:

    @FrankTheTank: Actually, if you enter into the cab with the expectation that you can pay via CC, because the signs state that you cab pay with credit card and then suddenly at the end of the transaction the business says “oh, you can’t use that here”, yeah, my reaction would be well then you aren’t getting paid.

    Don’t claim that you will take my card, then suddenly say oops, no I can’t do that after I go to hand it to you. These companies need to understand that the world is changing and that there is an entire generation coming up that very rarely carries any appreciable amount of money in cash.

  100. gingerCE says:

    If he didn’t punch her, he’d actually be in a good position against her.

    I have been in Costco when the CC/machines were down. You could only pay cash or check. No one ran out of the store with their carts filled yelling I’m not gonna pay you because your CC machine is inoperable.

    Now the cab driver should’ve told her upfront, machine is unavailable so she couldn’t exited the cab when she realized she didn’t have the cash–or asked to go to an ATM. He should not have punched her. Period.

    However, I don’t know why if the machine looked on to her, why didn’t she just try to complete the transaction–it sounds like she made no attempt to use the machine. I believe those machines are automatically setup and you follow the screen.

  101. friendlynerd says:


    Seriously? Here’s the difference between Costco and a cab ride – you can put down the products at Costco and leave. How do you give back a cab ride?

  102. hypnotik_jello says:

    @gingerCE: I think the difference is that with Costco people are dealing with tangible goods which can be returned. The woman can’t very well return the cab ride can she? She wasn’t obligated to pay cash to the cabbie. She offered to pay via CC and was turned down by the cabbie (which is illegal).

  103. Maulleigh says:

    Something about this story stinks and doesn’t add up. I don’t know what it is, but there’s more than meets the eye here. It doesn’t have the “ring of truth” as judge judy would say.

  104. Kounji says:

    @Galls: I wasn’t saying he should have punched her. Put that argument that she shouldn’t of had to pay for the ride doesn’t apply to really a lot of other industries. Trust me cause otherwise there’s a lot of days that retailers would have lost money and product if that was absolutely the case. You’re right that he should have told her a better lie about the credit card machine before offering the ride. That’s his fault, but to assume she should get a free ride after that isn’t exactly the most moral of answers. That’s what I was getting at.

    BTW watch it with the anonymous internet name calling. If you feel I’m wrong about something please just point it out without the idiot calling. Another commentor was nicer in explaining the difficulties with my reasoning

  105. Ass_Cobra says:

    It depends on what model of credit card reader was in the cab. In NY there is the older version which doesn’t have the touch screen and the newer ones which do. In the older ones they actually have to specifically activate it from the front. In the touch screens you can pick from the back, but I believe that they can override it from the front as I’ve had the screen go to cash immediately when I wanted to pay with a credit card.

    I have solved the credit card conundrum in a few ways. The first is I tell them that I’m going to expense it as it’s work related and I can’t get reimbursement for tips if I don’t pay CC so if they can’t take a CC they aren’t getting a tip. That usually gets the machine to work. The other way I’ve skinned the cat is to tell them if they can’t take a credit card, they are free to turn off the meter, drive me to an ATM run by my bank and drive me back home. The prospect of an unmetered 7-10 minute errand usually sorts out the liars from the situations where the machine is genuinely out of service.

  106. Skeptic says:

    @frankadelic: Why does she have to wait around why he calls someone to figure out how to use the machine? He didn’t know how to use the machine when he should have. That’s his problem. He forfeits the fare and learns how to use the machine (if he really didn’t – smacks of cheap excuse to me) so next time he won’t be in the same situation

    In all probability he knew how to use the machine. Cabs in NY are now required to take CCs (IIRC) but cabbies don’t like credit card payments because they loose money thanks to the CC transaction fees, thus they feign ignorance of how to use the machine or say it is broken. I’ve even had that happen in CA–but in that case the cabbie got paid the $17 fair with my laundry quarters and some singles and got no tip.

  107. john_nyc says:

    I think that unless the woman was putting the cabbie in eminent danger by threat of bodily harm, he had no right to assault her. Last time I checked, failure to pay a cab fare, for whatever reason, was not a valid cause for self defense.

    It’s irrelevant what she said to him, unless it was “I’m going to shoot you because you can’t work that machine”. If he felt she was attempting to stiff him on the fare, he should have called a cop.

    What does it matter if it was New York City? It’s still a place governed by the rule of law.

  108. john_nyc says:

    @Maulleigh: The actions of cabbies don’t always make sense. I got thrown out of a cab and then chased after by a fresh-off-the-boat cabbie once because he was pissed I was telling him which route to take (another one of the “Rider’s Rights”. He kept ignoring me when I kept telling him to turn. Finally he stopped the cab and told me to get out, 15 blocks from my destination. Then when I gave him the exact metered fare he came after me because I didn’t tip him. He only stopped chasing me when he realized I was on the phone with 911. Mind you he left his cab with the engine running and his door wide open. Does that “ring true”? Not if you base it on what you would expect a reasonable person’s actions to be.

    It did actually happen, though. Based on my own experiences, I find her story to be completely believable, unfortunately. If something like this has never happened to you, then God bless you.

  109. jimda says:

    there are some women in new york i would advise that cabbie not to try that on

  110. rjhiggins says:

    I guarantee he knew damn well how to use the machine. But then there’s a paper trail and he can’t work under the table. So he played dumb hoping to force her to pay cash. Old trick…

  111. cryrevolution says:

    @Kounji: And how do you propose she pay, in blood?? She didn’t have enough cash on her, he wouldn’t let her pay by CC. There is no other possible way to pay for that cab ride, so she shouldn’t have to pay. It’s not safe to “go get money in her apartment” and the guy didn’t want to call anyone. I say its a pretty simple situation. Let her walk. Or it WAS simple, until he punched her in the face. Now ya gotta get jailtime involved.

  112. wurly says:

    nyc cabs are required to accept credit cards, people

  113. brokeincollege says:

    How bout this, she takes him to (civil) court for assault, gets her 6 figure judgement, and from that judgement, pays him the $20 fare with interest?

  114. brokeincollege says:

    When I hand you, the cabbie, my American Express, you will take it, and like it. If not, you will NOT get a tip, and I will report you to both TLC AND American Express.

  115. pastabatman says:


    I’m getting sick of NYC bashing. What “robbing” would you mean?

    do you mean the robbing from an all time low crime rate that makes NYC one of if not THE safest city in the USA per capita?

  116. antisocial says:

    “when she noticed that she didn’t have enough cash.”

    – means that she originally intended to pay cash, and probably made it clear to the driver before changing her mind. Look at the smirk on her face in the picture – she’s definitely some type of weasel. I want to punch her too, but I wouldn’t. Of course.

    I think there’s more to the story, like her noticing an opportunity based on word of mouth (or experience) that cabbies don’t want to take credit. And she acted like she was going to pay cash, and then convieneintly “changed her mind” thinking she could say “too bad” and just get out.

    Whatever, you can’t just punch a woman, even if she is a smirking weasel…

  117. irid3sc3nt says:

    Totally agree with you on that, there were faults on both sides.
    It must have been one of those days for the cab driver. Consumers can be real bitches, like you’re less than shit on their shoes.

  118. Me - now with more humidity says:

    I’ve never had a problem in Los Angeles with cabbies accepting credit cards. In this NY case, it’s simple: Customer is right; Cabbie is a dick.

  119. catspyjamas says:

    Ok, let’s recap:
    1. Cabbies in NYC are required, by law, to take credit cards. This is a recent occurance and most if not all are mad as hell about it.
    2. As some have said, there is NOT FREAKING WAY he didn’t know how to use the machine. The cabbies were all trained in how to use them and often cover them up with lovely fake “out of order signs” to avoid getting dinged on the tip.
    3. I try to always have cash on me because of all the kerfuffles about paying by CC (like this one), but it doesnt change the fact that she had no obligation to “go to her apt and grab cash”, offer what she had in her waller or anything else. Unless the cabbie said the moment she got in “my CC machine isn’t working” or “I don’t know how to work it” (heh, right), she had no expection that it was not going to be accepted.
    4. All this fuzzy logic about her being more appeasing or being partially at fault is ridiculous. She is allowed, by law, to use a CC. Cabbie wanting cash is NOT testament to asking for a punch in the face, even if she was smarmy.

    That is all.

  120. clickable says:


    Again, why? Did you not understand the part where the law requires him to accept credit card payments? Why should she go grab some money? She’s supposed to bribe him not to punch her in the face? That would have been an acceptable resolution of the episode, if she had thrown 20 dollars at him so he shouldn’t punch her out?

    What would have happened? He would have taken the 20, gotten back into the cab, straightened out his black leather jacket, and driven off with a smug expression. Now he knows something very valuable: not only are there no consequences when you threaten a passenger foolish enough to want to use a credit card, but you will even get rewarded, because they will be so frightened they will throw you more money than the fare cost just so you don’t punch them out. You just have to show them that you mean business. And you do. After all, you are a man who has no qualms about punching females in the face. You are a real man, not a wimp.

    Yeah, running upstairs to grab a ten or twenty to shut this animal up and let him back on the street without consequences, that’s a spiffy idea. Just pray that you won’t be his next passenger who wants to use a credit card.

    The driver was trying to bully her into paying cash, plain and simple. She stood up to him, and good for us that she did.

  121. Propaniac says:

    I have to say, this story about an outrageous and unwarranted assault on a customer makes a lot more sense than the story from that guy who complained that the flight attendant was throwing peanuts in his face and pouring water on his head for no apparent reason.

  122. SJActress says:

    If cabbies are so pissy about having to pay a fee, why don’t they just issue a surcharge for a CC payment? Problem solved.

  123. Szin says:

    @pastabatman: Shhhhhhhhhh! That fear keeps them out of our city, which is just the way I like it!

  124. john_nyc says:

    @SJActress: Because, levying a surcharge in itself would be illegal in the State of NY:

    N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 518 (McKinney 1996) provides as follows:

    “No seller in any sales transaction may impose a surcharge on a holder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means.

    Any seller who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars or a term of imprisonment up to one year, or both.”

  125. Keirmeister says:

    This is a problem with the new CC machine in cabs in NYC. Hopefully the more we hear news about it, the less these incidents will come up.

    My friends and I took a cab in NYC a few months ago, and decided to use the CC machine. The transaction appeared to go through fine, then it got to the point where it needed the driver’s input.

    Then the screen went blank. We were like, WTF?

    The cabbie said, “Oh, you have to let me know BEFOREHAND that you want to use the CC machine.”

    We were confused, tired, and not in the mood, so we pooled together the cash. It wasn’t until I read an article about this later that I realized we got shafted. The CC machines were new, so we didn’t really know much about the law, etc.

    Now we know.

  126. riverstyxxx says:

    She’s actually pretty hot, has a no-tolerance attitude too.

  127. razrlazr says:

    Admittedly, the cabbie completely overreacted, but to refuse to pay is sleazy. I would have done one of two things: 1) made the cabbie drive me to a cash machine without charge (and docked any fees) or 2) send the fees to the taxi commission or 3) write a check.

    Tamara Perez did not deserve to be hit in the face by a crazy cabbie, but she deserves to be criticized for how she solved it.

  128. zibby says:

    It’s a cultural thing. Punching a woman in the face is probably a sign of mild affection wherever that cabbie is from.

    Seriously though, she’s going to get zero satisfaction from this. There will be a hearing, the guy will claim he didn’t work that day and his company will lie and back him up. It sucks, but there it is.

  129. hypnotik_jello says:

    @zibby: She should have posted the medallion number for all to see and avoid.

  130. mrkuffler says:

    I’ve been riding New York cabs for 21 years. I’ve been spit on by cabbies, yelled at, called names and so on.

    This is largely due to cabbies that don’t know the TLC rules and are way past a positive “customer” experience.

    I would recommend everyone report problems and issues with cabs to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commision. Medallions in NYC are not a right, they are a privilege. Speaking of rights, read the first taxi paseengers bill of rights item at:

  131. JustAGuy2 says:


    Per the rules, if his CC machine wasn’t working, he shouldn’t have been picking up fares.

  132. JustAGuy2 says:


    Except tha the medallion is attached the to the cab, not the driver, so it’d be a different guy every day.

  133. rustyni says:

    Am I horrible for just thinking the dialogue here was hilarious?

    : /

    Sucks she got punched, but love the way the evil cabbie decided to give a narrative of his coming actions, complete with thick accent. :D

  134. dlmccaslin says:

    “I give you a punch in the face!” he told her, Perez said. “And he punched me in the face.”

    At least he warned her…

  135. Project Thanatos says:

    Did the cabbie really just pull a Babe Ruth and call his shot? Classic.

  136. zgori says:

    One, apparently the machines are known to have reception problems and the transactions frequently fail for the same reason that cell calls often drop mysteriously in the city. The machines, which are linked to touchscreen TVs, are overpriced pieces of crap, which cabbies must buy, which are meant primarily to blare ads and make money for the companies that make and install them with no discernible benefit to the driver, and little value for the passenger.

    Two, cabbies hate them not because it cuts into their tips or even because they are expensive and require CC fees, but because the precise record-keeping means they have to declare and pay taxes on their income.

    Three, they agreed to accept the machines in exchange for a fare increase. That fight is over, and they are obligated to have and use them — no excuses. It’s perfectly reasonable for a customer to expect to be able to use them and to refuse other means of payment.

    Four, it’s nice to pay and tip your cabbie in cash anyway. It’s not an easy job.

  137. the_mdg says:

    The article clearly says the cab WAS IN FRONT OF HER HOME. @mercurypdx:

  138. breny says:

    I haven’t dealt with credit card machines in NY cabs yet, however, when I know that the CC fees will cost the person (waiter, cabbie) money, I’ll pay the fare or bill by credit card and tip them in cash.

    This is necessarily a comment on this particular situation (IMO cabbie was wrong to threaten violence, customer was wrong to threaten to not pay), cash tips tend to smooth any “I’m getting screwed by The Man” feelings.

  139. breny says:


    Second paragraph should read “This ISN’t necessarily…”

  140. glitterati says:

    NYC cab drivers are, in general, very difficult to deal with. They get enraged when you try to pay by credit card, when you direct the route, if you ask “do you know where that is?” (downtown, they often dont). They are extremely aggresive and rude, and I’m not surprised that Ms. Perez decided to get out of the cab – the driver clearly seemed, and confirmed, to be a physical threat. Obviously you shouldn’t bail on your cab fare, but its a better choice than getting assaulted or kidnapped.

  141. MMD says:

    I once had a cabbie in Chicago give me the same line about his machine being broken. After yelling at me, he wanted me to get back in the cab and go with him to an ATM. Fearing for my physical safety at that point, I refused. I called in his cab number and a few weeks later got a letter saying that he’d lied about the machine not working and had been fined $175.

    Go Tamara!

  142. richcreamerybutter says:

    @antisocial: “when she noticed that she didn’t have enough cash.”

    – means that she originally intended to pay cash, and probably made it clear to the driver before changing her mind.

    Really? Is that what happened? It was a grand plan on her part to screw the cab driver from the very beginning? When she entered the cab, she did so knowing they are required to take credit cards. Yeah, I just bet you tell the driver up front you plan to pay with cash.

    Look at the smirk on her face in the picture – she’s definitely some type of weasel. I want to punch her too, but I wouldn’t. Of course.

    (sigh) You can’t puch someone for being a turd, either.

  143. zibby says:

    @glitterati: You’re pretty much correct, but I will say that service seems to improve if you’re a large, mean-looking male of the species – I think every one of the numerous “bad cabbie” stories I’ve heard has come from a woman. Which sucks.

  144. karinabee says:

    The fact that the cabbies didn’t want want to have to accept credit cards was one of the main reasons that the NYC cabbies tried to strike a few months ago.

    THIS IN NO WAY MAKES IT OKAY THAT HE PUNCHED THIS WOMAN. However, its clearly something that many of them didn’t want in the first place so of course they are going to be resistant to it.

    Its hard for me to not feel for them a bit when I read that the average NYC cabbie only takes home about $400 a week and I see people at the stores in my neighborhood trying to charge things that cost $1.

    And even if they weren’t skimming off the top, which I am sure some are, it is also the immediacy of the tips that they lose. For someone who doesn’t make much, its a big deal to take home some cash that night as opposed to waiting for a check to be cut from the credit card tips.

  145. mmmmna says:

    Maybe the cabbie was tired of dealing with a malfunctioning (or confusing) CC machine or there was something she said that was rude (what? a New Yorker that is NOT rude?), or maybe the CC machine cost too much.

    CC processing firms are chosen, not assigned; when some merchant whines about having a processing charge for each CC transaction, I gently remind the merchant that A] they are required by the CC to have no minimum purchases, B] they can choose a different processing company and C] I can take my business somewhere else (I still have to pay the cabbie, though).

    We need a few more details, it seems.