Tulsa City Hall Making Changes After Couple's Expensive Cab Ride

Thursday, February 20th 2014, 10:14 pm

A couple from Texas got gouged on a cab ride in Tulsa, and their situation got the ear of city leaders who are promising change.

A lot of people would chalk it up to a bad experience and go on. But one couple fought back, and now cab drivers could be forced to pay up if they overcharge.

Terri Hampton and her husband, both from Texas, were driving through Tulsa last Thanksgiving. After a breakdown on the highway they were stranded; it was 12 degrees and they needed a cab.

They had to wait two hours for a Yellow Cab to show up, but the worst part was when they got to a hotel.

"My husband looked upset and said that cab ride was robbery," Hampton said.

Hampton was charged $210 for a cab ride that, in the most extreme case, should have cost about $75. She reached out to city hall, and though it's taken until now, city hall is responding.

Read the suspension letter and new rules here.

Phil Lakin with Tulsa city council said, "I want everyone to be treated fairly, and in this case I didn't think the outcome was fair at all."

The city council is rewriting some of the rules for cab drivers to force them to pay back customers they overcharge.

The city regulates cab drivers and the fares they charge, but until now, could only suspend the cab driver; while the victim doesn't get any restitution.

The Yellow Cab driver who drove the Hamptons got a one-week suspension of his license.

"We were able to cure that from a city of Tulsa side, but they were still left with $100 more than they should have been charged," Lakin said.

Hampton said even with proof the cab driver overcharged, the cab company didn't help.

"They basically told me they don't take any responsibility for their cab drivers, they're independent contractors and they won't refund my money, so we're out the money, but hopefully no one else will be," Hampton said.

Even in bad weather cab drivers can't charge more, and if they do, they'll soon be required to pay it back or lose their license.

The change is still going through the process at city hall, but it's going to happen. We called Yellow Cab, but a manager wasn't available for comment.