• Report: #133193

Complaint Review: TAXI

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  • Submitted: Mon, February 28, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, October 04, 2012

  • Reported By:Arcadia Rhode Island
TAXI
taxi.com , California U.S.A.

TAXI Music Service veers off the road Ripoff California

*Consumer Comment: Taxi just charges too much for what it does-that's the scam

*Consumer Comment: too much money

*General Comment: Taxi Teeters On Scam Or Over Rated BBB Rating

*Consumer Suggestion: Taxi Teeters On Scam Or Overrated BBB Rating

*Consumer Comment: Taxi.com a good experience for me - Right On Track

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: NOT SO Maybe I can provide some valuable insight

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Being a life long musician/songwriter, I had heard about TAXI music services many times. And since they have been around for a while, I figured they could be reputable. As for my writing abilities, I am both realistic and modest. I do not have an ego whatsoever, and I am not going to sit here and tell people how great I am, in fact it's just the opposite. I'm constantly putting my efforts through a fine tooth comb, very objective, stringent. That said, I also know a good song when I hear one, no matter who wrote it. And there are certain qualities that make a song undeniable. A good, memorable chorus (hook), solid playing throughout, catchy, well-thought lyrics, things that just make it "work". Now in the past I humbly say I've had limited success. I have had my music on the radio and sold some albums regionally around the world. Even today I will see it from time to time on Ebay for respectable prices. That confirms to me that some people do like my writing.

With that under my belt, I figured joining TAXI, a music review service and potential placement service, would give me the push I needed to get my music heard in other places, to really bring it out there. Now of course I fully acknowledge and recognize that my music could very well just "suck" for lack of a better term ;-) I have no issues with that fact, as I said I am down to earth and well grounded, but what TAXI's reviewers wrote about my music in their reviews was not just their opinion, which even if negative or insulting I would accept, but it went way out into left field. It left no doubt in my mind that not only is this company bogus, but their reviewers are obviously incompetant, or apparently are unfamiliar with today's popular music. I will give you specific examples. One song I wrote called "FALLING BACK AGAIN" has some lyrics which the reviewer called "Predictable", when it is anything but. Here I will get even more specific.

Let's say you heard a song and the lyrics went something like, "You know that you love me, and I love..." What do you think the next word should be? Of course we all know it's, "you". But this song went nothing like that. In fact here are the very lyrics they reviewed. Please tell me WHERE these lyrics are predictable. "Whatever happened to that look in your eye, when you said fight to survive for... ?" Now honestly what do YOU think would come next? No clue. Okay, it's, "a piece of the pie". Now the next line, "good times came callin' don't know where you were then, now I'm stuck in the middle and I'm....?" Any idea what the next lyrics are? Okay, it's, "F*cked up again". I'm sorry but NO ONE would ever guess that no matter what! No way, no how. And that's what he called predictable? This is blatent proof that the reviewers aren't really reviewing your music, they're just throwing down random garbage.

But they're sure to collect your $295 a year fee (which could be higher by the time you read this), and the $5.00 per song submitted for review. I didn't think this was very much, but since they send out a list of contacts every week or so, many requiring 2 to 3 songs, you can see how this quickly becomes generally $50.00 - $150.00 or more each and every week! And what do you get for all this? Nothing much, just some so-called review of your music. Ready for the kicker, please do me and yourself a favor, I'm begging you- Do a search for any popular music act today and look and see if THEIR lyrics are not "predictable" or well thought out. For the most part, they're not. You know this. Example, Ashley Simpson, (and I'm embarrassed to even write this here), "you make me want to LaLa on the floor". Oh, so maybe that's how we're supposed to write after all!

Timothy
Arcadia, Rhode Island
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/28/2005 04:02 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TAXI/California/TAXI-Music-Service-veers-off-the-road-Ripoff-California-133193. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Taxi just charges too much for what it does-that's the scam

AUTHOR: artist - ()

My concern as a musician, songwriter, actor, screenwriter, filmmaker and all-around creative person is that Taxi charges way too much money. I think if their fees were more reasonable, say $50 or even $100 per year, I wouldn't mind so much, but, honestly... (and I can't believe that no one is talking about this!) Musicians (as well as actors, writers and artists of all kinds) don't typically have much money. We are often "starving artists." I've seen some very talented people end up homeless.

In my opinion, to charge artists a fee just to have their work seen is criminal. It is the reason why so many artists fail. It is something that destroys good art ultimately because the most talented can't succeed, only those with the most amount of money. (Yes, I consider music to be an "art.")

So to charge a fee at all makes them sketchy, in my opinion. But since they probably do need to earn a living and are reluctant to charge a fee to big record company execs (who have tons of money) then I think they should at least charge very low fees. Sorry but $300 per year is a lot of money. That fee is what makes them sketchy. Of course, they can't guarantee that your music is accepted. That I understand. But to charge a fee for each song as well as that hefty $300... Well, that makes me think they're in the business of destroying musicians.

I must add that I never joined Taxi though I've considered it but I did live in Los Angeles and paid money for similar outfits that promised to help further my career. Problem is, I spent so much money on my career that I ended up having to leave and give up my career. I'd rather spend money right now cultivating my talent and performing publicly (ideally I'll get paid and not pay to play for other people!) then give money to someone who just claims to be able to further my career.

I don't mean to badmouth Taxi. They might do some great things. Again, it's just the steep fee I disagree with. Knowing how poor most musicians are, how can you charge so much money? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

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#2 Consumer Comment

too much money

AUTHOR: Spyder - (United States of America)

I have been writing songs for years and tried a couple venues to get my music heard, I thought being online and paying hundreds of dollars would do the trick, shows you how wrong you can be, Taxi wants 300.00 a year then 5.00 to submit songs, WOW !!!!!! I know everyone charges that is just business but I have read taxi's bio and they have no garuentees or do anything other than what several other people do including broadjam and many others but these others do it for a lot less money!!!!! just a heads up for you writers, also it took nearly 8 e-mails and three weeks to evenhear back from the taxi people, saying we never got your e-mails, then how did you know to answer me after three weeks lol, anyway good luck to y'all I hope you find the help you need and still have an arm and leg
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#3 General Comment

Taxi Teeters On Scam Or Over Rated BBB Rating

AUTHOR: Arizona Bob - (United States of America)

Right On Timothy!

I agree with you 100 % regarding Taxi's questionable BBB rating and operation.  I haven't been a member very long, but a recent critique of my songs where they can't be catagorized as country tunes or don't fit in any catagory heightens my expectations regarding them being marketable.  Lasko is pretty shrewed and the way Taxi is set hides the fiscade of being close to what can be described as a scam used to drain your wallet instead of a highly rated business.  I've been writing songs for 40 years and at one point I went to Nashvile to pour out my talents with some success.  So I'm pretty confident I can write a marketable tune if the industry representatives are willing to listen.  The problem with Taxi is it keeps the members in the dark regarding their clients.  From my recent experiance, it's my opinion Lasko's so called minimal $5 fee is a guaranteed money maker for him instead of gambling on a costly record production.  Also, I suspect, because of the fee, it's easy for Taxi to string a member out in the critquing process whether or not your song has potential in order to increase company revenues.  That's why they're not interested in getting envolved in the any negociation regarding an artist's music.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not in mad over the recent $15.00 critque concerning my songs.  However, I'm disappointed with some of their reasonings for rejecting my material.  It's clearly beneficial for Taxi to turn down your music until they deem them acceptable to industry standards.  Some of their members spend 2 to 3 years before they get a record deal, which the fees are increased far beyond the so called $5 fee they claim is worth it.  The problem with Lasko's boondoggle, is the policy of keeping the artist's from knowing who they're submitting their material, which creates suspicion as to whether or not the companies putting in the music requests are imaginary or not.  If Taxi would be more forthright by revealing the company names requesting specific types of music from struggling artists, it would stop people like me and Tim from filing these reports.  Their excuse, to the members is they'll harrass the so called clients, which normally don't accept unsolicited material in the first place.  So their reasoning has no plausable merit regarding its bothersome Taxi membership.  If artists knew the client names they're dealing with they'd be able to reseach them to determine if they want to submit their material to what are probably middle men to begin with.  Until, this happens, and from what I've experianced as a Taxi member changes, the doubts and damning reteric will continue to unravel Lasko's deceptive business practices.  Besides, Taxi's reputation being challanged, it's quite apparent from the other rebuttles he has the ability to buy people's loyalty.  I found that within Taxi's forums and on this site Lasko has his loyal group of propogandists to rebuttle any argument against how it conducts its business.  Also, from other posts I've read, members have to rattle Lasko's million dollar hay maker in order to get their guaranteed refunds.....   It amazes me that Taxi has a BBB rating or did Lasko buy that too?

Bob

Sahuarita, Arizona

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Taxi Teeters On Scam Or Overrated BBB Rating

AUTHOR: Arizona Bob - (United States of America)

I agree with Timothy!



I haven't been with Taxi long, but comments regarding my songs and the idea of a $5 fee for critques that pretty much keep you from getting them marketed is right on!!!!!!!!!!   Lasko is pretty smart and the idea of dealing with clients you're not able to see or know about causes deep suspicion.  It's quite apparent from the responses to Timothy's report that Mr. Lasko buys peoples loyalty to keep up the fascade he's conducting a a highly rated BBB business venture.  When reality, he has constant flow of unsermountable, cash, which is better than gambling his mula producing a record. I've written songs for 40 years and at one point I went to Nashville where I had people interested in my music.......   I know my ability to write marketable songs and I'm not in anyway mad about a recent critque stating my songs either don't belong in the county song catagory or any catagory, which heightens my expectations regarding them.  The reason I say this, is because that's what the songwriting business is all about! It's my experiance that unusual songs that cross boundries sell records.  Taxi has pretty shrewed setup and it's my guess even if your music is top of the line they'll string you out until they collect far more than the $5 fee they claim is worth it?????????  What needs to remedied, is the artists need to know the name of the so called phanthom clients they're pitching their music to, in order to ensure they're dealing with a ligitament outfit and not an imaginary boon doggle used to suck your hard earned cash from your account.  If artists could see the name of the producer or record company requesting material, it allows them to research who they are dealing with and determine whether or not they want to submit their music to them.



That's My Take Presently!

Bob 

Sahuiarita, Az     

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#5 Consumer Comment

Taxi.com a good experience for me - Right On Track

AUTHOR: Tracey - (U.S.A.)

I am not a commercial songwriter (as of yet). I starting 'writing' songs at the age of 12, my sister wrote a song when she was about 7 or 8 (her song was used in the church choir). Some years back I decided to go for it and used taxi.com as a professional starting point. I received timely, specific and constructive feedback on the quality of my songs. My conclusion was that I needed to spend more time on improving my craft (song writing), I appreciated their honesty.

On the other hand I had sent some songs to another independent producer not connected with Taxi (I asked her if it was okay to send them first). It took that person months to answer, but only after I wrote letters requesting my music back. When she finally did respond, her comments ripped my songs apart. It was insulting and discouraging. Shortly thereafter, I told myself I had given songwriting a try and gave up for a time (A black woman writing country music? They loved hearing them in local workshops until they found out I wrote them).

I believe Taxi is a legitiment means of getting valuable critique, your songs heard by the music industry and signed if accepted. If they were to consistently forward unsignable songs to their music contacts, they would not be a credible source for getting the music industry what they want, hit records.

As a songwriter we'll get some feedback that we can use, others we cannot. And finally, using explicit lyrics in some music genre's does not fit and would be a turnoff to the hearer. That too is an opinion that can be discarded if you like.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

NOT SO Maybe I can provide some valuable insight

AUTHOR: Jimi - (U.S.A.)

My name is Jimi Heath, and I used to work at TAXI. Maybe I can provide some valuable insight to Timothy's complaint.

I used to bad mouth TAXI all over the Internet because I thought they HAD to be some kind of scam. I was contacted by owner Michael Laskow. He offered to fly me to LA so I could see the operation, and make an informed opinion.

I must admit that I could not have been more wrong. TAXI is everything it claims to be and a lot more. They are honest, hard-working people who have to deal with the tender feelings of the music industry hopefuls like Timothy every day. Yet, they have a great reputation after being in business for 13 years. TAXI has also been featured on almost all the major TV networks, so you'd have to believe if they were some sort of scam, 60 Minutes or somebody would have picked it up by now.

After seeing how real TAXI was during my visit, I was eventually offered a marketing job there because the owner thought my marketing experience, and former negative opinions of TAXI could make a great combination.

I worked there for a year before moving to Nashville to pursue my own songwriting career. During that time, I NEVER saw anything but a company that holds itself to higher standards than any other company I've ever met. They always go above and beyond for their members.

They DO get complaints from people like Timothy, but if you heard the song, compared it to the top writers and artists on the charts, and had to make the decision to walk it into a major label A&R person, you'd make the same choice as TAXI. As a matter of fact much of my time at TAXI dealt with people like Timothy, and it seemed to always be people with unrealistic expectations for their own work, that complained the loudest.

The more experienced professionals never complained because they understood how the music industry really worked.

Two VERY IMPORTANT things Timothy left out of his complaint:

1) TAXI offers a ONE YEAR Money back guarantee. You can use the service for a full year, and still get your money back!!! How can they be a rip-off? And I've seen them honor that guarantee plenty of times times when I thought they shouldn't!!

2) If Timothy was spending $50-150 a week or more as he states, then whose fault is that? Did TAXI make him submit 10-30 songs per week? Not even the top writers in the music business pitch that much.

Sounds to me like Timothy should be blaming the music industry itself, and maybe his lack of knowledge about where the bar is set, not TAXI. To see a lot more objective commentary from TAXI members, I suggest that people reading this go to the TAXI message boards. www.taxi.com/boards
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