Asking the internet at large to "send us your stories" is like waving a red rag at a bull; silly, ill-advised and sure to end up with more than a few barbs.
It is one of the central tenets of today's online discourse, but it seems Victoria Taxis didn't get the memo.
'Your Taxis' is the latest PR play for the Victorian taxi body, asking customers to "Tell us about your favourite driver, your favourite ride or a time a taxi has saved the day... in 200 words or less and upload a pic or selfie."
The hope was that customers would send in stories about how much they loved taxis, in a time when traditional taxi services are under enormous pressure from ride-sharing services like Uber.
A bunch of pre-arranged stories have been uploaded to the website, but the floodgates of the internet opened and let forth a torrent of abuse and horror stories from people alleging less than exceptional experiences with taxis and taxi drivers; poor sense of direction, rude manners and plain creepy behaviour.
Taxi t-bones another car. Driver asks me to lie to the police and say it was the other driver’s fault. Licence pic wasn’t him. #YourTaxis— Dan (@_dnch) November 9, 2015
Three cabs refused to take me from Melb CBD to Carlton (too short a fare), until the cops nearby forced one to open the door #YourTaxis— David Goodlad (@dgoodlad) November 9, 2015
Countless allegations have been posted to the #YourTaxis hashtag on Twitter -- check it out here, there's a lot going on. Many are poking fun at the entire (entirely predictable) social media disaster, and how it could actually end up helping services like Uber.
Absolutely nothing about this could backfire https://t.co/d7Jp4IfFyh— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) November 9, 2015
Others, however, have tried to give taxi drivers a break.
I don't care about #YourTaxis experiences. I'm more interested to hear about taxi drivers' experiences I'm sure it's far worse on their end.— Tawar Razaghi (@TawarRazaghi) November 10, 2015
When your dad cant get a job despite having three degrees because racism, so drives taxis so the family can live in a sharehouse. #yourtaxis— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) November 10, 2015
Nevertheless, the person running the Your Taxis account on Twitter is being totally stoic in the face of crushing adversity, seemingly replying to every complaint.
@benschwarz We will respond to everything that comes our way on YourTaxis and are happy to engage with you directly about your expereinces.— yourtaxis (@yourtaxis) November 10, 2015
It's a busy day today but we want to hear everything you have to say, thanks @jivebong— yourtaxis (@yourtaxis) November 10, 2015