I knew the new cancellation policy the Disabled Adult Transit Service would smack me. I just didn’t know how hard it would smack me until Wednesday morning. DATS is asking users to cancel their rides two hours before their pick-up. Now let me share my Wednesday morning: at 10:11 a.m. I received an e-mail from the person I was going to meet for lunch. He had to cancel. Out of respect for DATS I called and cancelled my ride, scheduled for 10:45 a.m. The operator on the telephone said I would be marked a no-show because I did not give two hours notice. My response was “That’s not fair because my schedule changed and I could not help it.” The operator countered by saying I should call DATS Community Relations to discuss and better plan my trips.
I am not happy.
I could have gone for lunch myself, I suppose. But that really didn’t appeal to me. I am a busy person and there are many other things I need to get done today. Even though lunch would have been nice, I can use the time to get my work done. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Yet, I get my knuckles slapped and am told I need to plan better. How? How does DATS expect people plan for the unexpected?
Would have DATS rather me not call and cancel, some 32 minutes before my trip, and have to driver show up in front of my door and ring my bell, only to me told I wasn’t taking the trip? I’ll take that debate any day.
But what really frustrated is the tone DATS has: that users have change of plans. That’s one of the byproducts of being contributing to the community and, most importantly, making connections. But to be reprimanded and to be felt like you have committed a cardinal sin is, simply, wrong. It also discourages independence and could lead to some folks wondering why they should even bother to make plans when DATS shakes their finger at them.
I don’t think that’s very fair.
And if you have any experiences like this — or know of someone who has — please share your at the bottom of this post or click here.