New York City Taxi Cabs are rigging their credit card terminals to decline passengers cards.

I would not have believed it myself, but I got a call from a very well known society figure last night saying that her card was declined in a taxi and that it has been happening a lot lately. She calls her card company and they tell her the card is OK and should not have been declined.  But the worst part was the Taxi driver told her to F**k Off when she got agitated by the machine not working.

I would have thought that it was just a fluke, but it has happened to me several times the past few weeks too. Last trip to my home at Hunters Point Crossing on the water, my card came up as declined and I had to use the ATM in my lobby. That cost me terminals fees from the machine and my bank.

Now after this phone call, I now realize that the taxi's are being rigged to decline cards so the taxi company and drivers won't have to pay the reported 5% fee to the card companies. It would have to be rigged in the computer system because a very professional DECLINED comes up on the taxi screen.

I urge all my readers that if this happens to you or anything else in a taxi that is against the law, please call 311 or go to NYC"S Taxi And Limousine website and make a complaint.

Using a Credit Card in a Taxicab

Yes, drivers accept credit/debit cards for all fares; there are no minimums or fees to use your credit/debit card.

Do I have to sign the receipt?

Customers only need to sign the receipt when the total is $25.00 and over.

What happens if my credit/debit card does not work?

If the credit/debit card payment does not process, passengers can pay in cash or use another card.

If after swiping my credit/debit card, the driver informs me that the card transaction did not go through and requests cash, what should I do?

The Passenger Information Monitor (PIM) located in the backseat will inform the passenger when a credit/debit card is approved. If the screen indicates that the credit card has been approved, your card will be charged and the driver will be paid. In most cases the last four digits of your credit card number will be noted on the receipt. If you are double charged, go to 311 Online to bring a consumer complaint against the driver and your credit card company to request a chargeback. If you want to press charges against the driver, you must attend a hearing at 66 Johns Street, 11th floor in Lower Manhattan to pursue a consumer complaint. Passengers should always ask for a receipt.

Is a driver allowed to refuse to let a passenger use his/her credit/debit card?

No. Drivers are required to accept American Express, MasterCard, VISA and Discover (and some will accept the JCB Card) for all fares. The driver must accept credit/debit cards for any fare amount. If a driver claims the credit card system is broken and/or prevents a passenger from using their credit/debit card, please report the medallion number to the TLC by going to 311 Online.

What if a driver says the system is not working?

The passenger should note the medallion number and go to 311 Online. Drivers are permitted to work with a broken system for up to 48 hours as long as they have reported the problem and are awaiting repair. Almost all (90%) system repairs must be completed within six hours.

I am concerned about security, who will swipe the credit/debit card?

All the equipment is installed in the back seat of the cab. The passenger swipes the card and can enter the tip on the touch screen located in the back seat. There is no need to hand the card to the driver. In addition, all taxicab systems are certified under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.

Can I use a keypad to enter my debit card pin number?

The systems only work with signature based credit cards/debit cards. There are no PIN based functions built into the systems. This feature may be added at a later date. If a MasterCard or Visa logo is present on the debit card, it should be accepted by the cabs.

Which credit/debit cards are accepted?

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and in some instances, JCB
Debit cards: Signature based Visa and MasterCard.

How will I get my receipt?

The driver will hand you the receipt as they do now.

What should I do if I want to pay by credit card, but the driver informs me he/she has already pressed the “Cash” button?

Inform the driver that you wish to pay by credit card. He/she will be able to reset the PIM or enter the amount as a negotiated fare (rate code 5).

FILE COMPLAINT -- I in the past have I filed complaints with the TLC  and got a letter with the hearing date and time. Since I am so busy. I never show up for the hearings, but it is my way of showing the driver that he must follow the law. The Taxi Driver has to go all the way downtown, take off work, spend the day waiting for a hearing and even know it is dismissed because I am not there, It remains in his file and he wasted his whole day. This is my way of telling him to F**k Off!