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‘I was disgusted’: B.C. man says Yellow Cab driver held his phone for $100 ransom

Click to play video 'Vancouver man claims taxi driver asked for money for cellphone' Vancouver man claims taxi driver asked for money for cellphone
A Vancouver man claims a cab driver tried to extort him for $100 after he left his cell phone in a cab. Rumina Daya has the story – Jan 2, 2020

A Vancouver man is still fuming over an explosive New Year’s Day encounter with a taxi driver over his lost phone — which he says was held for a $100 ransom.

Robert Morris and his friends were at a New Year’s Eve party in North Burnaby. When they needed to get back home in East Vancouver, they called Yellow Cab just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The cab arrived shortly after the call, and the group paid the fare once they got home.

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But Morris realized moments later that he had left his phone in the cab, and used his friend’s phone to contact the driver.

“We called him 30 seconds later and he said he was very busy, but if I gave him $100 he would drop my phone off,” Morris told Global News.

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“I was disgusted. I was mindblown. I was like, are you joking me?”

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Phone logs show Morris called over 50 times, but no answer.

When the cab driver’s shift was over at 6 a.m., he gave Morris’ phone to a second driver in the the vicinity — which happens all the time, according to Yellow Cab.

Morris finally made contact and arranged to retrieve his phone from that second driver, who Morris claims also asked for the $100.

READ MORE: ‘I’ll drop you here’: Video shows cab driver demand cash or threaten to end ride

When he picked up his phone on New Year’s Day, Morris filmed the encounter, threatening to expose the second driver for “stealing phones.”

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Vancouver Taxi Association spokesperson Carolyn Bauer, speaking on behalf of the company, said she was too busy to do an on-camera interview. But she told Global News over the phone that both drivers say they never asked Morris for a $100 delivery fee.

She said the first driver was simply too busy with New Year’s Eve fares, and that the second driver offered to take the phone to Morris’ house for a minimum charge of $20 — which is company policy — but Morris declined.

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Morris says that company policy is “absolutely ridiculous.”

“I don’t think anyone should ever do that,” he said. “It’s not good customer service.”

Morris has asked Yellow Cab for an apology, but the company is standing by its drivers and contending they did nothing wrong.

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